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KERALA TOUR >> Festivals in Kerala

The Aaranmula Boat Race
The Aaranmula Boat Race is staged each year in the scenic village of Aaranmula in August/ September. This river carnival is part of the Aaranmula Temple festival. Masses throng the shores of the River Pamba to watch an imposing cluster of snake boats called 'Palliyodams'.
Boat Race
Aranmula Uthrittathi Vallomkali is conducted in the Pamba River in front of Sri Parthasarathi Temple. Though, large snake boats take part in this festival they do not race with each other. Instead, they row in union, to the accompaniment of songs and reach their destination together because Lord Krishna is believed to be present in each boat. Since 1971 this procession has taken the present form of a race conducted by the Palliyoda Seva Sangh.

Each boat, nearly 100 feet long, is a remarkable feat of craftsmanship, with the stem curved to resemble the hood of a snake and a tampering bow. Festooned with silk and gold spangled umbrellas, the boats are manned by a crew of more than 100 men.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Nehru Trophy Boat RaceNehru Trophy Boat Race, the annual water carnival at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha is considered as the biggest snake boat race in the world. The colourful boat pageantry, which precedes the boat race, is a marvelous treat to the onlookers. The snake boats with 100 to 120 oarsmen plough the waters to the tune of the legendary songs. Jawaharlal Nehru who was enthralled by the charm and gaiety of the water carnival instituted the Nehru Trophy. This boat race attracts a large number of tourists.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race is the most famous of the boat races of Kerala. This annual regatta is held on the Punnamada Backwaters of Alappuzha district on the second Saturday of August.

The event is a commemoration of the visit to this place by the late Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1952.

The spectacular races features magnificent snake boats or 'Chundans'. The boisterous and rhythmic boat songs or Vanchipattu work the spectators to a state of frenzy.

Onam Festival

Onam is a time for sports and festivities and in Kerala where one third of the area is low lying, covered with canals, lakes and backwaters; the people comes out with their boats and country crafts to celebrate. It is one of the greatest festivals of Kerala, which is celebrated unitedly without the difference of caste and religion.

OnamOnam is related with King Mahabali, a past ruler of Kerala, who was very nice and trueful. During his ruling time it is said that people don't even locked their house because , there was no thieves, no corruption, no betrayal. All facing a good time. At that time the Hindu lord Mahavishnu decided to test King Mahabali. He came to earth as vamana a poor dwarf, and went straight to King Mahabali, asking three feet of land to live as he had nothing. The king hearing this laughed and told Vamana to take three feet of land from where ever he wishes. Suddenly Vamana began to grow and he covered the whole earth by one foot and covered the sky with other foot. And asked Mahabali where is the space for the third foot. By seeing all these, the king understood that Vamana is not an ordinary person, and Vamana has come to test him so the king without hesitating showed his head to keep the third foot. Vamana kept his third foot on the King's head and the King was pushed down under the earth. The king after going under the earth, asked Vamana his true identity, Suddenly Vamana vanished and Lord Mahavishnu stood before Mahabali. The lord told Mahabali that he wanted to test Mahabali and he has won in that. The lord also asked Mahabali to ask any boon for himself. Mahabali told the lord that, he loved his people very much so he wanted permission to visit Kerala once in a year. And the lord gave permission for that. It is that day i.e, the day Mahabali visits kerala is celebrated as Onam.

Onam is celebrated when it's time to reap the harvest and is a celebration of ten days. People put flower mats in front of their houses, to welcome the King. Keralites all over the world will be celebrating these ten days with pomp and gaiety. They wear new dresses and visit almost all temples which they can.


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