South Indian Beat


Aranmula is a picturesque village by River Pamba 55 kms South East of Alleppey, Kerala. The village is almost equidistant from both Trivandrum and Cochin international airports, the closest being Trivandrum. Declared as an international tourism destination by the Union Government, Aranmula is famous for its Aranmula Kannadi (metal mirrors), the centuries' old Sree Krishna Temple, the unique ritualistic feast of `Vallasadya', and famed Aranmula Boat Race and the list goes on. The areas or sites of interests in and around are

Parthasarathy Temple

Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple is an ancient place of worship dedicated to Krishna in the form of 'Parthasarathy', Arjuna's charioteer in the battle of Kurukshetra in The Mahabharata. This ancient temple is one among the 108 shrines referred to in the hymns of Alwars as sacred to the Vaishnavites. Legend has it that the idol which is worshipped at Aranmula was originally installed at Nilakkal near Sabarimala by Arjuna, the third of the Pandavas. The temples by the other Pandavas are all within a radius of less than 40 kms from Aranmula.

Aranmula Boat Race

The Aranmula Uthrattathi Vallamkali is the oldest river carnival in Kerala. It is held during the festival of Onam (August-September). It takes place at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The traditional 'Palliyodams' or snake boats move in groups up and down the river to the rhythm of full-throated singing of traditional songs known as 'Vallappattu'. The regatta is performed as an offering to Sri Parthasarathy and thousands of people gather on the banks of the river Pampa to watch it. 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. Palliyodams are Aranmula's unique snake boats which devotees hold in reverence, considering it as the divine vessel of the presiding deity in Sree Parthasarathy temple.

Konni Elephant Camp

Konni is a popular training centre for elephants in Kerala. Located in the district of Pathanamthitta, it is a major centre of tourist attraction in Kerala, and attracts visitors in large numbers throughout the year. Situated about 11 kms from Pathanamthitta, the main attraction at the elephant-training centre at Konni is the huge cages built of wood to house elephants. This massive wooden cage is locally known as Aanakoodu and can accommodate three to four elephants at a time.

Aranmula Kannadi

Aranmula is home to the unique metal mirrors - the Aranmula Kannadi. The mirrors are special in that they use a special, traditionally made metal alloy instead of glass. The composition of the alloy is a well kept secret within the artisan community who make the mirror. Aranmula Kannadi is one among the eight auspicious items in the 'Ashtamangalya' set, believed to bring prosperity and luck to those who keep it at home.

Vastu Vidya Gurukulam

Vastuvidya Gurukulam in Aranmula is a famous institution under the Department of Culture, Government of Kerala that functions to promote and preserve traditional Kerala architecture. The Mural department of Vastuvidya Gurukulam has taken up the task of preserving old murals. It also undertakes new mural painting works.

Niranam Church

Church is believed to be among one of the seven-and-a-half churches originally established by St.Thomas (52AD) in Kerala. This church displays a marked influence of ancient temple architecture and is a renowned centre of worship for the Christian community. The St.Thomas art gallery here is another major attraction. From Aranmula it's about an hour drive to get to this church.

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