Aranmula Vallamkali – The Snake Boat Race Festival in Kerala

Aranmula Vallamkali also known as Aranmula Uthrittathi Boat Race, it is the annual snake boat water sports festival celebrated inAranmula village situated on the banks of Pamba River, in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala in the month of September during Onam festival. Vallamkali refers to boat race competition held during the last two days of the festival.

Snake Boat Race in Kerala - Photo courtesy Kerala Tourism
Snake Boat Race in Kerala - Photo courtesy Kerala Tourism

In this competition the participants, are trained to row these boats, they compete not merely for winning the competition but to celebrate the anniversary of the Shri Krishna idol installation , who is the main deity at the Aranmula  Parthasarathy Temple .

This annual festival attracts tourists from all over the world.  Here you will find snake boats in this colorful carnival called Palliyodams.  The structure of the boats resembles snakes that are 100 feet in length with its front tapering and the rear portion towering to a height of about 20 ft.  During this race 39 to 41 of such boats participate that can easily accommodate 120 people including oarsmen, singers and helmsmen.

Apart from this the famous boat race, other rituals including offering prayers to Lord Krishna early in the morning on the day of the boat race.  At this tome all boats assemble near the temple to seek blessing of Lord.  After the Morning prayers other rituals, the race starts from the afternoon, with groups of men and singers all shouting and singing in a rhythmic manner.

Tourist attractions in Aranmula :

  • Aranmula Kannadi – Aranmula is famous for Aranmula Mirror or Aranmula Kannadi – the world only hand-made mirrors made entirely from metals, without using glass.
  • Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple – Sree Parthasarathi Temple at Aranmula is place where Lord Krishna Temples in Kerala.
  • Chengannur Mahadeva Temple – Chengannur Mahadevar Kshetram is one of the oldest Lord Shiva Temples in Kerala.
  • Other religious attraction Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Guruvayoor Temple, Thiruvarppu Krishna Temple and Trichambaram Sree Krishna Temple.

In 2011 this festival will celebrated on the end of Onam festival. Toshali Travel and Tours  offers budget festival Holiday packages and arranges, to be at nature “Gods own Country”. And customized your accommodation on demand. Toshali Travel and Tours is authorised Travel and Tour Operator, recognised and accredited by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India

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