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Aranmula Boat Race

The Aranmula Boat Race the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala, the south western State of India is held during Onam (August-September). It takes place at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full-throated singing and shouting watched by an exciting crowd.  In 1972,snake boat races were also added to the program of the festival. Thousands of people gather on the banks of the river Pampa to watch the snake boat races. In 2009 forty onesnake boats or chundan vallams had participated in the festival. The oarsmen sing traditional boat songs and wear white mundu and turbans. The golden lace at the head of the boat, the flag and the ornamental umbrella at the center make it a show of pageantry too.

A number of colourful festivals rich in traditions are held at Aranmula temple every year. The most important festival is the traditional palliyodam regatta (boat festival). Three important events take place in which the Palliyodams participate. All these are solemn religious custom and there were no competitive races.

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