The Aranmula Boat Race the oldest riverboat fiesta in Kerala held during Onam (August–September). It takes place at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna (Parthasarathi). The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full-throated singing and shouting watched by an exciting crowd.
Thousands of people gather on the banks of the river Pampa to watch the snake boat races. The oarsmen sing traditional boat songs and wear white mundu and turbans. The golden lace at the head of the boat, the flag and the ornamental umbrella at the center make it a show of pageantry too.
The boat-race normally takes place during the Uthrattathi Star of Malayalam calendar month “Chingam”.
Aranmula is about 128 km from Trivandrum & Kochi, located in Pathanamthitta District. It is situated on the banks of the river Pampa.
The famous temple at Aranmula is dedicated to Sree Parthasarathy of Lord Krishna as the divine charioteer ofArjuna. A rough estimate puts the age of this temple to 1700 years.
Who can get on to a snake boat?
- Only men of the village are allowed to be in the boat.
- Dress. White loin cloth (Mundu) and turban.
- No shirt and footwear are allowed.
Kerala has always had its glory of treating its people with irresistible delicacies. Among the many mouth-watering food that it offers, the famous Aranmula vallasadhya stands high on top with pride due to its magnificence and divinity. The 80-day long season of flavours takes place from 15th July to 2nd October every year , ensuring the captivation of taste buds of people all the time.
Vallasadhya is a ritual offering to lord Parthasarathy, the presiding deity at the Sree Parthasarathy temple, Aranmula in which oarsmen of the snake boats are given a lavish feast. With over 70 dishes, it is probably one of the largest feasts in India. Besides this, the collaboration of music and sports along with the feast also makes it a unique and highly energetic festival.
Every year, the food extravaganza witnesses a large participation of palliyodam’s , it being 51 palliyoda karayogam’s this year.The feast is arranged by the karayoga sangham in association with the Travancore devaswom board.
Click here to know about the guidelines and procedures for booking a Vallasadya.
List of Palliyodams
- Edappavoor Peroor
- Edasserymala East
- Edayaranmula East
- Keekozhoor Vayalathala
- Kizhakken Othera
- Laka Edayaranmula
- Poovathur East
- Poovathur West
- Thekkemuri East
Video Credits: Kerala Tourism