Celebrating the grandeur of a festival is very much linked with the traditions of the enchanting state of Kerala. So is the Kalpathy Ratholsavam organised every year in the month of November in the beautiful small village of Kalpathy in Palakkad. Yet they are far more different from the traditional temple festivals with the procession of half a dozen well-adorned elephants. Even if you are not an admirer of the neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu’s typical temple festivals that are usually followed, you will inevitably feel astounded of its unique features. Given below are the things you never knew about Kalpathy Ratholsavam of Palakkad in Kerala.
The prominent temple associated with the Chariot festival was built around 7 centuries ago
Visalakshmi Sametha and Sri Vishwanatha Swamy Temples are believed to be built in 1425 AD that is being regarded as the major spot where the entire festival is conducted. You should not expect a huge architectural structure made of ancient stone with those intricate carvings in them, as they are way much smaller than its counterparts in the south of India. Yet, you could catch a glimpse of the major deity, Lord Shiva at its very interiors of the shrine. The idol placed here is assumed to be brought from Kaashi.
There is an old story that describes the naming of the village as Dakshin Kashi
The reason behind such a sobriquet for this temple is concerned with a story that date backs to several centuries back. An old Brahmin lady who had been on a pilgrimage to Kaashi had requested the then erstwhile ruler Itikombi Achan to build a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva after returning from Kaashi. Furthermore, she had also brought an idol along with her. She wanted this to happen so badly, as she had even gifted some gold to the ruler. Henceforth, due to all these reasons, the entire village was later addressed as Dakshin Kaashi or ‘Half of Kaashi.’
The chariots are pulled over by about thousands of devotees
As cited earlier, while you are witnessing the magnificent festivity you are certainly going to be awestruck by the sight of hundreds of people pulling the huge rathams, besides the thousand others. Moreover, the origin of such a custom dates back to several years ago and no one exactly knows since when the rituals are being followed so here in this part of Kerala. Anyhow, for these 10 days long festivities, you could look over by those streets when the devotees are seen chanting the Vedic prayers and moving together.
Centuries-old temples are situated on the banks of River Nila
With reference to the old story stated here, it was the wish of the Brahmin lady to build a temple on the banks of River Nila, otherwise known as Bharathapuzha. The significant temple to Lord Shiva and Parvathi are most adjacent to them and the particular spot had been deemed as a crucial point of this grand procession. So while you are visiting Kalpathy Ratholsavam in your tour packages never skip to reach up to them during the festival season along with your family.
On auspicious days, you could witness more number of chariots
Even though the major part of the festivities are centred around the Shiva temple, many more chariots dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Lord Subramaniyam and others can be seen approaching towards and back the major temple. However, you could find the extra chariots decorated with huge tomb-like structures and garlands only on the final days of the ten-day-long festival. Mostly, there would be around 6 chariots that are brought from Viswanathaswamy Temple, Maha Ganapathy Temple of Chathapuram, Manthakkara Maha Ganapathy Temple and Lakshminarayana Perumal Temple of Old Kalpathy.
Each of the chariots is dedicated to different Hindu gods
The chariots or the rathams as they are called regionally are mad to make large processions alongside the ancient streets of Kalpathy. Furthermore, you would already know of the fact that there are about a million Hindu gods. So from the few of the other temples located nearby the major Shiva temple, that is dedicated to different gods will set up each of the chariots. Therefore, in the festival, along hundreds of devotees, these multiple rathoms will also be proceeding. In its appearance, each of them will be having a nuanced alteration.
Kalpathy is the only heritage village of Kerala
The basic setting of this old village had offered such a status to it, as each household are arranged in such a way one is connected to another. These homes in the region are known as ‘Agrahaarams,’ which do possess sloped roofs and their front areas will always be decorated with ‘Koolams.’ Moreover, the people who are dwelling in these unique settlements were emigrated from the neighbouring state and largely follow their native traditions.
Population residing in the hamlet are Tamil Brahmin settlers
These early settlers with Tamil origin had migrated to Kerala from their homeland and had started living in Kalpathy since 12 century. Such a step could be because the standard of living here in Kerala could have been cheap, rather than supporting the huge families in an expensive place. Also, in most common cases, the people residing in neighbouring households would most probably be an extended part of a single-family.
As mentioned earlier, festivals celebrated in the state of Kerala are just too many, while the most popular being the Onam. The very essence of these engaging festivities could be experienced only when you are witnessing them in real. So why are you waiting for?? Plan your very next vacation to this amazing land once contact the popular tour operator Gogeo Holidays. They have got some exciting tour packages for you to check out, as they are covering the most prominent travel destinations of the state including Munnar, Alappuzha, Wayanad, Varkala, Gavi, Kochi, Vagamon and Thekkady. You could avail their services at extremely lower prices.