Sarppam Paatu(means snake music)kerala




Though a very rare and hilarious process in terms of the poojas and execution, Sarpam Pattu is most pleasing of all Poojas to the serpents. This holy ceremony is to be conducted once every forty-one years. There are records of Sarpam Pattu held several times, After 1073 M.E. it had been continuous except for once. The details of the Sarpam Pattu of 1074 have been recorded clearly. Thereafter in 1151 (1976) M.E. this ceremony attracted public attention.

Conduct of Sarppam Pattu requires huge spending and manpower for many months. Six to Seven Kanyakas (virgin Brahmin ladies), Amma and Valia Amma participate in the Poojas that may last for many weeks, until the Amma realises in her trance that Nagaraja is satisfied with the Pooja. Separate poojas are offred to the nine Nagas namely Nagaraja, Sarppa Yakshi, Naga Yakshi, Naga Chamundi, Nilavara Muthassan, Kuzhi nagam, Kari Nagam, Mani Nagam and Para Nagam during these days. The ladies of the family who partake in this festivitiy avoid rice meals during these days, as part of the rituals.



Sarppakkalam-photo(1945)


The Yajnavedi (the altar of sacrifice) is in the yard south of the cellar. When floor decorations, songs, serpent dance, and sacrifice for serpents as well as Nurum Palum are performed in the presence of Valia Amma, the place around the altar becomes a fantasy world of devotion, thanks to the songs of Poojas and dances, the many types of musical performances, the decorations, the accompaniments etc. At such times the temple gates are not closed. The rituals that go for days and nights last until the day when Amma becomes divinely possessed and makes prophetic announcements