The Naga are traditionally considered one of the ancient most kshatriya (warrior) tribes of India and to have spread throughout India during the period of the epic Mahabharata. The demi-god tribe called Suparnas (in which Garuda belonged) were arch-rivals of the Nagas.
- The Great Serpent Ananta (Shesha) was the first among all the Naga kings. Thiru-Anantha-Puram is known as the adobe of Great Serpent Ananta. References are found as Kerala was mentioned as Patala the Nether world in far ancient history. The Nair and pedireddla clans are known as the descendants of Great Serpent Ananta.
- The second Naga chief Vasuki had the kingdom near Kailasa (hence the connection of Vasuki with lord Siva).
- The third chief Takshaka, in Takshasila both not far from Anantnag.
- The kingdoms of other Nagas like Karkotaka and Airavata (near Iravati River (Ravi), one among the five rivers of Punjab) were also not far away.
- Arjuna's wife Ulupi was from one of such Naga kingdom, located presumably in the Gangetic Plain. There are now many Naga worshiping places in South India, especially in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
Naga race belonging to northern region of present India was almost exterminated in a genocide by Janamejaya, the Kuru king in Arjuna's line, who conducted the massacre of Nagas at Takshasila. As a result, a large number of people from Northern Naga clan has sought refuge in Kerala and inhabited in places called Mannarasala Nagaraja Temple and Puranattukara. This massacre was stopped by Astika, a Brahmin whose mother was a Naga (Vasuki's sister Jaratkaru).