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Heli Tourism

Enchanting Kerala


ISSUE: 215

JULY 2011

Aranmula boat race and Payippad boat race

The largest team sport in the world, boat races of Kerala (known vernacularly as Vallamkali) flaunts the social and cultural integrity and diversity of God's Own Country. The awe-inspiring snake boats bring alive the rivers during the months of August and September. Following the southwest monsoon rains in Kerala, the season of boat races commence. Among the boat races of Kerala, the Aranmula Vallamkali and Payippad Vallamkali are extraordinary for their sheer splendour and the myths and legends associated with them.

Date: 13 September 2011
Venue: River Pamba, Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district

The Aranmula Uthrittathi boat race is noted for its grandeur and long tradition. More than a race, it is a ritual that takes place on the Uthrittathi asterism during the Onam festival.

Closely associated to this is a legend involving a devout Brahmin who vowed to offer all the requirements for the Thiruvona sadya (the grand Onam feast) at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Once the Thiruvona Thoni (the boat carrying these offerings) was attacked by enemies and the people from the neighbouring areas sent their snake boats for the protection of the Thiruvona Thoni. This practice was later evolved into an offering to Lord Parthsarathy in the form of a snake boat race, held on the Uthrittathi day. Eventually it became the renowned Aranmula Uthritathi Vallamkali. The event is marked by a colourful water carnival.

Date: 11 September 2011
Venue: Payippad backwaters, near Payippad in Alappuzha district

The Payippad boat race is one of the most popular boat races in the state. The race is held annually on the Payippad river in Alappuzha. The event commemorates the legend associated with the installation of the idol at the Subramanya Swamy Temple, Haripad. According to it the villagers had a vision which directed them to a whirlpool in Kayamkulam Lake from where they discovered the idol of Sree Subramanya. The boat race is conducted to commemorate this event. The race has the largest participation of snake boats after the Nehru Trophy boat race. The attractions include colourful water pageants and races for chundan vallam (snake boat) and other country boats.

District Tourism Promotion Councils KTDC KTIL Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society BRDC Sargaalaya SIHMK Responsible Tourism Mission KITTS Adventure Tourism Muziris Heritage saathi nidhi Sahapedia
Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, Park View, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India - 695 033
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