Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple
|IrumKulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple|
|Location:||Manacaud, Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram|
|Architecture and culture|
|Architectural styles:||Traditional Kerala style|
|Governing body:||IrumKulangara Durga Devi Temple Trust|
Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple (Malayalam: ഇരുംകുളങ്ങര ദുര്ഗ്ഗാ ക്ഷേത്രം) is a Hindu temple in Thottam, Manacaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. It is about two kilometres to the southeast of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram city.
The abode of Sree Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi is one of the most ancient temples in Kerala. The temple is located on the bank of two ponds from where it got its name: "irum" means two and "kulam" means pond. It is hard to find any other temple in Thiruvananthapuram, which preserves the beauty and atmosphere gifted by nature.
It is believed that the temple has a relationship with the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple, one of the famous temples in Thiruvananthapuram. In ancient times, priests from Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple are believed to arrive at Irumkulangara by country boats for performing pooja and rituals.
Events and architecture
Unlike other Durga devi temples, rituals like Thottampaattu and Ottam are restricted here. Red coloured flowers, except thetti, are banned. Other flowers such as tulsi, jasmine, lotus, Nandyarvattom, etc. are used.
A kavu (small forest patch) which houses the serpent Gods is common in Travancore. The pond in front of the temple gives a beautiful reflection of it. The Temple Thanthri Brahmasree Tharananalloor Parameshwaran Namboodiripad (same as Sree Padmanabhaswamy and Koodalmanikyam temples) and now the temple is under the control of Sree Irumkulangara Durga Devi Temple Trust.
It has been recently renovated with a new chuttambalam and sivelippura which is an excellent example of Kerala Vasthu Vidya and temple architecture in the new age. The renovation was carried out under the guidance of noted Vastu Shasthra expert Kanippayyur Krishnan Namboodiripad; the temple architect was Manacaud S Narayanamoorthy and it was inaugrated by Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma Maharaja of travancore on December 25th, 2009.
Deities and sub-deities
The Goddess Durga is the main deity in this temple. One important aspect of the temple is that the deity appears as Durgabhagavathi, an avatar of AdiParasakthi. Karthika is considered as the star of the deity.
There are many upadevathas (sub-deities) adjacent to the temple, and it has remaded, according to the Deva Prashnam by expert astrologers recently.
The main upadevathas on the premises are
We can see a kavu (grove) which houses the serpent gods and is common in Travancore. The temple kavu was awarded by Kerala Government Department of Forest and Wildlife as one of the best maintained.
Last year[when?] the temple created a Nakshtravanam (trees relating to birth stars) on the premises.
The Painkuni Mahothsavam, the major festival of the temple, is mostly held in the month of March, lasts for 10 days and ends with Pongala and Ezhunnallathu. In 2011, Painkuni Mahothsavam was from March 29 to April 8. The main Ulsavam was on April 7.
The other festivals in this temple are:
- Mandala Vratham — Festival in connection with the annual Utsavam of Sabarimala.
- Vinayaka Chathurthi — Pooja to the Lord Ganapathy.
- Pooja Vaypu — Identical to Dussera festival (Saraswathy Pooja and Vidyarambham).
- Karthika — Kazhchakula Samarpanam, Navakabhishekam, Karthika Pongala, Annadhanam (all months).
- Ayilya Pooja — Milk, flowers etc. offered to serpent god and special rites. Monthly Pooja in Ayilyam day except in the months of Mithunam and Karkidakom.
- Ayilyolsavam — Nagaroottu and Sarpabali in the month of Thulam by Pambumekkattumana Karanavar Brhamasri P S Sreedharan Namboodiripad.
- Ramayana Parayanam and BhagavathiSeva — All days of Karkidakom (evening).
- Vavu Bali — In the month of Karkidakom.
On all Vidyarambham day evening, Irumkulangara Durga Bhagavathi Temple and its devotees give cash awards to SSLC and Plus Two economically backward students living around the temple based on merit. For this, the temple has an education fund and most of the devotees give cash prizes in memory of their relatives.