Aranmula boat race is the oldest river boat elaborate party or fiesta in the state of Kerala. This race is held in the month of August-September during Onam. It takes place in a grand manner at Aranmula. It is held near a Hindu temple that is dedicated to Lord Arjuna and Lord Krishna. In 2012, Aranmula boat race is scheduled to be held on September 2.
To the grand program of the Onam festival, snake boat races were added in 1972. It is to be noted that lakhs of people gather on the banks of the popular river Pampa in order to watch the snake boat races. It is to be remembered that during 2009, 41 chundan vallams or snake boats had largely participated in the event.
Watched by an exciting cheering crowd, the snake boats move in pairs to the shouting and to the rhythm of full-throated singing. The oarsmen or boatmen wear white mundu and turbans. They wholeheartedly sing the traditional boat song of the region. The show of pageantry like scene is witnessed because the snake boat has a flag, the golden lace at the head of the boat and the ornamental umbrella at the center.
It is to be noted that from Trivandrum, capital city of Kerala, Aranmula is just about 128 km. This town is situated on the banks of the river Pampa. The popular temple at Aranmula is wholeheartedly dedicated to Sree Parthasarathy of Lord Krishna who was the divine charioteer of Arjuna. According to the Hindu religious scholars and historian the age of this temple is nearly 1700 years.