You heard it right !
There is a small cave temple in Kerala where broom is offered to deity. Another interesting custom here is you have to crush fried pappad with your leg. Why ????? Read on….
It was accidentally that I came upon this temple during my official visit to Cheruthuruthy. After a hectic day at work I wanted to relax and was searching for places to visit nearby and chanced upon Irunilamkode Temple at Mullookkara. I’m a God fearing person but never religious enough to find peace visiting temples. The fact that the temple was a cave temple made it interesting and I decided to visit.
My friends Smitha and Anuja too joined me. When we reached the temple we didn’t find anything unusual. Just a small temple in front of a huge rock. Since we reached the temple by 430 pm, we had enough time to roam around. We decided to climb the hill and have a bird’s eye view of surrounding.
We followed the arrows marked with chalk on the rock , and reached the top of the rock.
We were surprised to find small enclosures with idols scattered on the vast rock. Enclosures were made by putting one stone over the other without any cementing material! There was no roofing as well.
Far ahead we could see a small circular roofed building and we decided to explore that. There was a board which said this building was infact more than 1000 years old and once upon a time many great sages used to do their penace here. And this building was one of the aboded of sages.
The walls were made by putting one rock over othere like the small enclosure we saw earlier. Only difference was that the height was more and as a part of protecting the site some renovation work has been done and the roof was fixed. On one end of the wall there was a small cave where a Sivalinga was kept. The lamp nearby illuminated it well.
After offering prayers we got out and relaxed on the top of rock .
Later we returned to temple.
A vast hall leads to the main deity which is inside a cave.
The main deity is ‘swayambhu’ that is the idol appeared by itself on the rock. Surprisingly . the deity appears seated on a pedestal one leg mounted on other! Hands bear traditional symbols.
According to locals, this temple was discovered accidentally three hundred years back. A lady had reached the place in search of wood when rain fell. She took refuge in a cave. When she tried to sharpen her sickle on the rock she found blood tricking down from rock . She was alarmed and ran back to village. Later, villagers cleared the entire place and found the idol itched on rock and they started offering prayers.
When we were about to leave me met Padminiamma, who was an inmate of old age home run by temple. She told us about the interesting customs of temple – offering broom and crushing pappad. I found it quite interesting and decided to visit the temple next day and be a part of it.
Next day morning we reached early at the temple. We paid the designated amount and went inside. There Devaki was waiting for helping us do the offering. The broom is offered to lord to cure oneself of diseases of scalp and help hair grow! She gave us fresh brooms and asked us to pray well and put it on the floor.
Then she put a banana leaf on the ground and kept nearly 10 fried pappads and asked me to step on it. After stepping, I had to close my eyes and crush the pappad with my feet. It was odd feeling to touch food item with leg. But then I consoled myself that it is a temple ritual and needn’t do a moral judgment on it. After that I washed my feet outside and left.
I reached the temple accidentally but I was happy to find this cute little cave temple , with bizzare customs. It was fun to climb the rock and enjoy the view especially when you have lovely friends to give you company 😊