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Kalpathi Ratholsavam

In the state of kerala, there is a temple in Kalpathi in Palakkad district, which has an equal reverence value as the Kashi Vishwanatha temple. This is the temple of Kalpathi Sri Vishwanatha Swamy in the state of kerala and is marked by the very famous chariot festival known as Kalpathi Ratholsavam. This festival is well known for the grand level in which it is organised as well as for the 10 day long festivities which are the highlights of the ratholsavam. Held in the month of November, this festival is held annually with lots of vedic rituals and programs. It is said to have dated back about 700 years ago, where the first 3 days have various cultural programs and rituals in the temple while the last four days are marked by gathering of thousands of devotees in the temples to draw the chariots. This village is well known as the Dakshin Kashi or the Kashi of South India, much because of the similarities in the temple and that of Kashi Vishwanatha, starting from the way the temple is approached from the river Nila to the construction and architecture.


Kalpathi Ratholsavam is a 10 day festival with highlight of 5 chariots for 5 different gods of Kalpathi village being drawn by people, across the village. Ratholsavam is conducted according to vedic cultures and involves the Kalpathi Sri Vishwanatha Swamy and other gods in the village limits. Over the whole 10 days, there are plenty of devotees coming from different parts of the country and the village becomes a hub for rituals and sacred ceremonies. All the days are marked by rituals. Actual chariot puja or Ratholsavam goes on for a period of 7 days. Rishaba Vahana is held on the 5th day and this is the day where deities of all the nearby temples including Sri Vishwanatha Swamy, are taken out on procession. After that, the main temple’s 3 idols are included in the procession.

Another procession is held in the final day, during midnight, where procession is held in the floral decorated palanquins and this marks the end of the entire celebrations. When the idols return to their temples, it is marked by the start of Malayalam new year, Karthigai.


For the state of Kerala, the 10 day Kalpathi Ratholsavam is considered to be one of the most auspicious and grandest occasions, where lakhs of devotees from various parts of the state and the country arrive to witness the pujas and rituals. Processions in various chariots are taken out on the last 3 days of the 7 day chariot processions, with lots of paraphernalia. The entire period of festival is significant for the local people and the devotees who come with lots of devotion and beliefs to Kalpathi, which is also known as Kashi of the South.

Getting There

The town of Palakkad, which is headquarters of the same district, is about 3 kms away from Kalpathi. Palakkad Junction is the nearest railway station also, at about 1 km away from the Sri Vishwanatha Swamy temple. Coimbatore international airport is about 55 kms away, which is the nearest airport of this temple. Road communication to Palakkad is quite good from neighbouring cities and people can arrive by buses and taxis as well as personal vehicles for the festival.

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