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Ernakulam- Legends
Temples of Kerala


The city of Ernakulam is home to the Mahadeva - Shiva temple, which celebrates its annual festival in the month of January. Located in its vicinity are temples to Subramanya and Anjaneya.

A legend associated with this temple is believed to be related to the name of the city itself.

Legend has it that a rishi by name Devala killed a serpent by accident and was cursed by his guru. The curse turned his face into the hood of a snake and he acquired the name Nagarishi. It was ordained that a sustained period of Shiva worship would relieve him of the curse.

Nagarishi lived his life in prayer and had a vision in which he was blessed with a Shivalingam - the same Shivalingam which was worshipped by Arjuna in his quest for the Paasupat astram. (see legend - Kiraataarjuneeyam).

Nagarishi continued travelling throughout the land with the Shivalingam and came to the site of this temple and realized that the Shivalingam had gotten stuck to the ground and that it could not be removed.

He realized that his curse was about to be lifted and he bathed in a nearby tank, shed his mortal coils and disappeared.

This tank was referred to as the Rishinaagakulam; the name is said to have changed to Ernakulam gradually.