We Keralite have heard about the famous water regatta, Aranmula boat race, a part of our tradition. Do you know that an ancient life experience of a Brahmin late came to be evolved as the most respected and enjoyed culture of Kerala? We have witnessed its eminence in close; still, there are some including me who are not aware of its significance. This great festive like event is held on the last day of the harvest festival of Kerala, Onam that is Uthrittathy according to the Malayalam calendar. Since this day comes under the period when all the other boat races are scheduled, you can expect a number of visitors during this time. It is also a golden opportunity for those who have missed Nehru trophy boat race in Alleppey. More than the natives of Kerala, the people from other states or countries are more thrilled in watching these events. This time taking this fact into consideration, many travel organizers are arranging a trip in this Onam from other parts of the country as well. Let them enjoy and understand our tradition’s magnificence, as they always do. Native’s f Pune is more attracted to enjoy the water fiesta as they long to watch these kinds of game that arouse the spirit of people. Thus along with other trips in Kerala, the last day of Onam is purely dedicated to watching Aranmula boat race. It is not just the race, but there are some more attractions for this. Pune natives can enthrall on having the best Kerala meal this time and can ask for any vegetable curry they want. This is a special part of the day, where a sumptuous feast is organized for masses arranging a variety of Kerala traditional dishes. Thus, various trip packages like Enchanting Kerala tour packages from Pune including great kind of attractions to watch on this special day are arranged by various trip arrangers. Along with which the curious people from Pune can witness the temple, Sree Parthasarathy temple for which actually the event is well connected. Also, they can take away with them the most precious and auspicious special type of mirror, the famous Aranmula mirror. The interesting fact is that the material used for it is not glass but something else. Let’s find out what it is, before, which understanding the mythology of the temple is necessary.
Sree Parthasarathy Temple
The Aranmula boat race has a strong connection with this temple. Actually, it is organized to offer tribute to the deity, Lord Krishna and the day when it is conducted is the annual celebration of the idol when it was installed. The presiding deity is Lord Krishna in the form of Parthasarathy, the role played by Lord Krishna as the Chariot of Arjuna, the Pandava prince in the great Mahabharata war. The temple is surrounded by various myths and the sight of the temple itself is awesome and majestic. This holy temple is located on the banks of river Pampa at Aranmula Village, about 128 kilometers from Trivandrum. The temple is said to have 1700 years old. An epic is related to the evolution of the temple is as such that after gaining victory in Mahabharata war, the Pandavas continued to live and at last made Parikshit, the grandson of Arjun the king and they left for pilgrimage. On the course of their pilgrimage, each of them has installed an idol of Lord Krishna in various places. Of which, Arjun has installed the idol at a place called Nilakkal Narayanapuram which was later taken to the present place. The idol was brought here with great welcome on a boat made of 6 bamboo sticks which later evolved into the name of the village as ‘Aranmula’ meaning the 6 bamboo sticks. This day is celebrated annually but how a boat race was envisaged is a story. There are four main entrances to this temple of which one points to the Pamba River. One noticing aspect is that the door of the sanctum sanctorum will never be fully closed. It is always partially closed so as to denote the permission given by Lord Krishna to his devotee, Arjun to visit him at any time. One needs to climb many steps if they are entering from east and North of the temple. Thus getting a chance to visit the temple premises and rituals is considered sacred. Natives of Pune can enjoy the ancient art form, Arjuna Nirtham on their tour free of cost.
Valla Sadhya or Mass Feast
This is a unique mass feast arranged by the temple authorities as an offering to the Lord and devotees can attend the feast. It is a huge celebration of the temple, conducted on the auspicious birthday of the Lord, Ashtamirohini. Have you been to Kerala during this time? Since it is a festive time, the state will glitter in joy. Although being an off-season for tourism, you can watch many tourists arriving Kerala for the exclusive watch of these festivals like boat races especially along with Athachmayam and other rituals. To attract them, more package itineraries are included this time focusing on certain tourists like people from Bangalore and Pune. The natives of Bangalore are more inclined to the technical world but are highly religious and jovial. What they seek most is the food in Kerala; this time they can get it with more pleasure as Vallasadya is here, where devotees are fed with Kerala meal having 45 dishes. Along with a sacred delicious meal in the temple premises, it is a chance for them to enjoy the boat race. Hence, various Kerala tour packages from Bangalore with low rate are including the visit to Aranmula village during Onam season. Around one lakh people will be attending the feast and you can ask for any dish, which will be served to you. Actually, this feast is arranged specially for the participants of the boat race or the crews of Palliyodans (snake boats). The legends say that during the ancient period the rice and other agricultural products were transported by driven boats on Pampa River to the King’s palace. Once a boat carrying these products got struck on the bank of the temple. Nobody could make it move even the soldiers of the king. The king asked his astrologer upon whom it was cleared that a Brahmin family is starving during Onam and is not able to cook anything due to poverty. They have prayed to the Lord and it is the magic of the god himself who made the boat to get stuck. The king decided to give a part of the products to the family even then the boat did not move. Then on further inspection, they came to know that there are more families there who are starving. The whole product in the boat was distributed to all families. Thus after this incident, the mass feast was arranged to the devotees during Onam, never letting anyone to stay empty stomach during Onam. The oarsmen will come in a boat to the temple and the feast is for them.
Aranmula Boat Race
After the incident of the Brahmin family, king dedicated to conducting boat as a token of respect to the deity. For the participants of the race, it is not just the matter of competition but they are actually celebrating the anniversary of the installation of the idol in this temple. Various snake boats or more commonly the Palliyodams where decorated and is head by a chief to control the oarsmen. After the morning, rituals in the temple and seeking blessings from God each team will set for the race. A great kind of spirit is aroused in everyone when they row the boat. Even the spectators will entertain the oarsmen by singing Vanchipattu. Thousands throng the banks of the river Pamba to watch the race exclusively. Thus during seasons, by checking the Best Kerala tour packages price, it is evident that these are not just thrilling the natives but is equally influencing the travel concepts of people from different places of the world.
Aranmula Kannadi or Mirror
One famous aspect of the village is its unique mirror named Aranmula Kannadi. Unlike other mirrors, it is made using a unique combination of an alloy of copper and tin. There are families around the temple who are expert in making these mirrors. They have been doing this work for centuries and with much perfection. According to them, any flaws in making the mirror are considered undesirable and will bring bad omen. It has no glass surface and it is really worth. Devotees used to take these homes and believe that keeping this in the home can bring prosperity. A tedious work is behind its construction.
Your trip to this holy village will be a worthy and soon check the availability to trip Kerala during this time, enjoy the big feast and behold the energetic boat race in the river Pamba.