Kalpathi Ratholsavam

Kalpathi Ratholsavam is an annual Hindu temple festival held in Kalpathi, Palakkad, Kerala, India. It is renowned as the largest chariot festival in Kerala. The festival takes place at the Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple in Kalpathi, built over 700 years ago.

Taking place typically in November during the final week of the Tamil month of Aippasi, Kalpathi Ratholsavam spans 10 days, transforming the streets of Kalpathi, Palakkad into a festive hub. Devotees and visitors flock from near and far to participate. The festival commences with the Dwajarohanam, or flag hoisting ceremony, and features religious rituals conducted in the four Tamil Brahmin Agraharams of Kalpathi: New Kalpathi, Old Kalpathi, Chathapuram, and Govindarajapuram. Vedic recitations and cultural programs mark the first four days of the celebration. The final three days are particularly enchanting, highlighted by the procession of elaborately adorned chariots and culminating in the Devaratha Sangamam, where chariots carrying deities from nearby temples meet. Accompanied by caparisoned elephants and rhythmic percussion, the festival offers a visually stunning spectacle amidst a divine ambience.

The towering chariots, adorned with flowers and intricate carvings, stand out as the most remarkable feature of Kalpathi Ratholsavam. These chariots are meticulously decorated to honour the deities they carry. The primary chariot bears the idols of Lord Shiva and Parvathy from the Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple, while two smaller chariots carry their sons, Ganapathy and Murugan. Chariots from other temples, such as the Lakshmi Narayana Perumal Temple in Old Kalpathi, the Manthakkara Maha Ganapathy Temple in New Kalpathy, and the Maha Ganapathy Temple in Chathapuram, also join the procession. This convergence of chariots, known as the Devaratha Sangamam, creates a breathtaking sight and is a highlight of the festival.

Specialty of Festival:

The specialty of Kalpathi Ratholsavam lies in its grand procession of elaborately decorated chariots, carrying the deities, accompanied by traditional music and dance performances. It is a vibrant celebration that brings together the community to honour the local deities and showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Month of Festival:

Kalpathi Ratholsavam is celebrated every year during the last week of the Tamil month of Aippasi, which usually falls in November.

How to reach?

By Air : Coimbatore International Airport is the nearest airport, 63.7 Km away from Palakkad.

By Train :Palakkad Junction Railway Station is the nearest railway station, 64.8 Km away from Palakkad.

By Road :Palakkad is easily accessible by road. You can choose private transportation, take a bus, or hire a cab to reach Palakkad.


1.When is Kalpathi Ratholsavam celebrated?

Kalpathi Ratholsavam is celebrated during the last week of the Tamil month of Aippasi, which usually falls in November.

2.Which temple hosts the Kalpathi Ratholsavam?

Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple in Kalpathi, Palakkad district of Kerala, hosts the renowned Kalpathi Ratholsavam.