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Aranmula Vallamkali

aranmula vallamkali

Aranmula Vallamkali

Aranmula Vallamkali is an annual event organized as a part of the Onam festivities in the state of Kerala. The event is basically a water sports meet which predominantly consists of different types of boat races, with the snake boat race being the most famous of them all. The event is organized in the district of Aranmula, after which it is named.

In 2014, the Aranmulla Vallamkali event will be organized on month of September only

The Legend of Aranmula Vallamkali

It is said that the origin of the Aranmula Vallamkali festival is deeply related with Shri Parthasarathy temple located on the banks of River Pamba, in which most of the events take place. According to legend, the temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, who reached the place by crossing the river. It is believed that the festival is organized to celebrate the crossing of the river by him.

Another popular legend about the event is also related to the temple, which is as follows.

It is said that once a Brahmin, who was dedicated follower of Lord Krishna, promised to provide all the things needed for the grand feats organized at the temple every year on the occasion Thiruvonam. To keep his promise, he loaded a boat which is known by the name of Thiruvona Thoni, with all the necessary items. However, no sooner did he start crossing the river, that the boat was attacked by enemies. Seeing this, the people from the neighboring areas sent their snake boats to protect Thiruvona Thoni.

According to legend, this is what initiated the ritual of the holding of snake boat races across the river. Over the years, the ritual became a major event and various other activities were included in it.  Even today people believe that the snake boat races are actually a means of making offerings to Lord Parthasarathy.

Celebration of Aranmula Vallamkali

Every year hundreds of people food the district of Aranmula to witness the annual water sports events. In addition to the boat races, the event comprises of various other rituals. The most important of these is the early morning prayers, offered to Lord Krishna on the day of the race. It is customary for all the boats to be assembled near the temple so that they can seek the blessings of Lord Krishna for success in the event, which does not start before afternoon. It is believed that the races have been organized for nearly 1000 years now, making it one of the oldest existing events across the globe. 


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