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Aaranmula Boat Race

Aaranmula Boat Race

The Aaranmula Boat Race is an iconic water sports event held annually in the village of Aaranmula, situated on the banks of the Pamba River in Kerala, India. It is one of the oldest and most revered boat races in Kerala, steeped in tradition, culture, and religious significance.

The boat race is part of the Aaranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali, a grand festival celebrated at the Sree Parthasarathy Temple in Aaranmula, dedicated to Lord Krishna. The race is held during the Uthrattathi asterism in the Malayalam month of Chingam (August-September) and attracts thousands of spectators from all over the world.

Unlike other boat races in Kerala, the Aaranmula Boat Race does not involve snake boats (chundan vallams) but instead features majestic traditional snake-shaped boats known as 'Palliyodams.' These Palliyodams are intricately decorated with colorful silk umbrellas, flags, and ornamental motifs, making them a sight to behold.

One of the unique aspects of the Aaranmula Boat Race is the participation of oarsmen from different communities, including members of the priestly families associated with the temple. The oarsmen row the Palliyodams to the rhythmic beats of traditional percussion instruments, creating a spectacle of speed, skill, and synchronized rowing.

The Aaranmula Boat Race is not just a sporting event but also a religious and cultural extravaganza. It is believed to commemorate the installation of the idol of Lord Krishna at the Sree Parthasarathy Temple, with the boat race symbolizing the journey of the deity to his abode.

Throughout the festival, the temple and its surroundings come alive with vibrant festivities, including traditional music, dance performances, and cultural programs. Devotees throng the temple to seek blessings and witness the divine spectacle of the Aaranmula Boat Race.

The Aaranmula Boat Race is a testament to Kerala's rich maritime heritage and serves as a symbol of unity, tradition, and community spirit. It continues to captivate audiences with its grandeur and grand tradition, preserving age-old customs and rituals for future generations to cherish.

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