Nageswarar Nagercoil

Nageswarar, Nagercoil

Saivite Temples, Kanyakumari District


Nageswarar, facing east


Theertha Durga, facing east in a separate shrine

Other Deities

Ganesha, Balamuruga, Kasi Viswanathar, Ananthakrishna, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Nagamani Bhoodathan, Sastha, Ashta Naagam

Nageswarar Nagarkovil is an old east facing temple with a large entrance gateway in the south. There are entrances from other sides too. The temple is a combination of Kerala and Dravidian architecture. In front of the temple are the installations of a large number of Naagar idols. Adjacent to this is a beautiful and clean temple tank. As you enter from the east the Sanctum Sanctorum and the shrines of Ananthakrishna and Kasi Viswanathar are in a line. Two large Naagar idols are found on either side of the main deity of Nageswara – Darnendran (male snake) and Padmavati (female snake) as Dwarapalakas. The main deity has a 5 hooded snake as a covering on top. The entire temple is filled with Naagar idols in many places most significantly on the Prakaram walls. The Lingam here is on sand and this sand is black in color during the Sun’s Southward journey and in normal color during the Northward journey. This sand has been given as a Prasadam to devotees for a long time. The Shiva Lingam here is also considered to represent Vayu (Wind). The outer prakaram has a small theertham tank in front of which is the separate shrine for Theertha Durga. This idol was found near the tank and hence the name. The main priests of the temple are from a family of Namboothris who have been worshiping snakes for generations. The flag staff is in front of the shrine of Ananthakrishna and instead of the normaly Garuda here you see the Tortoise depicted on it. The temple tree here is Oda Valli which is supposedly a cure for Leprosy. A large bush of this was cleared some time back as it was full of snakes. Further efforts to regrow this herb has been unsuccessful.

Holy Water (Theertham) – Naga Theertham

Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) – Odavalli


Nageswarar Nagercoil was originally a Jain temple as is evident from the many Jain inscriptions found here.


Nageswarar Nagercoil is connected with the legend of a lady who accidentally discovered discovered the Lingam when blood started oozing after her sickle hit it. She brought the villagers who together built the temple. The present day temple is said to have been built by Boothala Veera Sree Veera Udhaya Marthanda Verma (Reign 1516 – 1535 CE) who ruled this area with head quarters at Kalakkaad. He was suffering from Leprosy and got cured when he started visiting this temple every Sunday. In gratitude he built the present day temple. He was also told in a dream by Nagaraja that the roof of the temple should only be a Thatched one. Even today the western side of the sanctum has a thatched roof only. In the mid 18th Century, King Marthanda Verma of Venad Kingdom survived an assassination attempt (South Travancore) had lot of enemies. One day he was taking rest in the South side building of the temple. Knowing this, his enemy went up to kill him. His sword missed the target as he was interfered by a cobra in between. From then on, the South Nada (South Entrance) is called as Maha Meru Maaligai.


Nageswarar Nagercoil is in the center of Nagercoil Town close to the bus stand and the clock tower area.

Stay and Food

Nagercoil has many hotels and restaurants. It is advisable to have this town as your hub while visiting the temples of Kanyakumari District.

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