Kalpathi Ratholsavam of Kasi Vishwanatha Temple in Kerala: Article on Must See India : 2498 | Mustseeindia.com
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Kalpathi Ratholsavam of Kasi Vishwanatha Temple in Kerala

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 6 months ago

Kalpathi Sri Vishwanatha Swamy Temple is considered to be as revered in divinity to the Kasi Vishwanatha Temple. The temple’s car festival, known as Kalpathi Ratholsavam, attracts a huge number of devotees each year.

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 British.

The Community

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.

Kalpathi Rathotsavam

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 the village.

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.

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