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Iringole Temple


Iringole Forest Temple alias Iringole Kavu is a renowned Bhagavathy temple located in the middle of a dense forest in the village of Pattal. The temple is about 35kms from Ernakulam, between Kuruppampady and Perumbavoor on Aluva – Munnar road.

There is no definite information about the origin of Iringole temple. In 1986, a famous astrologer Kaimukku Parameswaran Namboothiri through his calculations found that the temple is 2746 years old, which has been accepted by other religious scholars. But the pooja rituals and the visits of devotees began only 1200 years ago. A mythological legend is associated with the origin of the temple. The legend has it that, in Dwaparayuga the era of lord Krishna, Kamsa the demon king came to know that the 8th son of Devaki and Vasudeva would assassinate him. He was scared and put his pregnant sister Devaki and husband Vasudeva in jail. Kamsa who expected the 8th son could see only a girl child as Vasudeva and Devaki replaced the kid with the girl child born to Nandagopan and Yasoda in Gokulam. Still when Kamsa tried to kill the girl child, she glided away and glowed like a bright star in the sky. The place where the light first fell on earth was named 'Irinnol' in the concept that the girl child goddess came to reside there. The name Irinnol gradually became Iringole.

The idol of the Bhagavathy in the temple is believed to be swayambu. The main offerings to the deity are jaggery, thick payasam or kheer with jaggery, ghee and a special payasam named Chathussatham made of wheat. Iringole temple is unique in many ways. Marriages, ganapati homam’s, kettu nira’s or reading of Ramayana scriptures are not held at the temple. Fragrant flowers or women wearing them are not allowed inside the temple. Only female elephants are allowed to carry the deity’s effigy. The huge trees surrounding the temple are believed as the Devas who came to pray to the Goddess for her blessings and stood there praising her. For that reason the trees here are protected and are not cut under any circumstances. Even the wood that has fallen is not used for any purpose.

During the annual temple festival season, the deity's sacred bath named as 'aarattu' is conducted every day in the pond of the nearby Sri Krishna temple named Neelakulangara. Once a year, on the day of Karthika in the Malayalam month of Vrischikam, the goddess appears as a diverse persona to the devotees. There is a belief that devotees who visit her on that day will be blessed with a long life, unmarried women will get a good marriage and married women who gets to see at least three forms of the Devi can ensure a long life for her and her husband as well.

Earlier the ownership of the temple was held by 28 Brahmin families including Nagancheri, Orozhiyam, Pattasseri etc. By the end of 1945, the families gave the authority of managing the temple to Travancore Devaswam Board during the time of Diwan Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer.

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