The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy shrine is the oldest Shiva temple situated 3 kms from Palakkad. It was built around 1425 A.D. by Kombi Achan; the then raja of Palakkad. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is famous for the annual Chariot Festival called RATHOTSAVAM, which is also simultaneously celebrated in three other nearby temples. The festival is a gala event and lasts for nine days. The Festival is based on Vedic Tamil Brahmin Culture.
On the last three days of the car festival, the intricately carved temple chariots decorated beautifully and aesthetically are ceremoniously drawn through the streets by thousands of devotees whose soul stirring chants rent the air. Three magnificent chariots, bedecked with flowers and flags, dominate the festival, each sanctified by the presence of the Lord. Crowds of people and millions of hands try to reach out to be one of the privileged to have the honor of pulling the chariots, as they proceed in stately grandeur.
Vedic recitals are held in the temple throughout the festival. Vedic chants sonorously recited by the Vedic scholars escorting the God, makes Kalpathy come alive with the spirit of true devotion and joyous celebration.