A brahmin village in the Kosala country. It was while staying in the woodland thicket (vanasanda) there that the Buddha preached the Ambattha Sutta (D.3). From this sutta, the village would seem to have been near Pokkharasādi's domain of Ukkatthā. It was the residence of "Mahāsāla" brahmins. The Sutta Nipāta (p.115) (which spells the name as Icchānankala) mentions several eminent brahmins who lived there, among them Cankī, Tārukkha, Pokkarasāti, Jānussoni and Todeyya.
There were also two learned youths, Vāsettha and Bhāradvāja at Icchānankala, who, finding it impossible to bring their discussion to a conclusion, sought the Buddha, then staying in the village. Their interview with the Buddha is recorded in the Vāsettha Sutta (Ibid., 115ff.; M ii.146ff).
Buddhaghosa (SnA.ii.462) says that learned brahmins of Kosala, deeply versed in the Vedas, were in the habit of meeting together from time to time (once in six months, MA.ii.796) at Icchānangala in order to recite the Vedas and discuss their interpretation. These brahmins met at Ukkatthā, under Pokkharasāti, when they wished to cleanse their caste (jātisodhanattham), and at Icchānankala in order to revise their Vedic hymns (mante sodhetu-kāmā), MA.ii.796.
According to the Samyutta Nikāya (v.325), the Buddha once stayed for three months in the jungle thicket at Icchānangala, in almost complete solitude, visited only by a single monk who brought him his food. But from the Anguttara Nikāya (iii.30f.; cf. iii.341 and iv.340ff), it would appear that the Buddha was not left to enjoy the solitude which he desired, for we are told that the residents of Icchānangala, having heard of the Buddha's visit, came to him in large numbers and created a disturbance by their shouts. The Buddha had to send Nāgita, who was then his personal attendant, to curb the enthusiasm of his admirers.