Iringole Kavu / Iringole Bhagavathy Temple Perumbavoor is a famous Hindu temple devoted to Goddess Durga, situated in Kunnathunad Taluk of Ernakulam. This renowned temple is one of the 108 Durga temples in Kerala consecrated by Lord Parasurama. The goddess in this temple is in the form of a baby girl who took this living form in order to save Lord Krishna from the evil hands of his uncle, Kansa. Set in a forest, the devotees believe that the power of the Iringole Bhagavathy has still there.
A Temple Where Trees Are Deities
One of the attractive features of Iringole Bhagavathy Temple is that trees are deities in this temple. Devotees treat trees in this temple as gods. Even if the forest has abundant flora and fauna, there are no dangerous animals in it. The rich biodiversity of the forest surrounding the temple attracts many nature lovers. The temple is in the midst of around 50 acres of forest which is home to so many animals, birds and plants of the Western Ghats. Even it has some rare woods such as white pine, wild jack (aanjili), ‘Kambakam’ or Iron wood of Malabar and teak can be seen in this forest. Besides, this forest is home to almost 44 species of birds including cuckoos, eagles and parrots. Some medicinal plants like long pepper, wild pepper and pathari is also found in this forest. There are three main and a few smaller pathways to reach this shrine.
An Ancient Temple
Iringole Bhagavathy Temple is believed to be more than 2700 years old. Many myths are associated with this temple and the idol of it is believed to be swayambhu. This shrine is popular among Hindu devotees in Kerala and people from different parts of the state visit it. This temple is located in a highly populated area in the state but in a little forest. The very huge pine trees in the forest give it a cool ambience. Devotees believe that the gods and goddesses surrounded this temple are in the forms of plants and trees. Managed by the Thiruvithancoore Devaswom board, visiting this temple and the surrounding forest shall be a refreshing experience.
Iringole Bhagavathy Temple is located in a grove that spread over nearly 60 acres. This tropical rain forest features an amazing variety of flora. The temple structure includes the sreekovil, namaskara mandapam, valiya balikal and deepasthambham is in the southwest side of this grove. The namaskara mandapam also has an agra mandapam. There are no sub-shrines in this temple. The exquisite carvings of the sila dwarapalas at the sides of the entrance and the small sculpture of Goddess on the ceiling of the namaskara madapam draw the attention of visitors.
Main Offerings at Iringole Kavu / Iringole Bhagavathy Temple
Thick payasam and jaggery are the main offerings to this temple. A special payasam made from wheat called Chathussatham is also an offering to the deity. Some of the rituals of Kerala temples like Ganapathy Homam, reading of Ramayana or Kettu Nira are not performed in the Iringole Bhagavathy Temple. Marriages are also not allowed in this temple. Unlike other temples, this temple does not accept fragrant flowers. Even the authorities restrict the entry of women who wear fragrant flowers. During processions, the effigy of the deity is carried only by female elephants, which is a specialty of this temple.
How To Reach Iringole Kavu / Iringole Bhagavathy Temple
Located in the Kunnathunad Taluk, the Iringole Bhagavathy Temple is around 35 kilometers away from Kochi. The nearest Aluva railway station is approximately 18 kilometers from this shrine. Visitors need to cover about 16 kilometers to reach the Cochin International Airport from this temple. You can check the personalized pilgrim packages of KSU for a blissful travel experience in Kerala.