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The Naga King Dasavatara Temple.jpg
Statue of the Naga King at Dasavatara Temple
Devanagari नागराज
Sanskrit transliteration Nāgarāja
Wylie transliteration Klu'i rgyal po
Affiliation Nāga
Abode Earth

Nāgarāja "King of the nāga" (Sanskrit: नागराज nāgarāja; Wylie: klu'i rgyal po) is a figure commonly appearing in Indian religions.


A statue of Nagaraja

Hindu texts refer to three main deities by this title, Shesha, Takshaka, and Vasuki, the children of the rishi Kashyapa and of Kadru, who are the parents of all nāgas.

Shesha, Vasuki, and Takshaka[edit]

Shesha, also sometimes known as Ananta, is the eldest brother, is a devotee of Vishnu, and represents the friendly aspect of snakes, as they save food from rodents. Lord Vishnu is always on continuous meditation (Yoganidra) with Ananta forming a bed for him, and this posture is called Ananta-Sayana.

Vasuki, the younger one is a devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva always wears Vasuki around his neck. Vasuki also has a sister named Manasa.

Takshaka represents the dangerous aspect of snakes, as they are feared by all due to their venom.


An ancient temple of nagraj or snake god Vasuki is in Gujarat's surendranagar district's "Thangadh" town. Thangadh's land is also known as land of snake. People do worship Vasuki nag as the rustic god of Thangadh.

At Nagercoil in Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, a temple dedicated to Nagaraja exists.

There is another famous temple named Mannarasala in Alleppey district of Kerala. The deity in this temple embodies both Anantha and Vasuki into one. A temple devoted to nagraja exists in kaippattoor of Ernakulam distinct in Kerala, India. It is known as thekkanattil nagaraja kshetram.

A temple devoted to Nagaraja exists in Poojappura of Thiruvananthapuram District in Kerala, India. It is known as Poojappura Nagarukavu Temple. The uniqueness of this temple is that here the family of the Nagaraja including Nagaramma, Queen of Naga and Nagakanya, and Princess of the Naga kingdom, is placed inside a single temple.

Also at Thiruvananthapuram is an ancient abode of Serpent Wisdom known as Thuppanathu Kavu, located at Vazhamuttam. The three serpent dieties evoked in this ancient temple are Nagaraja Vasuki (relating to Lord Shiva), Naga Yakshi (Serpent Queen/ wife of Nagaraja) and Naga Kanyaka. Turmeric powder, Noorum Paalum and Naagaroottu are offered to them. Accompanied by the Naga Gods and Godesses at Thuppanathu Kavu are Goddess Vanadurga and Godess Rajarajeswari.

See also[edit]


  • H.Oldenberg: The Vinaya Pitakam. London 1879, pp. 24–25

External links[edit]