Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Irunilam kode cave temple

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irunilamkode is a small village situated in the middle of Mullurkara Panchayath, sharply two kilometers from Mullurkara Railway station in Thrichur District, Kerala State. There is an ancient temple, very close to the main road. It is under the protection of the archaeological department of Kerala government. This temple is famous for various aspects. The idol is carved on rock at the bottom edge of a small hillock; inside a cave. This hillock lays spread in an area of more than 100 acres with solid rock.

 

The structure of the deity is very peculiar and rare, perhaps, seen nowhere else., Lord Dhakshinamurthi, the master of all masters, sitting on a pedestal, one leg mounted on the other, head a little lifted up, body leaning towards back and with a charming look at his devotees. All the four hands are bearing the traditional symbols. A shining silver crown, on the head, augments the Lord's beauty in appearance. The idols of 'Vishnu', 'Sivalinga', and Devi are also sculptured in the same shrine.

 

 

 

 


For, thousands of years, this temple was unkonwn and unseen to the public. About 300 years ago some villagers located it accidentally. One day, when it was raining a lady worker went inside the cave. There she started sharpening her sickle. Meanwhile she found a red liquid on her finger tip and feared, it was cut, she checked it. But she could find no mark of any injury. With anxiety and curiosity she observed the rock part where she sharpened her sickle. To her great surprise, she saw the same liquid slowly coming out drop by drop. Her anxiety grew up. She ran to the villagers and told them about the incidence with a choking voice and sobs. They immediately rushed to the spot with thrilling hearts. They found the rock site, watched keenly and carefully. They saw the same liquid coming out.

 

They started removing the bushes grass and creepers slowly and carefully. They convinced the presence of some super human power there. They were stunned when they saw the complete shape of the deity. Some of them went into ecstasy. With folded hands they paid their respects and 'Pranams' to the Lord.


Immediately oil lamps, camphor, incense sticks and flowers were brought. They lighted the lamp and poured the flowers on the deity. Thus they offered the first worship to "IRUNILAMKOTTAPPAN" The news spread aboard, and devotees flocked to Irunilamkode.


This temple is renowned for religious harmony. Regardless of caste or creed persons could enter the temple and perform the worship themselves. They were free to touch the lord’s feet. Even before Kerala temple entry promulgation, perhaps, Irunilamkode temple stood first in the history of religious harmony. A number of devotees, not only from Kerala but from Tamilnadu and Karnataka also visited the temple.


There is small Devi temple very close to the main temple. The Goddess here worshiped is called Kandankali. The vazhipads held here are also very popular among devotees. 'POOMOODAL' (covering the deity with flowers) is one among them. It is to safeguard a person from all the problems of daily life. The main festival celebrated here is ' SKANTHA SHASHTY'. It falls in October or November every year. A number of 'KAVADI's in sets come to the temple yard with singing, dancing and beating on drums with a competitive spirit. The participants are given a small amount as a token to their efforts.

 

"THAIPOOYAM" is another festival observed here. A decorated chariot installed with an idol of Sri Subramaniyaswamy mounted on a mini lorry goes round the whole panchayath, house to house. This function is called 'OORUCHUTTAL'. The concept is that the lord visits his devotees houses and bless them."Mahasivarathri" is also celebrated here. Thousands of devotees go up the hill-lock in rotation with chanting the sacred sivamanthra 'Om Sivaya Sankara, Namasivaya Sankara'. On top they spend some time in singing and chanting; Devotees are given sweets and buttermilk.

 

 

 



MUNIYARA (DHAKSHINAKAILASAM) is a small man-made cave (Muni-hermit;ara-cave). It is at the top of the hill-lock. There were other similar types of caves here. They have been demolished by natural erosive powers. The only one cave now retaining is under the protection of the temple authorities. An idol of 'Sivalinga is installed and worshiped inside this cave. Devotees visiting the temple are also expected to visit this cave also to fulfill the purpose of their visit.

 

 

 



The histories of these caves are marvellous and interesting. Long ago ardent devotees from various parts of the country highly intoxicated with God fervor came here. They stayed here and practiced rigorous spiritual sadhanas. They built these caves with the help of villagers to protect themselves from hot sun, cold and wild animals. The villagers fed them and met other necessities. So they could merge in their sadhanas full time deeply. As a result some of them got realization or vision of God. The rest of their life stayed here giving spiritual advises those who approached them.


In course of time these seekers attention was diverted to some other centres.Subsequently these caves and rock remained isolated and uncared.   

 

 

Source

http://archives.deccanchronicle.com/130531/lifestyle-travel/article/shrine-hilltop

http://www.irunilamkodetemple.com/index.html