Kalpathy Ratholsavam 2012 Palakkad Kerala

Kalpathy Ratholsavam or Kalpathi Ratholsavam is an annual chariot festival held at Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple (also known as Kalpathy Temple or Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple) in the Kalpathi village of Palakkad district in Kerala. The deities of the Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple are Lord Shiva (Lord Viswanatha) and his consort Visalakshi, another name for Goddess Parvathi. One of the most remarkable festivals of Kerala, this week-long Palakkad Kalpathy Chariot Festival is celebrated during the month of November, every year. In 2012, the Kalpathy Ratholsavam Festival is celebrated from 13th November to 15th November 2012.

The Festival

Dedicated to Lord Viswanatha or Lord Shiva, the Kalpathy Car Festival is based on Vedic Tamil Brahmin culture. Vedic recitals are held daily and cultural programs are held in the evening. The recitals are believed to be over 700 years old. On the last three days, the temple chariots are ceremoniously taken in procession by large numbers of devotees through the streets. Major attraction of the festival is the three magnificent chariots, decorated with flowers and flags, in which one can feel the presence of the lord.

Kalpathy Ratholsavam Festival at Palakkad Kerala

Fifth Day

On the fifth day night is the Rishabha Vahana procession. The deities from all the temples are taken out in beautifully adorned chariots and after their meeting at western end of new Kalpathy village ground at midnight, they disperse after two hours. The deities of Viswanathaswamy Temple are taken out and installed in the three cars, one for the main deity Viswanathaswamy and consort Goddess Parvathi; the second for Vigneshwara and third for Lord Subrahmaniya Swamy.

On the Final Day

The deities of Old Kalpathy Temple and Chathapuram Temple are taken in procession on the chariot and procession is made through all villages. By sun set, all the chariots return to the original place. Abhishekams (offering with rituals) are then performed to the deities who are decorated again and taken out on procession in floral palanquins during midnight. The palanquins then return to the temple at dawn on the first day of the Tamil month of Karthigai.

About Kalpathy Temple

The Viswanatha Swamy Temple, popularly known as Dakshin Kasi Viswanathaswamy Temple or Kalpathy Temple, is located on the banks of the Kalpathy River, a tributary of the Bharathapuzha River. Dating back to 1425 A.D., Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple is regarded as the oldest Shiva temple in Malabar and in Kerala. The village, Kalpathy, is also known as Dakshin Kasi or the ‘Varanasi of the South’. It is an early Tamil Brahmin settlement (agraharam) in the Palakkad District.

How to reach Kalpathy, Palakkad?

Kalpathy is about 3 km from Palakkad town.

By Air / Flight

C A Coimbatore Airport in Tamil Nadu (55 km) and Calicut International Airport (also known as Karipur Airport) (130 km), and Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery, Kochi (140 km) are the nearest airports to reach Kalpathy, Palakkad.

By Rail / Railway Station

Palakkad Junction Railway Station (also known as Olavakkode Railway Station or Olavokot Railway Station) and Palakkad Town Railway Station are the nearest railway stations situated close to Kalpathy Viswanathaswamy Temple.