Pambummekkattu Mana, is a famous Temple devoted to Serpent Gods, situates at Vadama very close to Mala Town. It is believed that the divine presence of "Vasuki" and "Nagayakshi" are there in the "Kizhakkini" of Pambummekkattu Mana.
Main Highlights of This Article
- About Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala Thrissur
- Features and Importance of Pambummekkattu Mana
- A Legend of Pambummekkattu Mana
- Beliefs of Devotees at Pambummekkattu Mana
- Offerings At Pambummekkattu Mana
- Oil In The Lamp Prasadam At Pambummekkattu Mana, Mala Thrissur
- Family Gods of Pambummekkattu Mana
- Special Days at Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala Thrissur
- Administration of Pambummekkattu Mana Vadama
- Other Temples Managed by Pambummekkattu Mana
- How to Reach at Pambummekkattu Mana
- Contacts of Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala, Thrissur, Kerala
About Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala Thrissur
Pambummekkattu Mana is the most famous Serpent worship centre in Kerala. The Pambummekattu lllam (also known as Mana) stands in Vadama village, a part of Mukundapuram Taluk in Thrissur District, Kerala. The nearest railway station is 10 km away at Chalakudy.
Devotees can reach here by road from any part of Kerala. The believers can take Thrice - Mala route; 2.5 Km North to Mala stands the Meikkattu Mana west to the main road. The name of the bus stop itself is Mekkattu Junction.
When you reach the pathway in front of Mekkattu Mana, a wall with Figures of Serpents painted on it. When you turn to the north, an arch-shaped entrance inscribed with Serpent figures can be seen. When you go further, thick, tall trees and small temples (Kavu) snatch your attention. Then you reach the entrance. You can enter the "Sarpakavu" with a pure mind and body to seek the blessings of the serpent Gods.
The Serpent Gods Nagaraja (male God) and Naga Yakshi (female God) reside in the eastern portion of Mekkattu Mana. The peculiarity is that there are no idols of these Gods, but daily poojas are conducted.
Features and Importance of Pambummekkattu Mana
The Pambu Mekkattu (serving of snake) is spread over six acres of land with five "Serpant Kavus" (Kavu is sacred garden). The Pambummekkattu land is kept in its virgin style with huge trees and thick vegetation. Thousands of bats are dwelling on these trees. Only on rare occasions the devotees are allowed to enter into the Pambummekkattu Temple for worship.
On the 1st of the Malayalam month "Vrischikam" (November 17) of the Keralites' calendar many devotees of Sabarimala Ayyappa come to Pambu Mekkattu in order to get the blessing of Serpent Gods. "Noorum Palum" (food and milk) offering to the snakes is on this day.
To participate in this auspicious ceremony, thousands throng, even from faraway places. Serpent worship is very common in Kerala and the tradition is centuries old. The oil from the "Kedavilakku" (all time burning oil-lamp) of this temple in Pambummekkattu Mana is used as a medicine for skin diseases which is believed to be caused due to the fury of snakes.
The gate tower of the Pambummekkattu Mana is embedded with snake statues as a welcome posture. Most of the Manas in Kerala are "Nalukettu" (a kind of structure and shape of the residential building particularly for Brahmins) whereas the Mana in Pambummekkattu is "Ettukettu" – two Naluketts.
There are five Kavus of snakes (and snake gods) in Pambummekkattu Mana. The sanctum sanctorum of "Nagaraja Vasuki" (king of snakes) and Nagayakshi (female devil of snakes) is in the Kizhakkini (eastern court) of a Nalukettu.
There is no idol in the sanctum sanctorum of Pampumekkattu Mana. In its place there is all time burning oil-lamp (Kedavilakku). The Prasadam given to the devotees is the oil from the lamp. The oil Prasadam has the power to cure the diseases caused due to the curse of snakes.
Besides Noorum Palum, the other main offering to the serpent gods is Kadali Pazham (Kadali plantain). In the center court of the Pambummekkattu Mana there is shrine of Bhadrakali.
A Legend of Pambummekkattu Mana
There is a legend behind how Mekkattu Mana became Pampumekkattu Mana.
Once Mekkattu Mana was suffering from acute poverty and miseries. The sufferings were so unbearable that the Head of the family decided to stay in prayers and meditation in Thiruvanchikulam Temple at Kodungallur, about 15 km away from Mala.
He stayed there and prayed continuously for twelve years. One day early morning he went to the temple pond of Thiruvanchikulam to fetch some water where he saw a strange man near the pond with extra-ordinary body structure.
The "Namboodiri" (Malayalam word for male Brahmins) asked him to reveal his identity. But the strange man responded in a vague manner. The Namboodiri realized that the strange person who was standing near the pond was an unusual divine power, he asked him to give the precise ring that he was wearing to show his friends and Kodungallur Thampuran.
The ring so given to the Namboodiri was returned and immediately on receiving it back the man disappeared. As the identity of the strange man was still a mystery, the Namboodiri’s mind was unsettled.
On the next day Namboodiri went to the Thiruvanchikulam pond as usual to take water, he saw the same mystery man near the pond. The Namboodiri bowed down at his feet and requested him to reveal his identity. The mystery man said, "I am Vasuki" (Vasuki is the serpent God according to Hindu Mythology) and to prove his identity he squeezed himself to a ring similar to the one Lord Parameswaran wore in his finger.
At this strange sight, the Namboodiri got fainted. When Namboodiri came to his normalcy, Vasuki asked him, what kind of blessings that he wished to have. The Namboodiri replied that he wanted to have Vasuki's presence in his Illam (Illam or Mana means Brahmin's house in Malayalam) to have prosperity in his Illam. Vasuki agreed to his request and disappeared.
Soon after he got the blessings of Vasuki, the Namboodiri returned to his Illam - Mekkattu Mana - at Vadama near Mala. He put his palm-leaf umbrella in the Kizhakkini (eastern court of the Mekkattu Illam) of the Mekkattu Illam and went for bath. After the bath when he came to take the umbrella, he saw a snake on the umbrella greeting him. The snake transformed himself to Vasuki and added that Nagayakshi (godess of serpents) will also soon be presented there.
After a while, the eldest Antharjanam (malayalam word for Brahmin lady) of the Mekkattu Illam came there. She put her palm-leaf umbrella (in the olden days, Brahmin ladies, as a custom, used to hold palm-leaf umbrellas, to cover up their face, which are unfoldable, while moving out their Illams) in the portico before stepping into the home. Soon a snake appeared there on the umbrella and slowly moved to the Kizhakkini of Mekkattu Mana.
On reaching the Kizhakkini, the snake manifested into a beautiful lady and took position near Vasuki. They both ordered the Namboodiri to install them as idols at the place they stand and consider them as their family deities. They also suggested to keep two "Kedavilakku" (means a lamp kept burning using oil) in the Kizhakkini of the Mekkattu Illam ever lighting.
The Mekkattu Namboodiri did everything according to the directions and continued daily rituals to appease them. Thereafter, the Mekkattu Mana (Illam) came to be known as "Pampumekkattu Mana" (pampu means snake in Malayalam) and became prosperous day by day and very famous. The memories of the Great Serpent Gods who to the Pambummekkattu Mana as snakes still fill the hearts of the devotees with blessings and happiness.
Beliefs of Devotees at Pambummekkattu Mana
The members of Pambummekkattu Mana call the snakes "parambaryalgal" (traditions). Now is believed that when a birth occurs, the "parambaryalgal" will come to see the newborn. Likewise, if a death occurs in the family, a "parambaryalgal" will also die. The dead body of the family member will be cremated only after cremating the "parambaryalgal" body.
As burning fire in the Mana and premises (except in the kitchen hearth) are forbidden, the funeral pyre for the namboori and the "parambaryalgal" are set in the southern compound which is called "Thekke Kavu". This shows the intimacy between members of the family and the serpents.
The Mekkattu family members are not bitten by snakes owing to Vasuki's blessings. Even if anybody gets a bite by chance, the venom will not affect them. The venom in turn affects the snake itself and the family members save them, surprisingly, upto this day, nobody has been bitten by a snake from the Mana which has so many snakes in its premises. brought directly to the Mana and no harm should be done to the snake. But, today nobody comes to the Mana for treatment, may be due to the advancement in Medical Science.
Offerings At Pambummekkattu Mana
The Mekkattu Namboori's also treated the outsiders who are bitten by the snakes but on some conditions. The bitten person is to be Vazhipadu Vivaram (Details of Offerings)
Vella Nivedyam, Kootupayasam, Palpayasam, Kadalipazha Nivedyam, Manjalpodi Charthal, Vilakkuvekkal, Sarpabali, Payasa Homam, Naga Prathishta, Noorum Palum, Pushpanjali, Malakku, Prathima Pooja, Abhishekamv, Thulabharamv, Annaprasham, Ayilya Pooja and Rahu Pooja.
The favourite offering to Serpent Gods is 'Kadalipazha Nivedyam'(a kind of banana). 'Noorum Palum' (lime and milk) is offered only in special occasions. 'Thulabharam' and 'Annaprasham' are offered to get a baby.
Oil In The Lamp Prasadam At Pambummekkattu Mana, Mala Thrissur
The oil in the lamp and the collyrium formed by burned wick are given as medicines for skin diseases caused by the rage of snakes. The oil in the 'Kedavilakku' (ever burning lamp) kept in the 'Kizhakkini' - where Vasuki and Nagayakshi are placed - is given as Prasadam. There are strict methods to use this oil. They are listed below:
Mix essential quantity of coconut oil or gingelly oil into the oil given from Pambummekkattu. After taking a bath, pour the oil into two bottles. Apply oil from one bottle all over the body before bath and use powdered green gram or the peel of the body of a mango tree to remove the oil. After bath, come back with wet body and clothes and consume three drops of oil from the other bottle(if the hand comes in touch with the tongue wash the hand thoroughly before touching the bottle again).
While using this oil non-vegetarian food, medicine prescribed by doctors, and bath in the hot water are to be completely avoided. Soap and even ayurvedic bathing powders are also to be avoided. The oil is to be used for 21 days. Women are not supposed to use oil during seven days of menstrual period and they should not prepare food for those using this oil during menstrual days.
Family Gods of Pambummekkattu Mana
Goddess Kali is installed at the central courtyard of Pambum Mekattu Mana. 'Koottupayasam' is the main offering. 'Mudiyettu' is conducted on either Tuesday, Friday or Sunday in the month of Medam (mid April). 'Noorum Palum' is given to Serpent Gods during festival time and five days long 'Sarpapattu' is also conducted.
Special Days at Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala Thrissur
1. First of the month of Vrishchikam(mid November).
2. Ayilyam in the month of Kanni(mid sept-mid oct).
3. From Thiruvonam to Bharani in the month of Meenam (mid March to Mid April).
4. Tenth of the month of Medam(mid of April).
The most important occation in Mekkattu Mana is first of Vrishchikam. That day is celebrated as the festival of Serpent Gods and every Serpent Gods and every Serpent God is pleased that day by giving lime (calcium oxide) and milk. It is believed that only the members of the Mekkattu family has the right to conduct Sarpabali. From the first of Vrishchikam to 41 days, Sarpabali is conducted as a special offering every evening. Other than this, the Bali is conducted on chosen days decided by the Mana. During Mandalakalam (41 days from Vrishchikam 1), 'Kalamezhuthum Pattum' is conducted. Only 'Sarpapattu' is conducted and not'Pulluvanpattu'.
Normally, only higher caste people are permitted into the 'Kavu'. But on special days people of all castes can come to the temple. These days they can enter anywhere except the 'Kizhakkini'. The devotees have to take bath in the pond and enter the 'Kavu' with wet body and clothes.
Administration of Pambummekkattu Mana Vadama
The oldest member of the family is the head of the Mana members who have covered teenage are given administrative power. A trust is formed and each trustee will get an year's administration. The mantras and the rituals are passed from one generation to another orally. The members of the family are bound to follow the rules. The devotees are to strictly follow the instruction of the administrator. When something affects the sanctity of the premises, poojas (rituals) will be restarted only after "Punyaham" (cleansing). When such things happen snakes are seen in waste ditch, indicating impurity.
Other Temples Managed by Pambummekkattu Mana
Vasiyedam temple at Puthenchira, Sarangapani Sree Krishna temple and Kunnathukadu Mahadeva temple are owned and managed by Pambummekkattu Mana.
Pambumekkattu Mana is in the forefront of snake related Thantric rituals and they do the rituals at many snake god centers, including famous Nagarcoil temple in Tamil Nadu.
How to Reach at Pambummekkattu Mana
Devotees can hire taxis from Mala town or travel by regular buses plying Mala, Ashtamichira and Kodungallur. The distance shall be from Mala to Vadama 1.5 km and from Vadama to Pampumekkattu Mana 1 km.
Dialects of "Pambummekkattu"
Pambumekkattu, Pambu Mekkattu, Pambumeikadu, Pambu Meikkadu, Pambu Maikkadu, Pampu Maikkadu, Pampu Meikkadu, Pampu Mekkattu.
Contacts of Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala, Thrissur, Kerala
Head of the Pambummekkattu Mana: P.S Jadhadevan Namboodiri.
Postal Address of Pambummekkattu Mana: Pambummekkattu Mana, Vadama, Mala, Thrissur District, Kerala, PIN - 680 736.
Phone for Pambummekkattu Mana: +91-480-2890453, +91-480-2890473, +91-480-2899495.