Snake Boats for Onam Celebrations

Video Description

Boat Racing is one of the foremost cultural attractions in the beautiful state of Kerala. In God's Own Country, a large number of regattas are organized each year. A large number of people enthusiastically participate in this aquatic event not just as participants but also as viewers. The Aranmula Boat Race is held in Kerala with a great deal of fervor and vigor. It takes place during Onam festival at Aranmula; near At a distance of 15 Km from Pathanamthitta, 53 Km from Alappuzha & 57 Km from Kumarakom, Aranmula Snake Boat Race, also known as Aranmula Vallamkali is a popular boat race in Kerala. Aranmula Vallamkali is the oldest river boat fiesta in India. This is an annual boat race held in Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple, a Hindu temple of Lord Krishna and Arjuna in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala during the Onam festival. It is also known as Uthrittathi Boat Race. On the Uthrattathi day, i.e. the on the fifth day after Onam Festival, this state festival of Boat-race is greatly admired in the backwaters. This water carnival is also observed on the Pamba River. Local People make a marked change in the form of snakes or dragons onto their respective boats with men holding umbrellas in each boat. It is a traditional competition glorified just after Onam. The crew and the riders who board on snake-boats sing rhythm traditional songs, known as ‘vanchipattu’. Snake Boat Race is categorized in two groups and trophies are eventually distributed to the winners. Legend says that a devout Brahmin promised to provide all the requirements for the Thiruvona Sadya (feast held on the Thiruvonam asterism). These were to be delivered to Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple in a boat called the Thiruvona Thoni. The boat was attacked by enemy factions during its voyage. However, snake boats from the surrounding area came to its rescue and it is from here that the grand tradition of the special snake boat race in the area was born. The snake boat race in itself is an offering to Lord Krishna of Sree Parthasarathy Temple. The snake boats used for this race are called Palliyodams. The credit for the design is given to Lord Krishna himself, the chief deity at the Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple. He is said to have appeared on these shores on a raft made of six bamboos, giving the village its name – Aranmula or Six Bamboos.

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