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Kalpathy to become first heritage village in State

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Rich tradition: Kalpathy village, located in the heart of Palakkad town on the banks of the Kalpathy river, is famous for its temples and car festival. —
Rich tradition: Kalpathy village, located in the heart of Palakkad town on the banks of the Kalpathy river, is famous for its temples and car festival. —

G. Prabhakaran

PALAKKAD: Kalpathy Agraharam (Brahmin village) in the heart of Palakkad town is being notified as the first heritage village in the State.

An area of 22.36 hectares of Old Kalpathy and New Kalpathy, constituting the famous Kalpathy Agraharam, will be notified for preservation.

The District Town Planner had sent the sketch and other regulatory conditions to be notified by the Chief Town Planner through the Palakkad Municipality on January 16, 2008. The approval of the Municipal Council is expected. Kalpathy village is famous for its architecture and music and car festivals. The agraharams were established by migrant Brahmins from Thanjavur.

One stone inscription at the Kundambalam (the main Shiva temple at Kalpathy and the centre of the car festival) dates back to AD 1425.

The pressure of modern aspirations and altered lifestyle is taking its toll on the heritage value of Kalpathy. Old buildings are slowly yielding way to new concrete structures. To preserve whatever is left, the State Tourism Department had taken up the Kalpathy Heritage Walk scheme. A Rs.2-core project, aimed at restoring old structures, is underway.

Regulations

A regulatory guideline issued in this regard says, ‘no development, redevelopment, construction including additions, alterations, repairs, renovations, replacement of special and architectural features, demolition of any part or whole thereof in respect of any object or buildings in the area should be allowed except with the prior written recommendation of the Art and Heritage Commission constituted by the government under Rule 154 of the Kerala Municipality Building Rule, 1999, in order to conserve the heritage character of the Kalpathy area and its environment.’

The Town Planner, Palakkad, in his letter to the Palakkad Municipality Secretary (January 16, 2008), said the Art and Heritage Commission had asked him to propose regulatory measures to be put in place for the area and to notify the area under section 383 of the Kerala Municipality Act for preserving the heritage character of the place.

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