Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Timings:
Morning: 4.30 AM to 9.30 AM
Evening: 5.30 PM to 7.30 PM
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Daily Rituals:
4.30 AM Palliyunarthal
5.30 AM Nadathurakkal, Nirmalya Darsanam
5.45 AM Abhishekom
6.00 AM Malar Nivedyam
7.00 AM Usha Pooja
9.30 AM Ucha Pooja
5.30 PM Nadathurakkal
6.30 PM Deeparadhana
7.30 PM Athazha Pooja
One of the most ancient temples of Kerala. The biggest double storied circular sanctum called ‘Thekkedathu’ (Southern) temple. The ‘Sadasivalingam’ consecrated by Lord Parasurama. Lord Siva with consort Sree Parvathy and son Kumara on a single pedestal at ‘Vadakkedathu’ (Northern) temple. Maha Ganapathi, Dharmasasthavu, Nandikeswaran, Sundara Yakshi, Karottamma, Naga Devadas are the sub deities.
About Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple:
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple One of the most ancient temples of Kerala. The biggest double storied circular sanctum called ‘Thekkedathu’ (Southern) temple. The ‘Sadasivalingam’ consecrated by Lord Parasurama. Lord Siva with consort Sree Parvathy and son Kumara on a single pedestal at ‘Vadakkedathu’ (Northern) temple. Architectural perfection and sculptural beauty. Situated along the southern border of Thrissur district, 7 Km south of Mala, 15 Km east of Kodungallur and 22 Km north west of Aluva.
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Deities:
Thekkedathappan: Lord Siva in Sadasiva concept in lingam form, believed to be installed by Lord Parasurama, originally in ‘Threthayuga’ inside the sanctum sanctorum of the double storied circular sanctum.
Nandikeswaran: As a single stone statue installed in the middle of the western edge of the mandapam. Sapthamathrukkal with Ganesa: In front of the southern Dwara (door) of the Sanctum.
Maha Ganapathy: In a small sanctum at the south west corner (Kanni Moola) of the main shrine.
Sree Dharma Sastha: As Lord Ayyappa in granite statue installed in a small sanctum at the south west corner just outside the thekkedathu chuttambalam.
Serpent Gods: Installed on an open pedestal at the outermost south west corner of the temple complex.
Karottamma: The initial mother goddess revered as the guardian goddess of the area, worshipped as ‘Bhuvaneswari’, ‘Nanadurga’ and ‘Bhadrakali’. Installed in the primitive granite stone form in a roofless sanctum, situated on a natural elevation at the North West corner along the outer border of the complex.
SkandomaaParameswara: The rarest concept of Siva- Sakthi Samyogam in Indian worship culture. Lord Siva, Sree Parvathy and Balamuruga in life size Panchaloha idols on a single pedestal inside the double storied square sanctum Known as the vadakkedathu temple.
Sundara Yakshi: Sree Parvathy in ‘soundarya devatha’ (goddess of beauty an youthfulness) concept, installed in a single stone idol at the intersecting corner of the southern wall of the mughamandapom and the eastern wall of the sanctum.
Keezhthrikkovil Mahavishnu: In a full formed (chathur bahu in ‘Prahlada praseeda’ concept) granite idol inside a single storied square sanctum, 30 metres north of the main temple compound.
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple History:
The warrior sage of India, ‘Lord Parasurama’ installed one of the 108 ‘Siva Lingas’ as protective deities of his reinstated land on the north bank of Chalakudy river near by an aborigines’ mother goddess centre of worship. Later the centre became a seat (Thali) of the advisory board of the ancient united Kerala ruled by the King named ‘Keralaputhra’. Chalakudy river being the main business route from the hills to the ‘Musirus’(now Kodungallur) port, this area by then named ‘Iraneeswaram’(Iranivattom) became a main business and administrative centre. Then the local chieftains constructed another temple close to the main shrine and installed the idols of Lord Siva, Sree Parvathy and Bala Muruga on a single pedestal as a rarity in the worship culture of Kerala. Thus the temple and the vast village flourished for centuries. Then fate diverted the river through another channel and the mighty dynasty split into small rural Kingdoms (‘Swaroopams’). As the ages passed on, the importance of the temple diminished and the administrating families fought among themselves and left the area. The elaborate structures and the deities were left to the mercy of nature. The invaluable ‘panchaloha’ idol of Sree Parvathy was taken away. Then came the barbaric attack of the neighbouring kingdom and destroyed most of the structures. The remaining skeletal temple came under government rule through Cochin Devaswom Board. The month long annual festival and all its ceremonial rituals survived only in old generations’ memory. The new generation who tried to find out the back drops of the temple luckily came over a 6 century old Palm leaf scripture (Thaliyola). From this they got an idea of the old rituals pronouncing the intimate and loving relation between the mother deity ‘Sree Parvathy’ and the locals as mother, sister and friend all in one. They decided under astrological guidance to reinstall the three idols in ‘Vadakkedathu’ sanctum and reinstate the old glory as full to their capacity. The annual festival is restarted, précised to 8 days function with all the rituals such as ‘Athira neerattu’, ‘Thiruvathirakkali’ and routine festival functions. Now this deity of ‘Sree Parvathy’ who is imitated by many temples is considered the foremost centre of solace for those who suffer delayed marriage, disrupted married life, lack of offspring and many other grievances. Here ‘Lord Siva’ who is in a very happy mood blessing ‘Rathi devi’ with the re-embodiment of her punished consort ‘Kamadeva’, is happily blessing every body who is praying him in the presence of his ‘Ardhangini’ and beloved son.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE TWO VATTELUTHU INSCRIPTIONS IN THE IRANIKULAM TEMPLE PUBLISHED BY THE RAMAVARMA RESEARCH INSTITUTE (VOL. IX PART II)
The Iranikulam Temple is situated on the Southern border of the Mukundapuram Taluk, adjoining the backwaters. The temple was destroyed during the Mysore Invasions in 1789 AD and has only been partly repaired. The two beautiful bronze DVARAPALAS dept in the State Museum is said, originally belonged to the Siva Shrine of the temple. The deity installed is UMAMAHASWARA. Bronze images of Siva Parvati and Subramanian are seated on a granite pedestal. It is fortunate that these bronzes have escaped destruction, particularly because bronze images of Siva, it is pointed out are very rarely found.
Iranikulam is one of the 64 GRAMAMS into which Kerala is traditionally believed to have been originally divided, and the temple was probably the Gramakshethra.
The two inscriptions published below, are neatly incised on two dressed granite slabs about 30” x 16” and 45” x 18” respectively. They have created a lot of local interest, and many speculations have been made as to their probable contents. They are deciphered and published now for the first time. Both of them are undated, nor do they contain any reference to any ruler or to any important historical incident. On the other hand they relate to lands, dedicated to the temple, and to the management thereof.
The script of the first inscription belongs to the 9th century. The letter – po – is characteristic. This inscription records a land settlement and the instance of Cuvakara Narayanan of Nenmani Mangalam. Kantan Tayan, belonging to the same family figures as a witness in the Avathiputhur inscription of Kotai Iravi, already published in this series.
In the second inscription of the first two lines consist of a verse, written into the Grantha Script. The inscription records that the properties belonging to the Cerakesvaram temple and the two temple of Iranikulam, also called Girijagraharam and Tiruvallaval, also called Sri Vallabhattam Gramams were amalgamated and put under the joint responsibility of the respective authorities. The script is probably a century later than that of the first inscription.
Thaliyola (Palm Leaf Manuscript)
A Five and a half century old palm leaf manuscript was obtained recently from an old wooden box at ‘Chembari Madhom’ now known as ‘Vadakke Pushpakam’, which is the residence of the traditional ‘Brahmani pattu performers. They are also considered as the escorting servants of ‘Sree Parvathy’. This manuscript was written exactly on Sunday the third of Malayalam month Mithunam in the year 639. (ie in 1464 AD). This explains all the customs, rituals, rites and the properties of the temple at that time. According to this the temple had vast agricultural land spread from the western coast to the Eastern Ghats. From all these lands spices, cereals, coconuts and money were brought to the temple to fulfill the expenses. A 28 day long festival was performed in the month of Vrischikam and Dhanu (ie December-January). During this festival, every day Goddess Sree Parvathy was taken in procession to the near by villages one by one. The holy menstrual bath (Thriputharattu) was performed every month after getting the signal from the idol. Towards the end of monsoon regular feasts were served by different individuals. The ‘Abhishekoms’ were performed in golden pots whose mouth was studded with jewels. There were plenty of gold and silver utensils and lamps. Goddess Sere Parathion had a gem studded crown. The idol was of panchaloha of which a major portion was gold. There were three golden flag masts in front of Vadakkedathu temple and one in front of Thekkedathu temple. There were two Dwarapalakas (royal guards) at Thekkedathu temple made of panchaloha in sitting pose and each weighing 1000 Kgs’. The thekkedathu temple was full fledged with chuttambalam, Valiyambalam, Thidappally (kitchen) and two Mandapams. The royal council used to assemble with the regal team sitting on the southern mandapam (Bhandarathara) and the local chieftains sitting on the northern mandapam. At that time the temple and its premises were in its full glory with the power and properties. This can be taken as a proof for the present day legends.
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Festivals:
Thiruvathira Mahotsavam: This is the 8 days annual festival of the temple complex ending on ‘Thiruvathira’ morning of Malayalam month ‘Dhanu’, considered as the birth day of ‘Lord Siva’. This is a rare twin festival believed to be celebrated by ‘Sree Parvathy’ along with all her devotees, relatives and friends to enhance the well being of all women folk and the prosperity of their consorts. It is celebrated systematically with every day ‘Athira neerattu’ (rejuvenating morning bath) and ‘Thiruvathirakkali’ in the soothing moonlight. There are also the ceremonial festival functions like ‘Siveli’, ‘Sreebhoothabali’, ‘Utsavabali etc. as usual. The ‘Karthika’ is (normally 5th day) believed to be witnessed by all the celestial powers of the universe to cheer ‘Lord Siva and his ‘Ardhangini’. ‘Karthika deepakazhcha’ is the most beautiful light assembly of oil lamps, in Kerala, with the participation of all the devotees present. The procession of ten selected ornamented elephants with the accompaniment of the best ‘Panchavadyam’ and ‘Chendamelam’ is an added attraction.
Pathamudayam: Celebrated on the 10th day after ‘Vishu’, the agricultural New Year day of Kerala. After usual rituals in the morning, there is ‘Kazcha Siveli’ towards the evening. Special ‘Chuttuvilakku’ and ‘Niramala’ is offered. Then a very special ritual is performed here. Goddess Sree Parvathy is ceremoniously taken in procession on an ornamented elephant, with ‘Thalappoli’ to the ‘Guruthi panthal’ near ‘Karottamma’s’ sanctum sanctorum.There Sree Parvathy adorns the seat of the Chief Guest and in her presence ‘Desaguruthi’ is performed at midnight to appease Karottamma for the welfare of all the locals. After this Sree Parvathy return to her sanctum. This ritual is known to be performed here only.
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Special Events:
Vinayaka Chathurthi: Special offerings to Lord Ganesa, in the 1st Malayalam month ‘Chingom’ (Chathurthi of Sukla pakshom).
Kanni Ayilyam: Special offerings to Nagaraja in the month ‘Kanni’, the second one of Malayalam calendar.
Saraswathi Pooja / Vidyarambham: Offerings to goddess ‘Saraswathi’ from ‘Durgashtami’ to ‘Vijayadasami’.
Mandala Pooja: Special offerings to ‘Sree Dharma Sastha’ for 41 days starting from 1st of ‘Vrischikam’, the 4th Malayalam month.
Shashti: Special offerings to ‘Bala Muruga’ in the Malayalam month ‘Dhanu’.
Makarachovva: ‘Guruthi’ to the mother goddess ‘Karottamma’ (1st Tuesday of the Malayalam month ‘Makarom’)
Maha Sivarathri: Special offerings (very special- tender coconuts) to ‘Lord Siva’ in the month, ‘Kumbhom’.
Vishukkani: Arranged on the ‘Vishu’ morning (in the month Medam)
Prathishta dinam of Sree Dharmasastha: The ‘Uthram’ star of the Malayalam month, ‘Medam’.
Prathishta dinam and Ashtabandha kalasa smaraka dinam: The installation day of ‘Vadakkedathu’ and the ‘Ashtabandha kalasa smaraka dinam’ of ‘Thekkedathu’ temples. The ‘Atham’ star of Malayalam month ‘Mithunam’. Special offerings and ‘Kalasabhishekam’.
Karkidakam Palpayasam: Special offerings to ‘Lord Siva’ on the first 7 days of the Malayalam last month ‘Karkidakam’
Niraputhari: On an auspicious day of the month, Karkidakam.
Iranikulam Sree Mahadeva Temple Address:
Iranikkulam Sree Mahadeva Kshethra Upadesaka Samithy
Kerala – 680 734.
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