Cochin Day Tours – Iringole Kavu – The Sacred Grove – Forest Temple
More than 50 acres of forest is the home to birds, animals and flora of the Western Ghats that are on the endangered species list. Canopies of trees are so old to centuries as the land has slept in their shade for ages. A beaming Durga temple in the midst of it- this is ‘Iringole Kavu’, a sacred grove. The trees here are treated as Gods and there isn’t any dangerous animals but abundant flora and fauna. Inside, there are three main pathways and several smaller ones are leading to the temple. An extensive biodiversity is the specialty of the grove.
The Goddess changes from Saraswati in the morning to Vanadurga in the afternoon and later in the evening becomes Bhadrakali. The chief offerings are Sarkara nivedyam, neypayasam and Kadumpayasam. Chathussatham, Karthika oottu, thulabharam and koottupayasam are also major offerings. The major Pooram happens from the second to the tenth of the malayalam month of Meenam. Unlike other temples, here only female elephants participate in the festival. Punaprathishta day and thrikarthika are also very important celebrations.
Iringole Kavu – History
Five decades ago, Nagancherry Mana of Perumbavoor was owning over 15,000 hectares of land in places ranging from Aluva to Thiruvananthapuram, including 11 temples in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. But land reforms enacted by the Communist government changed their fortunes forever. While the Land Reforms Act in 1963 allowed the owner to hold only 15 acres of land, the ‘mana’ was forced to donate the assets to the government and temples to various Hindu communities due to the financial burden. Even the ‘karanavar’ was forced to sell the ‘mana’ for a measly Rs 1 lakh to Perumbavoor municipality in 1980. Iringole Kavu, adjacent to the ‘mana’, is now run by Travancore Devaswom (Govt Dept).
Currently, the temple is under the Travancore Devaswom Board. During the olden days 32 ‘Manas’ were in charge of the temple, the Naganchery Mana which is very close by being one of them. Today this mana is a museum run by the Tourism department and has a Children’s Park. There is also a Star-Forest nearby and the tickets for an adult is priced at ₹20 and for children it is ₹10.
Iringole Kavu – Day Tour – Attractions
The stretch has rare woods like the ‘Kambakam’ or Iron wood of Malabar, white pine, wild jack (Anjili), teak etc. and medicines like wild pepper, long pepper and ‘pathari’. There are 44 species of birds in this forest including parrots, cuckoos and eagles. Forty-nine species of trees, 19 types of spiders, four species of amphibians and seven species of reptiles are residents of Iringole. With most of the residents being the ones under extinction threats, Iringole also has 42 species of insects and 5 species of mammals. The grove is kept green by the many marshes and ponds in the area meshed on the bottom by the braids of roots thousands of years old. The ‘theerthakulam’ or temple pond here is also lush throughout the year, even in the peak summers. The temple doors are open to believers of any religion who are ready to follow the rules of ritualistic hygiene.
Iringole Kavu Visiting Time – 5 AM to 7 PM
Iringole Kavu Travel Plans – Distance
Iringole Kavu has got private bus services to places inside and outside Kochi town and run into several neighboring towns. There are frequent bus services to Perumbavoor from here. AutoRickshaws are commonly used for small distances. The nearest railway stations are Angamaly and Aluva. The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery is only 17 Km from Iringole Kavu. Kodanad is surrounded by many small but populous commuter villages, The notable ones are Kodanad, Thottuva, Alattuchira, Panamkuzhy, Cheranalloor,Kurichilakode, kaprikad etc. Perumbavoor is one of the main interchange points for public transports.
- Nearest Railway stations: Ernakulam Town, Angamaly and Aluva – About 35 Km.
- Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport – 17 Km.
- Cochin Cruise Terminal – 46 Km.
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