Information about Aranmula Snake Boat Race 2023

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About Aranmula Snake Boat Race

EventAranmula Snake Boat Race
DateSep 02, 2023
Main AttractionThe Snake Boat Race festivities during the Onam festival.

Aranmula Snake Boat Race or Aranmula Vallamkali is an annual boat race held in Aranmula district, Kerala during the Onam festival in the month of August-September. The snake boats assemble near the Parthasarathy Temple before the race begins as its origin is attached with this temple. Festivities take over the whole town as well as the waters. The boat race is famous worldwide and has become an icon of Kerala, attracting thousands of tourists every year during the festival of Onam.

As an important celebration, the grand snake boats of Aranmula, described as 'Palliyodams' shape an age-old temple ritual. The participants who take part in this race compete not just for winning, but to celebrate the anniversary of the Sri Krishna Idol installation which is the most important deity at the Parthasarathy temple. The race is carried out on the River Pamba in-front of the temple to celebrate and remember the voyage of Lord Krishna on the river.


This annual boat race during Onam attracts tourists from all over India and the world. The snake boats are called Palliyodams and their structures resemble snakes. These boats are around 100 ft in length, have narrow fronts with raised hoods and rear portions towering at a height of around 20 ft. The people take much pride in the boat which represents their village. Each year the village carpenter performs repairs to the boat and oils it with fish oil, coconut oil, carbon, etc to keep the wood tough and the boat slippery on water.

Around 40 boats participate in this annual event and each boat accommodates about 120 people including helmsmen, oarsmen and singers. Colorful and vivid flags are set on the boat's head and colorful parasol in the center offers a beautiful spectacle. The race begins in the afternoon after the morning prayers and rituals. Songs called Vanchipattu'' are sung during the races. Groups of men and singers who sing stridently in a rhythmic manner gather along the banks of the rivers and in snake boats. The speed and the graceful rhythmic movements of the boat offer an amazing show.


Last Updated on : January 27, 2023



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