The Kalpathi Sri Visalakshi Sametha Vishwanatha Swamy temple
is located in Kalpathi Village near Palakkad, in Kerala. This temple, also
known as Kasi Vishwanatha Swamy Temple, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his
consort Parvati. The deities worshipped here are Lord Vishwanatha Swamy and Goddess
Visalakshia and is a must visit destination for those planning a holiday in Kerala.
This temple is on the banks of the Kalpathi River (or Neela
River as it is also known). It is said to be more than 700 years old. This
temple is said to have been built by the Raja of Palakkad, Kombi Achan in 1425
AD. There is a legend about how this temple was built.
The Temple Legend
The local history of the temple says that this temple was
built at the instigation of a Brahmin woman. Lakshmiammal, a Brahmin widow,
visited Kasi and brought back a very special Lingam with her. She wanted to
install this Lingam in a temple constructed on the banks of Neela Nadi
(Kalpathi River). She approached the Raja of Palakkad with this request and he
readily agreed. Her own contribution towards the construction of this temple is
said to be 1320 gold coins.
The temple was constructed and the deities installed
according to Vedic precepts. The King gifted lands around the temple for its
upkeep, which was honored by subsequent rulers up to Tipu Sultan and even the
As per the usual ritual, the immediate surroundings of the
temple were inhabited by Brahmins, and it called as Agraharas. This was a very
old Tamil Brahmin community settlement.
This temple is surrounded by several other temples like the
Prasanna Maha Ganapathi temple, the Lakshminarayana Temple and the Sri
Varadaraja Perumal Temple.
Devotees gather here to witness or take part in the
Rathotsava. Many devotees gather together to draw the big, colorfully decorated
temple Chariots across the village streets during the festivities. It is the best time to book South India tour packages and be a part of this colorful culture.
Vedic Rituals and various cultural celebrations are held
during the ten days of the Rathotsavam. The Rathotsavam is celebrated for a
week. The fifth day is celebrated as the Rishaba Vahana. On this day, the
deities of all the surrounding temples are taken out in procession. Then the
idols of the Vishwanatha Temple are taken out in three lovely chariots around
On the final day, the idols of the temples are taken out in
procession during midnight in floral palanquins and return to the temples at
dawn. This is the morning of the first day in the Tamil Month, Karthigai.
The little village of Kalpathi is thronged with pilgrims for
the ten days of festivities; the temples and the region echo with Vedic chants.
The Kalpathi Rathotsavam, which is the temple car festival
of the Vishwanatha Temple, is one of the most popular temple festivals in
Kerala, attracting a huge number of devotees. This festival is celebrated for a
period of ten days in the month of November.