Naga deva

Sarpa Kavu (meaning Abode of Snakes) is a traditional natural sacred space seen near traditional homes in Kerala state of South India. The site is believed to be inhabited by snakes, and the area usually contains a representation of Naga Raja (King of the Snakes) and other Naga Devatas (snake deities), where offerings and rites are performed during special ceremonies. This is a Brahminical ritual performed by certain sects of Nambudiris, and all castes hold the Sarpa Kavu in reverence, with access forbidden to the area unless for due ceremonies.

The concept of ‘Kavu’ was a place dedicated to the god and goddess of snake- nagar and nagayakshi. Thick foliage, made up of interwoven creepers , over grown climbers clambering up huge trees and the self sufficient eco system, demarcated this place from the rest of the courtyard. The fear of these imminent reptiles kept all – adults as well as kids – away from it. Hence, the flora and fauna thrived and was preserved. Some of the creepers were as thick as the trunk of a tree. The fragrance of blooming jasmine and champaka and illanji wafted through the air. The fragrance filled the air as nobody dared to touch the flowering plants. Some seasonal and native fruit trees also found its place among the foliage. Maybe this was the lung space that flushed in the necessary oxygen.

The concept of ‘Kavu’ was a place dedicated to the god and goddess of snake- nagar and nagayakshi. Thick foliage, made up of interwoven creepers , over grown climbers clambering up huge trees and the self sufficient eco system, demarcated this place from the rest of the courtyard. The fear of these imminent reptiles kept all – adults as well as kids – away from it. Hence, the flora and fauna thrived and was preserved. Some of the creepers were as thick as the trunk of a tree. The fragrance of blooming jasmine and champaka and illanji wafted through the air. The fragrance filled the air as nobody dared to touch the flowering plants. Some seasonal and native fruit trees also found its place among the foliage. Maybe this was the lung space that flushed in the necessary oxygen.

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