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Peter J. Claus pclaus at
Wed Jan 29 16:29:50 UTC 1997

Date: January 28, 1997 
Indology List indology at
Dear Members,
 Gary Hausman wrote:

" In the neighboring state of Tamilnadu, in Kanyakumari
District, the Nagercoil temple is said to have snakes
residing in it, which are fed with milk. I did not
attempt to confirm this - but I can confirm that there
are snake idols in the temple."
I am not very familiar with Kerala temples, but the
Naga temples in coastal Karnataka, immediately to the
north, are Subramania temples.  There is a complete
merger of these two identities: although the temples
are called Subramania temples, the representation is of
a Naga.  They are important temples, being the place
families see as their "root", muula stana.  
Besides this, the countryside is dotted with naga bana,
'Naga forests', tiny plots of untouched forest (often
on valuable agricultural lands) which contain naga
Does anyone know how Subramaniam so thoroughly became
equated with Naga?  Elsewhere in South Asia is the naga
so closely identified with (not only fertility, but)
family origin?
 Peter J. Claus 
fax: (510) 704-9636 
pclaus at

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