In news– Aranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali (boat race) was held in Pampa river, Kerala recently.
Key highlights of the event-
- As many as 120 persons on board three palliyodam (snake boats) took part in this year’s boat race.
- Palliyoda Seva Sangam (PSS) organises the event.
- The races were held along with the rendition of the traditional vanchipattu (boat songs) in praise of the presiding deity at the Aranmula temple.
History of Aranmula boat race-
- Aranmula Boat Race is the most ancient and revered boat race of Kerala.
- Held on the day of the Uthrittathi asterism in the Malayalam month of Chingam (corresponding to 15 August and 20 September), it is well known for its grandeur and unique history.
- Aranmula (meaning Six Bamboos) is a heritage village lies on 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 on the Thiruvonam asterism).
- These were to be delivered to Aranmula Sree 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 of Sree Parthasarathy Temple.
- 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 Sree Parthasarathy Temple.
- It is one of the longest rivers in the Indian state of Kerala after Periyar and Bharathapuzha, and the longest river in the erstwhile former princely state of Travancore.
- The Pamba originates at Pulachimalai hill in the Peerumedu plateau in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 1,650 metres (5,410 ft).
- Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is located on the banks of the river Pamba.
- The river is also known as ‘Dakshina Bhageerathi’.
- During ancient times it was called ‘River Baris’.
- It enriches the lands of Pathanamthitta District and the Kuttanad area of Alappuzha District and few areas of Kottayam.