Aranmula boat race to be held today

Three palliyodams to take part

As many as 120 persons on board three palliyodams (snakeboats) will take part in this year’s Aranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali (boat race), to be held in the Pampa at Aranmula on Wednesday.

According to the Palliyoda Seva Sangam (PSS) that organises the event, the palliyodams taking part in the event, namely Maramon, Kozhencherry and Keezhvanmazhy, were selected through a draw of lots.

They are slated to reach the temple ghats at Aranmula by 10.45 a.m. and will be accorded a grand reception.

No persons without the identification card provided by the PSS will be permitted to embark the boat, while the oarsmen will not be permitted to go ashore during the event.

In three legs

The race will be held in three legs respectively from the temple ghats to Sathrakadavu, from Sathrakadavu to Parappuzhakadavu and from Parappuzhakadavu to the temple ghats again.

The races will be held along with the rendition of the traditional vanchipattu (boat songs) in praise of the presiding deity at the Aranmula temple. A decision to hold the annual regatta symbolically with just three palliyodams was made during a meeting convened by the State government last month.

Notably missing from the event will be the festive atmosphere as the participation of public has been restricted for the second year in a row.

Prior to the pandemic, up to 5,000 persons on board 52 snakeboats had attended the event, which also drew a huge number of tourists to the banks of the Pampa.

Meanwhile, the famed vallasadya at Aranmula will be held on August 30. The oarsmen of the three snake boats will be served with the traditional feast in three different venues.

Vaccinated

Only those who have taken two doses of vaccine and also producing COVID-19 negative certificates after undergoing RT-PCR test within 48 hours will be permitted to attend the ritual.

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