Kalpathy witnesses a big rush for chariot festival

kalpathy-devotees
Photos: Sibu Bhuvanendran
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It is festival season at Kalpathy in Palakkad. The believers will tell you that Kalpathy has half the holiness of Kashi – one of Hinduism's most sacred spots. The highlight of the festival is the 'Ratholsavam' or chariot procession during which chariots from Visalakshy-sametha Viswanatha Temple, the main shrine in Kalpathy, and other temples in the area assemble in front of the Viswanatha Temple. This confluence of chariots is termed 'Devarathasangamam' and offers devotees an opportunity to pray to the entire holy family at one spot.

After the chariot from Shiva temple, another one from Manthakkara Maha Ganapathy Temple at New Kalpathy starts its procession. Afterwards, the festival idol from Lakshmi Narayana Perumal temple at Old Kalpathy and Prasanna Maha Ganapathy at Chathapuram start their trips on chariots pulled by devotees with ropes.

kalpathy-chariot

Devotees of all ages take a chance to draw the chariots in order to seek blessings and a big rush is witnessed in front of each chariot.

When the rituals related to the festival are initiated every year, Kalpathy witnesses huge crowds of devotees. Later, people continue to pour into the locality even after the festival concludes with 'Devarathasangamam.' This rush is to indulge in shopping in the long line of temporary stalls that come up during the festival. People come from even far-off places to buy items related to religious ceremonies as well as traditional utensils and other ware.

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