New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Nag Panchami, a festival which is dedicated to Nagas and snake deities, has finally arrived will be celebrated with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm across the country. The festival of Nag Panchami is also known as “Nag Chaturthi” or “Nagul Chavithi” and is also widely celebrated in Nepal. On this auspicious day, people worship Nagas and the snake Gods to seek their blessings. Generally, the festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated in the month of Shravan according to the Hindu calendar. However, in some parts of India, it is celebrated on other days. In Gujarat, it is celebrated a few days after most states while in Andhra Pradesh, it is celebrated just before Diwali.

In Hinduism, snakes hold an important place. On the occasion of Nag Panchami, people bathe snakes with milk to worship them. There are many famous temples across India where devotees worship the Nagas or snake deities. One different and a special temple is Nagachandreshwar temple of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh which opens its doors only once in a year.

Let us tell you why:

The gates of Nagchandreshwar Temple are opened only on Nagpanchami, making it a special day for the devotees to worship the snake deities. As per the Hindu texts, on this day, Nagraj Takshak himself comes in the temple. It is located on the third floor of the Mahakal temple and was built by King Bhoj in the year 1050. The stunning feature of this temple is the ten-headed serpent God and under the fun is Lord Shankar, Goddess Parvati, and Ganesh.

The story behind the temple of Nagachandreshwar of Ujjain goes back in ancient times. According to Hindu mythology, the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain was built by Lord Brahma. However, it was demolished during the time of the Mughals. Later, Maratha kings ruled Ujjain, a district of Madhya Pradesh. Ranoji Scindia rebuilt the Mahakal temple during his reign.

It was renovated by different kings from time to time. After its construction, it was then when the statue of Nagachandrashwara was installed in a wall on the upper floor of the temple. It is said that the idol was found from the remains of the temple demolished by the Mughals. Devotees believe that worshipping Nagdev only on Nagpanchami has special significance and that is why on the third floor of the Mahakaleshwar temple, the Nag Chandreshwar temple of God is opened only in the month of Shrawan on Nagpanchami.

On this day, snakes or their pictures are worshipped and religious rituals are performed to seek the blessings of the Nagas and snakes. Nag Panchami is celebrated across the country in different ways. In some places, villagers dance to music and carry snakes in pots over their heads to the temple whereas the temple priests sprinkle Haldi-kumkum or turmeric and red powder and offer flowers to the Nagas and snakes.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma