Kalpathy Ratholsavam is a ten day long remarkable festival, known for its unique rituals. Situated in Palakkad district and nestled by the banks of Kalpathy river, the Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy temple, is considered to be one among the oldest Siva temples in Kerala. The main ceremony of the festival is the religious drawing of decorated temple chariots through the streets of Kalpathy amidst Vedic chants. The origin of this ritual dates back to antiquity.
The main deities of this ancient temple, situated by the side of Kalpathy river, are Lord Siva and his consort Visalakshi, which is another name for Goddess Parvati. As part of the festival, deities are taken out from the temple and are placed in chariots that have been beautifully decorated.
While the first chariot is meant jointly for the main deities, Lord Vishwanatha and Goddess Visalakshi, the second is meant for Lord Vigneswara and third chariot is for Lord Subramanya. The sight of these intricately carved chariots decorated with flags and flowers making their way through the street, as soul stirring chants fill the air, is worth watching.
The traditional streets of this age old Tamil Brahmin settlement comes alive with devotion and joyous celebration all through out the ten days of this festival. The first four days of the festival are marked by definite vedic rituals. Later, the deities are all taken out for the pompous procession. The most important days of the festival are the last three days when chariots from the satellite temples, adjoining the Kalpathy Sree Viswanatha temple, also blend with the main procession.
The festival, which is conventionally observed during the last week of ’Aippasi’ month, is initiated with ’Dwajarohanam’ (flag hoisting) and ends with ceremonial ’Rathasangamom’. The temple also hosts many cultural programs as part of the festival. The chariots are decked up in such a way that they glorify the lordships that are placed in them.
Event date: Kalpathy Ratholsavam begins on November 8 and ends on November 16, 2010.
How to reach
Nearest railway station: Olavakod - Palakkad - 1 km
Nearest airport: Coimbatore - 55 km