Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kalpathy Viswanatha swamy temple

Kalpathi Kundambalam for Viswanatha Swamy and  Goddess Visalakshi
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   Palakkad  city  is supposed   to have 18 agraharams .There is a belief that   these agraharams  were gifted to the  tamil Brahmins by one king Sekari Varman  of  Kollengode . There is  akso a belief that Kalpathy Agraharam   was the first  settlement  while some people believe that  it  was Sekari puram.  There is a temple in the centre of the Kalpathi  village dedicated to  Viswanatha Swami   and Visalakshi  which is  at a place  lower lever than the agraharam on the river bank  and is called  Kundambalam. On both  sides of this temple150  Tamil Brahmin houses   were  established. This great agraharam was   recently recognised   as a heritage   village  by Archeological   survey of India.
   A stone inscription of the temple  (In Vattezhthu which precedes  the present alphabets of Malayalam) records some endowments , witnessed by Itikombi Achan, a member of the Palakkad Royal family in Malayalam Era  600 (1424-25 AD). Evidently this temple was consecrated earlier,The existence of the temple is also mentioned in Logan’s Malabar Manual  where it is mentioned  that the temple was consecrated in   the  year 1464.
  The  general belief  is that one Lakshmi Ammal  along with her husband   Venkitanarayana iyer  of kollengode , who  had settled there  from Mayiladu Thurai of Tamil Nadu   went by foot to Benares(Kasi)  during those days  and brought  Siva  Lingas   from there . They wanted a temple to  Lord Shiva to be built resembling the Mayurnatha swamy temple of Mayavaram  on the banks of Cauvery(some say  Kasi Viswanatha  SWamy temple of Benares)  and it seems she gave  1320 gold coins to Prince Sekari Varman of Palakkad royal family to a build a temple  and consecrate the Shiva lingam   which she has brought. She also entrusted   the management of the temple with that king. It seems she desired that  the temple should be on the banks of river Neela BHagirathy. Tamil Brahmins of  Kerala say that “Kasiyil Pathi Kalpathi” i,e Kalpathy is half  of Kasi.
According to depositions by Sri Somasundara Kurukkal, it is believed that the Prince who Lakshmi Ammal approached was Ittilkombi Achan. Sri Somasundara Kurukkal has also confirmed that the Prince had entrusted the management of the temple to his descendants belonging to the Valia Konikkal Madom. The Prince had also donated land for the upkeep and maintenance of the temple. The lands set apart for this temple came to be made inam or revenue-free by him and this was allowed to be continued as revenue free by the subsequent rulers, Tipu Sultan and later by the British Government. Even today the management of the temple continues to be in the hands of the Trustee, a descendent of the erstwhile princely family. Lakshmi Ammal also constructed three other temples in nearby Kollengode, Koduvayur and Pokkunni. Naturally she installed lingams brought from Varanasi . They are Brahmin ( in kollengode) Ksahtriya ( Koduvayur) Sudra ( Pokkunni in Kollengode).
The temple
The temple is situated at the bottom of eighteen steps leading from the eastern Gopuram. In the south-west direction of the temple is situated the temple of Sri Lakshminarayana Perumal of Old Kalpathy Village and Prasanna Maha Ganapathy of Chathapuram village, in the east the Kshipraprasada Maha Ganapathi Temple of Pandhrandaam Teruvu and the Manthakara Maha Ganapathi Temple of New Kalpathy village and in the east-west direction Sri Varadaraja Perumal of Govindarajapuram village. In the eastern direction at a distance of a kilometer is located the Chokkanathar temple of Chokkanathapuram village. On the right side while entering the temple, there are two banyan trees. The Serpent Gods [nagaprathishta] are consecrated beneath the first banyan tree, which is also the "sthala Vriksham". Pooja is performed for this tree and naga prathishta, treating it as "Vishnu Amsom".
The flag staff (Kodimaram) is erected in front of the temple. The stone slab describing the land given to the temple etc. is installed behind the flag mast. Close to the stone slab is the Bhadralingam and in front of it the Gnana Nandikeswarar, facing Sri Viswanathaswamy. The eight sides of the prakaram(closed precincts of a temple) inside the Temple belongs to Indra, Agni, Yama, Niruruthi, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera, and Eesanan. The idol of Sri Viswanathaswamy is situated in the direction of Kubera facing east and close to this Sri Visalakshi facing south. In front of Sri Viswanathaswamy, Nandikeswarar appears in three forms. The three forms symbolise Aathmathathwam, Vidyathathwam and Sivathathwam. The moolavar in this temple is Sri Viswanathaswami and he  faces the east  and mother  Visalakshi faces the south .The palli aria  is on the west of mother’s shrine.Opposite  the Palli Arai are Nava Grahas along with their consorts.Lord Gangadhara shrine is on souh , Muruga along with Valli and DEvayanai  on the east   and there  are also temples for CHandikeswara    and Bhairava, facing south
Since  mother Visalakshi faces   south devotees believe that  by praying  to her their longevity  can be increased.They perform Kumkumarchana to her and perform Mruthyunjaya  Japa in front of her.
Pooja Vidhi
The idols of Sri Viswanathaswamy and Sri Visalakshi are attached to the pedestals by Ashtabandhanam, a mixture of eight elements that help fix the idol to the peetham or base. The Viswanathaswamy idol is a Bana Lingam. The Bana lingam extends four carpenter's angul (inch) higher than the pedestal. The circumference at the level of the pedestal may be about eight angul(inches). The Vishalakshi idol stands twenty four inches above the pedestal up to the top of the crown.
Pooja in temples are of two types: aathmartham and parartham. The two differ in the sankalpam. In the former, the sankalpam will be in the name of yajamana of the temple i.e. udamasthan or owner. In the latter the sankalpam will be in the name of all people. In the Sri Viswanathaswamy temple, the pooja performed is aathmartham. The pooja in the temple is conducted on the pattern of the pooja held in the Mayuranathar Temple at Mayavaram. Sri Subramania Kurukkal of Mayavaram was the first poojakaran (priest). The pooja is conducted according to the Tamil Agama. There are 28 types of Agamas. The pooja in this temple is being followed according to Kamikagamam. Pooja is conducted four times a day: 5:45AM Usha Pooja, 9:45 AM Uchikala Pooja, 5:45 PM Deeparadhana, and 7:45 PM Ardhajama Pooja. The Ardhajama pooja is most important. It includes dhara and Abhishekam by milk daily. Performing Umamaheswara Pooja is said to be of great value because both Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathy are said to be pleased by the Pooja if properly performed.
Chariot festival
 Chariot Festivals   are not normally carried out in Kerala but Kalpathy temple   has a very famous chariot festival. The annual ten-day chariot festival conducted here during the month of November is one of the most remarkable festivals of Kerala. The festival is conducted over a period of 10 days, usually November 7 to 15. During this time, 4+chariots (rathas) from 4 temples of Kalpathy come together and circumvent streets of the villages in a grand procession. The 4+2 as follows: main chariot carrying Lord Shiva and additional 2 small chariots for his sons, Ganapathy and Murugan; chariots from the other 3 villages namely New Kalpathy with Lord Ganapathy, Old Kalpathy with Lord Krishna and Chathapuram with Lord Ganapathy.This is known as 'devarathasamgamam'Vedic recitals and cultural programmes are held in the temple during the first four days of the festival. On the last three days, thousands of devotees gather together to draw decorated temple chariots through the streets.
The temple is open from 5.30 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Sri Viswanathar Temple, Kalpathi, Palakkadu, Kerala.Contact number
+91 94478 39279, 0491 257 7955

Reaching Kalpathy by Bus / Road

Kalpathy Temple is just 3 km from the town of Palakkad. Palakkad Central Bus Station operates bus services which connects Palakkad with all nearby towns and cities in Kerala including Guruvayoor, Thrissur, Ernakulam (Kochi), and Thiruvananthapuram. Palakkad Bus Station also operates interstate bus services to many cities including Bangalore, Coimbatore and Chennai.

Reaching Kalpathy by Air / Flight

Coimbatore Airport in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airport to reach Kalpathy, just 55 km away. Other nearest airports to reach Kalapthi are the Karipur Airport or Calicut International Airport (130 km), and Cochin International Airport (140 km) at Nedumbassery, Kochi.

Reaching Kalpathy by Train / Railway Station

Palakkad Junction Railway Station, one of the major railheads managed by the Southern Railways, is the nearest railway station to reach Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy Temple. Located at Olavakkode, the station is also known as Olavakkode Railway Station. Palakkad Town Railway Station is another nearest railway station situated inside the town limits.

Nearby Temples in Kalpathy

The temple of Sri Lakshminarayana Perumal of Old Kalpathy Village is in the south-west direction of Kalpathy Temple. Other temples situated nearby include Varadaraja Perumal Temple at Govindarajapuram, Manthakara Maha Ganapathy Temple at New Kalpathy, Maha Ganapathy Temple at Chathapuram, Chokkanathar Temple at Chokkanathapuram, Kshipraprasada Maha Ganapathi Temple at Pandhrandaam Teruvu, and Jain Temple of Jainmedu.

1 comment:

  1. I was a resident of New Kalpathy and its adjoining agraharam, Govindarajapuram for many years, during 1952-68. Other than Viswanathaswamy, the other deities are Manthakkara Ganapthy, Old Kalpathy Perumal, Chathapuram Ganapathy and 12th street Ganapathy. Chariots belonging to all these temples congregate on the last day of the chariot festival near Viswanathaswamy temple. The event is known as "Radhasamgamam". An elephant is employed to push the mammoth chariot of Viswanatha. No elephant is used for Manthakkara Ganapathy, although it is equally massive, as the deity in the chariot is also an "Elephant God". Famous nadaswara vidwan parties lead the pallakku procession of all the deities at the end of the Chariot festival. The chariots of Old Kalpathy Perumal and Chathapuram Ganapathy are much smaller and can be pulled by devotees without much hardship.