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.