The story behind the existence of this temple is as follows - once a Namboothiri, a great devotee of Lord Shiva did Bhajanam [worship] for twelve days at Thiruvanchikkulam Temple. A pleased Lord Shiva asked Vasuki, the Nagaraja to grant Darshan [sight of] to the Namboothiri. Vasuki as his lord asked, visited the Namboothiri and gifted him the Nagamanickam to eliminate his sufferings. From that day, the Namboothiri worshipped Nagaraja and Nagayakshi [Queen of the Nagas]. One day returning back after curing a Pandya King’s skin disease, he reached Kottar, which is now known as Nagercoil. Suddenly he heard a woman crying. When he reached where the woman was standing he was surprised to see blood coming out of a rock. Immediately he identified it as the idol of the five headed Nagaraja. He did all the necessary rituals and built a small temple around it. Since then the Nagaraja is worshipped there. The present day temple was constructed later with shrines of Maha Vishnu and Shiva.
Other than Paramashiva and Mahavishnu there are other shrines of Goddess Rukmini, Satyabhama, Ganapathi, Durga and Bala Murugan.
The temple is open for worship from 04:00 am to 11:30 am and 05:00 pm to 08:30 pm.
The most auspicious occasion of the Nagaraja Temple is the Ayilyam festival during the Malayalam month Thula [October - November]. A 12 day pooja is conducted which include a special Tantric rituals. The Brahmotsavam during the January- February month is also a major festive occasion at Nagaraja Temple, Nagercoil. Navarathri festival celebrated during the months of September-October and Thirukarthigai in November-December are other festivals celebrated in the temple.
How to Reach?
Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is the nearest airport. Get down at Thiruvananthapuram and grab a taxi or bus to Nagercoil. The temple is walkable distance from the Nagercoil Bus Stand or use an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple.
There are a lot of trains available to Nagercoil from different parts of the country. After getting down at Nagercoil Junction Railway Station, use an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple which is likely 3 kms from the station.
You can easily catch a bus to Nagercoil from any major cities in South India. The temple is at a walkable distance from the Nagercoil Bus Stand.