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The Naga King Dasavatara Temple.jpg
Statue of the Naga King at Dasavatara Temple
Sanskrit transliterationNāgarāja
Wylie transliterationKlu'i rgyal po

Nāgarāja "King of the nāga" (Sanskrit: नागराज nāgarāja) is a figure commonly appearing in Indian religions.


A statue of Nagaraja

Hindu texts refer to three main beings by this title: Shesha, Takshaka and Vasuki. All of them are the children of rishi Kashyapa and Kadru.

Shesha, Vasuki, and Takshaka[edit]

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

Vasuki, the king of Nagas is a devotee of Shiva, who always wears the nāga around his neck. Vasuki also has a sister named Manasa.

Takshaka represents the dangerous aspect of snakes, as they are feared because of 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 district 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 (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 deities 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 Goddesses at Thuppanathu Kavu are the goddess Vanadurga and the goddess Rajarajeswari.

Kukke Subramanya is a Hindu temple located in the village of Subramanya, Karnataka. In this temple Kartikeya is worshipped as Subramanya, lord of all serpents. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found refuge under Subramanya when threatened by Garuda.

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]