Kalpathy Agraharam or the Brahmin Village is one of the most notable features of Palakkad. It was recently given the status of being the ‘First Heritage Village’ of Kerala.
The Vishwanathaswamy Temple is located on the southern banks of river Kalpathy and is around 3 km from Palakkad. The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva in 1425, is not a huge structure, nevertheless it has a huge flagpole which is put to good use during the annual Chariot festival.
An Agraharam or Agrahara was a grant of land and royal income from it, typically by a king or a noble family, to religious purposes, particularly to Brahmins to maintain temples in that land or a pilgrimage site and to sustain their families.Agraharams were also known as Chaturvedimangalams in ancient times.
Lord Lakshminarayana and Goddess Lakshmi are richly decorated that day with sandal paste, silk clothes, garlands and various ornaments.Seeing the deities that day is considered to be very auspicious.
Ratha is used to be part of almost every Agraharam and here also there is a small four wheeled Ratha. For the Ratholsavam the Ratha is well decorated and kept in front of the temple in the morning.
On the auspicious time the Uthsavamurthis are brought out from the temple and installed in the Ratha. The Rathayathra begins in the afternoon when volunteers pull the Ratha. The Rathyathra is accompanied by Nadaswaram and Chendamelam. In front of the Ratha procession two persons carry two oil lamps to illuminate the route of the divine procession. The ‘Uriyadimannan'(one who breaks the uris) with a stick in his hand and children around him comes in the prefont of procession. The vedic priests follow the Ratha chanting Vedic hymns. Ratha is stopped in front of the houses where householder wish to offer Nivedyam to the deities. The temple priest dressed in double dhoti draped in the traditional style, his angavasthram hitched around the waist, his forehand marked with a broad namam goes to the houses to do the Nivedyam and Harathi.
The Ratha stops in a particular place for the Uryadi. Three Uris containing turmeric water, milk and curd are hung up high from a rope stretching between two opposite poles. The rope connecting the three Uris is kept on a pulley and the temple authorities draw this rope high and low standing at a distance. The Uryiadimannan comes in for breaking the Uris. At this time young folk surround him and sprinkle water on his face and eyes by means of hand pumps and plastic mugs in order to divert his attention. The Uriyadi will be completed when uriyadimannan breaks all the uris with a stick. People assemble in large numbers to witness this event. After the Uriyadi function, the Ratha resumes its journey to the single street and returns to the temple.