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Aranmula Boat Race in Pathanamthitta


Event date: 29-08-2018

Venue: River Pamba

Location: Aranmula

District: Pathanamthitta

The Aranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali or Aranmula Boat Race is the among the most ancient and revered boat races in the State.  Held on the day of the Uthrittathi star in the month of Chingam (usually between 15 August and 20 September as per the Malayalam calendar), it is well known for its grandeur and unique history.

Aranmula lies in the banks of the river Pampa in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. Legend says that a devout Brahmin promised to provide all the requirements for the Thiruvona Sadya (feast held during Thiruvonam). These were to be delivered to Aranmula 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 or Parthasarathy (an avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu).

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 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.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Chengannur, about 10 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 117 km 


In Kerala, festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar and the local traditions and customs. We have calculated the festival dates based on these. But there can be changes in the dates according the customs and rituals associated with each place of worship. As such, these should be considered only as approximate dates and have to be confirmed with the local authorities.

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