Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: The famed chariots of the four temples of Kalpathy will roll on Thursday, marking the beginning of the six-month car festivals in the temples of 98 Agraharams (Brahmin villages) in the district.

It is now festival time at Kalpathy. The festival starts here in the last week of the Tamil month Aippasi and ends at Tirunellai in the second week of Vaikasi.

Kalpathy and its 18 Agraharams in the town wear a festive look and thousands of people are flowing to it to attend the Carnatic music festival organised as part of the car festival. The six-day music festival concludes on Wednesday.

The main centre of the festival is the Viswanathaswamy temple. The New Kalpathy, Old Kalpathy and Chathapuram temples in the village also celebrate the festival simultaneously.

On the first day of the procession, the deities from the Viswanathaswamy temple are taken out and installed on the three cars — one each for the main deity, Sree Viswanathaswamy, and consort, Goddess Parvathi; Vigneshwara; and Subramaniaswamy.

Grama Pradikshinam

The cars set out on Grama Pradikshinam (village tour) around 10 a.m. They return to the base around sunset.

The deity of the New Kalpathy temple, Maha Ganapathy, is so taken out on the second day on Friday.

On the concluding day on Saturday, the deities of Old Kalpathy and Chathapuram Temples are taken out. Around sunset, all the chariots return to the bases. Anointments are done and the deities are redecorated and taken out in procession in floral palanquins around midnight.

The palanquins return to the temple at dawn on the first day of the Tamil month of Karthigai, coinciding with the Kadamukham festival in Mayuram. Thus, the curtain falls on the car festival.