Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple Palakkad

Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple, popularly called as Kalpathy Temple, is located in the Kalpathy village of Palakkad District in Kerala. Locally called as Kundukovil and Dakshina Kashi, the temple enshrines the deities of Lord Shiva who is worshipped as Lord Viswanathaswamy and his consort, Goddess Parvati, who is worshipped as Visalakshi. Kalpathy Temple is situated by the banks of the Kalpathy River (Nila Nadhi), a tributary of Bharathapuzha, and surrounded by the four Tamil Brahmin agraharams or traditional villages, namely, New Kalpathy, Old Kalpathy, Chathapuram and Govindarajapuram.

The presiding deity, Lord Viswanathaswami is surrounded by a Kshnaiga lingam. The idol of Lord Subramanya is flanked by his consorts, Valli and Devayani, and Kalabairava. On the right side of the inner prakara is the Kanaka Sabhai where you can see the bronze idol of Lord Nataraja.

Another interesting feature of this Dakshina Kashi Temple is that the idols of Sri Viswanathaswamy and Sri Visalakshi are attached to the pedestals by Ashtabandhanam which is a mixture of eight elements. These help fix the idol to the peetham or base. The Viswanathaswamy idol is a Bana Lingam which extends four carpenter’s angul (inch) higher than the pedestal, while the idol of Vishalakshi is placed twenty four inches above the pedestal up to the top of the crown.

The Viswanathaswamy Temple is the site for the annual Kalpathy Ratholsavam (Kalpathi Chariot Festival) which is one of the most famous temple festivals of Kerala. This chariot festival which is held in November attracts numerous devotees who throng here to witness the beautifully decorated temple chariots which are ceremoniously drawn through the streets.

Kalpathi Temple Structure

Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple is linked to the Kasi Viswanatha Swami Temple, because the main deity here is Lord Siva and the temple is on the banks of river Kalpathy, like Kasi on the banks of river Ganges. Hence there is a saying, Kasiyil Pathi Kalpathy, that is, half of Kasi is Kalpathy. The shrine is situated at the bottom of eighteen steps that lead from the eastern Gopuram. There is a huge Dhwajasthambam which is of 40 feet high in front of the temple. The banyan trees on the right side of the temple are considered as Sthala Vriksham (sacred tree) and the serpent gods consecrated here are offered Poojas.

There is a stone inscription in front of the Kalpathy Shiva Temple which tells that it was built in the Malayalam Year 600 (1425) by Sree lttikombi Achan Raja of Palakkad. Hence Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple is regarded as the oldest temple in Malabar. Next to the stone slab is the Bhadralingam (Bhadra Linga). The idol of Gnana Nandikeswarar is seen in front of it, facing Lord Viswanathaswamy. The eight sides of the prakaram are for Lord Indra, Lord Agni, Yama Deva, Niruruthi, Lord Varuna, Lord Vayu, Lord Kubera, and Lord Eesanan. The idol of Sri Viswanathaswamy is situated in the direction of Kubera, facing east, and near to this is Goddess Visalakshi facing south. Nandikeswarar, who is seen in front of Sri Viswanathaswamy, appears in three forms. The three forms indicate Aathmathathwam, Vidyathathwam and Sivathathwam.

Kalpathy Temple Legend

According to legends, Lakshmi Ammal, a Brahmin widow, is said to have brought the Shiva Lingam from Kasi (Varanasi) during her visit to that holy place. At Kalpathy, she desired to consecrate the Siva Lingam and construct a temple on the banks of Nila River. It is said that she approached the then Raja (Prince), Ittilkombi Achan of Palakkad, who had agreed and constructed the temple. Legends also say that Lakshmi Ammal offered 1320 gold coins to the Prince and handed over the responsibility of managing the temple affairs.

Kalpathy Temple Pooja Schedule

Pooja is conducted four times a day. At 5:45 am is the Usha Puja, 9:45 am - Uchikala Pooja, 5:45 pm - Deeparadhana, and 7:45 pm - Ardhajama Pooja. The Ardhajama puja is the most important one with dhara and Abhishekam by milk everyday.

Temple Festivals

The annual Kalpathy Ratholsavam celebrated during November is the most famous temple festival celebrated here. Read more about Kalpathy Chariot Festival here.

How to reach Kalpathy Temple, Palakkad

Reaching Kalpathy by Bus / Road

Kalpathy Temple is just 3 km from the town of Palakkad. Palakkad Central Bus Station operates bus services which connects Palakkad with all nearby towns and cities in Kerala including Guruvayoor, Thrissur, Ernakulam (Kochi), and Thiruvananthapuram. Palakkad Bus Station also operates interstate bus services to many cities including Bangalore, Coimbatore and Chennai.

Reaching Kalpathy by Air / Flight

Coimbatore Airport in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airport to reach Kalpathy, just 55 km away. Other nearest airports to reach Kalapthi are the Karipur Airport or Calicut International Airport (130 km), and Cochin International Airport (140 km) at Nedumbassery, Kochi.

Reaching Kalpathy by Train / Railway Station

Palakkad Junction Railway Station, one of the major railheads managed by the Southern Railways, is the nearest railway station to reach Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple. Located at Olavakkode, the station is also known as Olavakkode Railway Station. Palakkad Town Railway Station is another nearest railway station situated inside the town limits.

Nearby Temples in Kalpathy

The temple of Sri Lakshminarayana Perumal of Old Kalpathy Village is in the south-west direction of Kalpathy Temple. Other temples situated nearby include Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Govindarajapuram, Manthakara Maha Ganapathy Temple at New Kalpathy, Maha Ganapathy Temple at Chathapuram, Chokkanathar Temple at Chokkanathapuram, Kshipraprasada Maha Ganapathi Temple at Pandhrandaam Teruvu, and Jain Temple of Jainmedu.

Tourist Attractions in Kalpathy, Palakkad

Located at the foothills of the mighty Western Ghats, Palakkad is a beautiful Kerala town with all its glory to be called as one of the best town in the God’s own Country. There are lots of tourist attractions and places of tourist interest in Palakkad. Here are some of the places worth visiting during your journey to visit Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple in Palakkad.

Palakkad Fort (also known as Tipu's Fort), Malampuzha Dam and Malampuzha Garden, Thiruvalathoor (10 km), Kuzhalmannam (12 km), Malampuzha Dam (12 km), Choolanur Peacock Sanctuary (30 km), Dhoni Hills (15 km), Walayar Dam (25 km), Thenari Natural Spring, Chittur Garumadam (a memorial to Thunchath Ezhuthachan, the author of Adhyatma Ramayana), Pothundy Dam (35 km), Seetharkundu, Nelliampathy (Known as the Ooty of Kerala, 80 km away), Silent Valley National Park (80 km), Attappady (75 km), and Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary (135 km).


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1 comment:

  1. This is very useful. I am from Chathapuram and keen to know the history of the Village etc. Can we say the Agraharams are around 600-700 years old? CK Mohan


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