Festivals in Ancient Kerala

Kalpathy Ratholsavam

The week-long annual festival of Ratholsavam (Chariot Festival) begins in the month of November, every year. Thousands of devotees haul the huge, intricately carved temple chariots through the streets.

Vedic ricitals are held in the temple throughout the festival. Throbbing with the Vedic chants sonorously recited by the Vedic scholars escorting the god, Kalpathy comes alive with the spirit of true devotion and joyous celebration.

Perched on its lush green banks is the ancient Kalpathy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. A pilgrim centre steeped in antiquity, the temple dates back to 1425 A.D. and is as revered in South India as Benares in the North India.

Located near Palakkad, this temple is believed to be over 700 years old. The festival is dominated by three magnificent chariots, bedecked with flowers and flags, each sanctified by the presence of the lord.

Teeming crowds of people and millions of hands try to reach out to be one of the privileged to have the honour of pulling the chariots, as they proceed in stately grandeur.

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