South India Tour with Kalpathy Ratholsavam Kerala
(15 Days / 14 Nights)

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Kalpathi Ratholsavam - Palghat- Kerala
The annual Ratholsavam or chariot festival at the Sree Viswanatha Swamy temple, dedicated to Lord Viswanatha or Siva, is one of the most remarkable of the festivals of Kerala. Kalpathi, an early Tamil Brahmin settlement is also known as Dakshin Kasi or the Varanasi of the South. The structures of the settlement are centuries old and are in themselves worthwhile watching. During the first four days, Vedic recitals and cultural programmes are held in the temple, believed to be over 700 years old. On the last three days, thousands of devotees gather together to draw huge and decorated temple chariots through the streets. This ceremonial procession taken out by a sea of chanting people is a sight to behold.

Kalpathy Viswanatha Swamy temple is also known as Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanatha Swamy temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Siva who is known as ‘Viswanatha’ and his consort Parvathi who is known as ‘Visalakshi’ here.

The temple is about 3 kms from Palakkad and about 55 kms from Coimbatore airport. The temple is well connected by rails. Olavokot railway station is just 1 km from the temple.

The Kalpathy Vishwanatha Swamy temple is considered as the oldest Shiva temple in Malabar and in Kerala. It is said that the temple was built in 1425 AD by Kombi Achan, then King of Palakkad. This beautiful temple nestles by the banks of the Kalpathy river, also called Neela Nadhi, just as Kasi is on the banks of the Ganges. Many other deities are consecrated in the temple. Deities of Valli Devayani Sametha Subramanya Swamy, Vinayaka, Gangadhara, dakshinayana Murthy, Nataraja, Surya Bhavara, Simhanasundari, Kala Bhairavan, Nandeeswaran, Chandikeswaran, and Pradesh Handi are beautifully decorated in the temple.

The Legend:

The story of the temple dates back in fifteenth century. There lived a Brahmin widow named Lakshmiammal who went to Benaras and brought a Shiva Linga. She installed it in the present site which was the Southern bank of the river Neela Bhagirathi. She brought 1320 gold coins from Kasi and gave it to Itikombi Achan, who was a prince of Palakkad Royal family. She requested him to build the temple of Siva so that the devotees who visit this temple get the credit equivalent to half of a visit to Kasi and Banaras. Seeing her peity and devotion, the King Kombi Achan took all the pains and constucted the holy shrine dedicated to the devotees of Lord Shiva.


Kalpathy Ratholsavam is celebrated on 13th, 14th and 15th of November 2009. This article explores few fascinations of the festival.
Kalpathy Ratholsavam is one of the most remarkable festivals of Kerala. In the first four days vedic rituals and poojas are done. Several cultural programmes are held in the temple. On the auspicious day, which is 28th day of Alpasi, the deities are taken out and are installed in the chariot. There are three chariots that are decorated beautifully: One for the main deity Sri Vishwanath Swamy and Goddess Visalakshi, the second for Visweswara and third for Lord Subramanya Swamy.

On this three days the chariots are ceremoniously drawn through the streets. These magnificent, intricately carved chariots look beautiful. They are bedecked with flowers and flags.

Day 01: Chennai - Mahabalipuram
Around midnight arrival at the Chennai airport. Upon arrival, you will be picked up by our representative and drive to Mahabalipuram and transferred into the resort. Mamallapuram is a historical retreat set amidst natural beauty, about 58 km south of Chennai. Mahabalipuram is also known as Mamallapuram, the city of Bali. This ancient city is located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. This ancient place was the major seaport of the Pallava dynasty and was the second capital of the Pallava kings of Kanchipuram. Mamallapuram is globally known for the famous shore temples.

Day 02: Mahabalipuram

Today in the morning after breakfast we take a short trip to the shore temples. The Shore temple is located on a rocky hill very close to the sea. This is one of the oldest temples in South India. It belongs to the 8th century AD and is a good example of the first phase of structural temples constructed in Dravidian style. After visiting the shore temples we visit the Kanchipuram. Kanchipuram is known for its silk sarees all over India and world. After having a small visit to Kanchipuram we return back to the resort. Evening at leisure to spent the day at the beach.

Day 03: Mahabalipuram - Trichy

Today after an early morning breakfast we leave Mahabalipuram and drive to Trichy. Upon arrival at Trichy check into your hotel and relax. Trichy is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. Once the citadel of the Cholas, this strategic city, was much too benevolent, under the rule of the Nayaks of Madurai. In the evening we visit the famous Srirangam Temple and the famous Rock Fort Ganesha Temple.

Day 04: Trichy - Karikudi

Today morning we proceed towards Karikudi. On arrival you will be transferred to the Bangala home stay. This home stay belongs to the local Chettiar family and is a quaint assortment of buildings, built over the last 75 years, that has been recently renovated and restored as a Heritage Hotel for visitors to Chettinad. Today we explore Karaikudi with its fabulous mansions, and its many temples and also visit various antique shops and the Village market.

Day 05: Karikudi - Madurai

Today we will drive to Madurai. Madurai, the city of Nectar is located on the banks of the river Vaigai in the south of Tamil Nadu. It is the second largest city in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is also considered as an important cultural and commercial centre of Tamil Nadu. Madurai is known for the famous Meenakshi temple dedicated to the goddess Meenakshi. Today, this splendid temple is also known for its imposing gopurams that soar over the city. This temple, which is the centre of social and religious activity, attracts thousands of visitors every year from all over the world. In the evening we will visit the temple to witness the famous night ceremony when the temple bronze of Lord Siva is carried to the bedchamber of goddess Parvati with some religious prayers and music.

Day 06: Madurai - Palakkadu

Today we drive towards Palakkadu. Nearly all the agricultural land you will pass on the way here from Palakkad belonged to the Kandath family. Their impressive ancestral home was built on part of the estate in 1794 using mud and teak. In the evening we have a walk through the winding roads through an unspoilt countryside and paddy fields together with a visit to the local village temple to watch the evening rituals and pooja. Overnight stay at the house.

Day 07: Palakkadu (Celebration of Kalpathi Ratholsavam)
Full day celebration of Kalpathi Ratholsavam ( chariot festival) at the Sree Viswanatha Swamy temple. Overnight stay at the hotel.In the morning, one can have a trek to the “Chaya Kada” (corner tea shop) and as well as Visit the local temple, where the presiding deity is Lord Siva. As this a family temple so the non Hindus accompanied by someone from the house only can enter the temple premises or one can enjoy the various activities like a bullock ride through the countryside an Visit to the nearby potter.

Day 08: Palakkadu - Cheruthuruthy ( Thrissur)
Morning after breakfast departure by surface to Cheruthuruthy Upon arrival check in at the hotel. Afternoon visit to Kerala Kala Madalam, a place revered for its patronage of traditional art forms of Kerala. This temple of art has preserved and propagated Kathakali - the classical dance-drama of Kerala - for the past 78 years. Many of the internationally renowned artistes of Kerala and India have been trained here. The Kalamandalam and its surroundings reflect the simple, pure and ethnic atmosphere in which these arts have survived for centuries. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 09:
In Cheruthuruthy
Morning after breakfast head to Kalpathi 40 Kms/1hr.

Day 10:
Cheruthuruthy ( Thrissur) - Cochin
Today in the morning after having breakfast drive to Cochin. Cochin or Kochi is the commercial and industrial capital of Kerala. Cochin is located on the western coast of Kerala. Cochin is set on a cluster of islands surrounded by sparkling blue lagoons and backwaters on the vast area of the Vemband lake. Cochin is the most interesting town in South India at Malabar Coast and is also known as Venice of south. On arrival drive to the hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Synagogue and the Chinese fishing nets. In the evening we visit a Kathakali dance school. Kathakali dances come from Kerala and in its traditional form relates stories from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Day 11: Cochin - Alleppey
Today we will drive to Alleppey to board the House boat which is known as Kettuvalam. It would be a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters of Kerala. Today you will cruise on the backwaters through the lush green paddy fields and swaying palm trees. Overnight stay in the house boat.

Day 12: Alleppey 

Today you will be dropped at a home stay set on the backwaters of Alleppey. This ancestral house is built in the traditional way with “Nalukettu”. Full day at leisure at the home stay.

Day 13: Alleppey -
Today you will drive to Kovalam. In the evening we will visit the Kovalam beach. Overnight stay at the resort.

Day 14: Kovalam - Trivandrum
Today in the morning after having breakfast drive to Trivandrum. Today we have sightseeing in Trivandrum. The main tourist attractions in Trivandrum is the Shanghumukham Beach. The Shanghumukham Beach is a favourite place for the sunset viewers. The main attractions of this beach are an indoor recreation club, the Matsya Kanyaka (a gigantic, 35 m long sculpture of a mermaid) and a restaurant shaped like a starfish. Another tourist attraction in Trivandrum is the most famous Sree Padmanabha Swami temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. After having sightseeing in Trivandrum return to the resort and have an overnight stay.

Day 15: Flight to Home

Transfer to the airport to connect the flight back to home destination. 

Tour Reservation
To get more information or to book this tour please submit the Query Form or send us an e-mail ! Your booking will be activated only after we get a reconfirmation from your side.

About Hotels:
We provide you the accommodation as per your budget mentioned above in the table of hotels category for any of the booked tour. Hotels provided by us are from budget to luxury class hotels. Luxury hotels are all five stars or of above standard. Deluxe would be a combination of 3 and 4 star Hotels and standard would be a combination of 2 and 3 star or similar hotels. The criteria for selecting hotels by us remains the best value of your money.



Proposed Hotels


Indo Vacations – Inclusions:

Accommodation in a double room with shower /bath & WC in the hotels as indicated.

Half board (breakfast and dinner in the booked Hotels). 

Dinner & breakfast  during the tour.

An experienced english speaking Tour Guide / Tour Escort for the local sightseeing
    throughout the whole tour (An Accompanying Tour Escort will be provided on the
    group strength above 10 traveler

An air-conditioned vehicle, including insurance, fuel etc. with chauffeur (experienced,

    reliable and English speaking) during the entire tour.

All entrance fees of the mouments as per the tour itineray.

All applicable taxes.

    Not included are: Camera fees, gratitude, drinks and personal expenses of any




(B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)  

We suggest that you book the international flights in your country as this is mostly


Please note you will need a visitor visa for India. We recommend to apply for the

    same well in advance.

For individual travelers joining the group will not  be charged extra for both the airport
    transfers (advance notice required

If the desired travelers do not register for the tour – An option will be available to
    operate the group tour with less people with some extra charges. These charges
    will be informed well in advance and till then there is no obligation or no cancellation
    charges of registration.

Registration for the group tour with Indo Vacations is without any cost. Only at the

    time of confirmation we will send you the travel documents and ask for 25 % of the
    total amount as advance payment. The due amount can be paid after your arrival in
    India. (more information is available on query).

Indo Vacations reserve the right of changes which may be beyond our control.

Details for the vehicles used are available at the below given links:


For 1 person – Tata Indica - (4 seats)

For 2 person – Tata Indica - (4 seats)

For 3 person – Tata Indigo - (4 seats)
For 3 - 5 person – Tavera Chevrolet / Toyota Innova - (6 seats);

For 6-9 person - Tempo Traveler - (10 seats);

Hotel Ideal Beach Resort, Mahabalipuram



Breeze Residency



Hotel Saratha Vilas (Heritage)



Hotel GRT Regency, Maduari (Deluxe)



Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Palakkad (Deluxe Resort)



Hotel The Nattika beach Resort



Cherai Beach Resort (Resort)



House Boat, Alleppey (Deluxe)



Beach & Lake Ayurvedic Resort



Hotel The Travancore



 Total Nights               14


Heritage Hotels:
Heritage Hotels are old Palaces, Forts and Grand mansions of Maharajas which have been later renovated and converted into Hotels. Rooms are decorated all individually. Rooms are comfortable, romantic and present the flair of olden Maharaja days.


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