Kalpathi Temple / Kalapathy Temple, Kerala
The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy shrine is the oldest Shiva temple situated 3 kms from Palakkad.The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for the annual Chariot Festival. The festival is a gala event and lasts for seven days.
The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy temple is the oldest Shiva temple in Malabar.It was built around 1425 A.D. by Kombi Achan; the then raja of Palakkad.Kalpathy Car Festival is based on Vedic Tamil Brahmin Culture.
On the last three days of the car festival, beautifully decorated temple chariots are ceremoniously drawn through the streets by thousands of devotees whose soul stirring chants rent the air. Three magnificent chariots, bedecked with flowers and flags, dominate the festival, each sanctified by the presence of the lord. Crowds of people and millions of hands try to reach out to be one of the privileged to have the honor of pulling the chariots, as they proceed in stately grandeur.
The weeklong annual Chariot Festival begins in the month of November, every year. Thousands of devotees haul the huge, intricately carved temple chariots through the streets.Vedic recitals are held in the temple throughout the festival. Vedic chants sonorously recited by the Vedic scholars escorting the god, makes Kalpathy come alive with the spirit of true devotion and joyous celebration. The Tamil Brahmin villages adjacent to the temple have been declared a World Heritage site. A visit to these villages offer a glimpse of the cultural life that existed 1000 years ago.
Legend has it that a Brahmin widow named Lakshmiammal went to Banaras and brought Lingam and installed in the present site on the Southern bank of river Neela Bhagirathi. The location of the temple and steps leading to the river brings mind of a visitor the Banaras Temples on the bank of Ganges. Hence this temple is called “Kasiyil Pakuthi Kalpathy” (Half Banaras).
Getting there and Around
By Air – Coimbatore, 55 kms away. To the south is Cochin International Airport, Nedumbassery 160kms away
By Rail – Palakkad is the Nearest Railway Station
By Road – Well connected to all cities of Kerala and the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.
Accommodation at Palakkad is very cozy and comfortable.There are hundreds of budget hotels in and around the Palakkad Districts. The budget hotels provide hospitable services. It is equipped with all basic necessities of life and travelers do not come across any major problems while their stay at these budget hotels.