There are two approaches to the inner courtyard (Chuttampalam) of the Peruvanam temple, from the west and east sides. The main entrance is from the east.
As you enter from the east you are facing Sreeparvathy, the Goddess who is the consort of Irattayappan. You may start the Darshanam there, but, have to come back later. There you are in front of a large circular sanctum sanctorum (Sreekovil) of Irattayappan facing west. It is the custom to start the worship with Irattayappan.
Next, you go behind in an anticlockwise direction (Apradakshinam) and pray to Sreeparvathy facing east. There is a taboo all over Kerala in crossing the imaginary ray (Soma Rekha) emanating from Siva and going north. Hence, one does not make a complete perambulation in the inner courtyard of Siva temples.
Most devotees at the Peruvanam temple go round the Bilva tree to the north and return clockwise to the south side where there is a shrine of Ganapathy and Dakshinamoorthy. You, then, go back to the west and worship Irattayappan once again.
There is an independent, large, Sreekovil of another Siva, the Matatthilappan, on the south. It is a three storeyed structure and you reach the shrine of Matatthilappan after ascending a flight of over twenty steps. You will find a huge Sivalinga at the back of a large Mukhamandapam (hall). It is believed that the Sivalingam worshipped by sage Puru for long years is beneath that.
The sage, himself, has been enshrined to the south west corner of the inner courtyard (Chuttampalam). After getting down the stairs of Matatthilappan you pay obeisance to the sage.
If you keep to the western border of the courtyard and walk to the north you reach the shrine of another Ganapathy, with his trunk twisted right. You pray to him for the ultimate goal in human life, for salvation and turn to the north side. There you get to the front of the last of the shrines inside the inner courtyard. Two deities are housed there, Raktheswary and Manikantha. The former is a form of Bhadrakali and the latter a form of Lord Siva.
You must worship Irattayappan once again before coming out of the inner courtyard, through the same entrance you got in. There is a shrine, of Gosalakrishna, outside the main structure (Chuttampalam) of Irattayappan on the north side. This is Lord Krishna in the company of his dear cattle. You go in a clockwise fashion to worship Him. That ends the Darshana Kramam at the Peruvanam temple.
There is a verse (Sloka) describing this order of worship, as follows:
“Poorvan Pooruvane janais savinayam dwithwaasrayas sankaro
Vandyah, caatha gireendrajaa, punaratas sanyaasayogee kramaal
Yugmesasca, mahalayoparivasan maateswaroanantaram
Yogeendrasca, gajaananah, punarato yugmeswarasca kramaal.”
First, at Peruvanam, Siva in dual form is to be worshipped humbly by the devotees.
Then, Sreeparvathy and then the Lord in meditation (to be worshipped).
Then, Ganapathy and then the Lord occupying a high abode (to be worshipped).
Next the sage, Ganapathy and finally Irattayappan (are to be worshipped)
We note here that the order of Ganapathy and Dakshinamoorthy is reversed and praying to Irattayappan after this is omitted. The omission of Raktheswary, Manikanthan and Gosalakrishnan must be as they have been enshrined in a later period