Sri Viswanatha Swamy Temple, also known as the Kalpathy Temple, is one of the famous temples in Palakkad district of Kerala. Locally known as Dakshina Kashi and Kundukovil, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of Lord Viswanatha Swamy and Parvati is worshipped as Vishalakshi.
Location of Kalpathy Temple
Kalpathy Temple is located on the banks of the river Kalpathy, also known as Nila Nadhi, which is a tributary of Bharathapuzha. It is surrounded by 4 Tamil Brahmin agraharams (traditional villages) Old Kalpathy, New Kalpathy, Govindarajapuram and Chathapuram.
The Legend Behind Kalpathy Temple
An aged lady named Lakshmi Ammal resided in Kalpathy long ago. It is said that she lived there alone, while the rest of her family was in Mayiladuthurai. As she wanted to build a temple for Lord Shiva, she visited Kashi (Varanasi) and brought a Bana linga from there and installed it in Kalpathy. Later, a temple was built there by the then ruler of the region.
Features Of The Kalpathy Temple
The temple is locally called as Kundukkul Kovil as it has 18 steps downward from the ground, to the East and South. The temple also has steps to reach the river. The temple is also known as Half-Kashi as the rituals for the deceased are done here.
The Golden Hall, or the Kanaka Sabha, is another peculiarity of the temple. This is where the shrine of Lord Nataraja is worshipped. The Navagrahas in the temple are worshipped along with their consorts.
The deities here are believed to be powerful. Devotees flock in to get blessings from Lord Shiva and Parvati, and to ward off obstacles in their lives. One of the major offerings to Goddess Parvati is the Kumkum Archana performed for the Goddess to fulfil wishes like being blessed with a baby, getting married and long life.
Festivals Of Kalpathy Temple
Kalpathy Ratholsavam, or the chariot festival of Kalpathy Temple, is one of the famous temple festivals of the region. It is celebrated like the festival in Mayurathaswamy Temple in Mayiladuthurai. This 10-day long festival takes place during the month of Aipasi which falls in October-November every year.