Curtain went up on the famous Kalpathy Ratholsavam on Monday when hundreds of devotees took part in pulling the three chariots of Visalakshi Sametha Viswanatha Swamy Temple in a festive ambience.
The occasion witnessed the confluence of spirituality and festivities as the chariots of Siva, Ganapathy and Murugan rolled along the villages of Kalpathy.
Although four temples, namely Visalakshi Sametha Viswanatha Swamy Temple, Manthakkara Mahaganapathy Temple, Chathapuram Prasanna Mahaganapathy Temple, and Old Kalpathy Lakshminarayana Swamy Temple, are jointly organising the Kalpathy festival, the chariots of only the Viswanatha Swamy temple were taken out on Monday.
On Tuesday, apart from the chariots of Viswanatha Swamy Temple, the chariot of the Manthakkara Mahaganapathy Temple will also be taken out. It will go up to Viswanatha Swamy Temple, popularly known as Kundambalam, and return to Manthakkara after the customary greeting of Lord Siva.
The chariots of Chathapuram Prasanna Mahaganapathy Temple and Old Kalpathy Lakshminarayana Swamy Temple will be taken out only on Wednesday, the last day when all the six chariots of Kalpathy will be rolling along the villages, creating an atmosphere of extreme religious fervor.
COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government had denied Kalpathians their annual festivities in 2020 and 2021. “This time, we are making up for what we lost in the last two years,” said Karimpuzha Raman, State president of the Kerala Brahmana Sabha.
All roads will be leading to Kalpathy on Tuesday and Wednesday when the festival fervor peaks with more chariots rolling along the villages. The decorated chariots will carry their respective deities in them, and move to the agraharams.
The drive behind the chariot festival is that it facilitates the deities worshipped by the villagers to visit the people of agraharams at least once a year. The deities make this visit mounted on their respective chariots in a majestic way. As pulling the chariots is considered propitious by the devotees, thousands of people take the big ropes in their hands when the cars roll.