Friday, July 6, 2007

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race This boat race is the oldest and most popular vallam kali (snake boat race) in Kerala state of south India. The race is held on river Pampa on the moolam day (according to the Malayalam Era M.E) of the Malayalam month Midhunam, the day of the installation of the deity at the Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple.

The Legend

King of Chempakasseri, Devanarayana, built a temple at Ambalappuzha as instructed by the royal priest, but just before the installation of the deity he was informed that the idol was not auspicious.

The vigraha (idol) had be installed, the only solution to which was to bring idol of Sree Krishna from the Karikulam temple in Kurichi. This idol was believed to be given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna himself. After getting the idol from Karikulam temple and returning back to Ambalappuzha the kings minister and others stopped at Champakulam to spend the night and perform a pooja.

The next morning boats from the entire region assembled to escort the idol in a colourful, ceremonial procession through the lake to the Temple. Years later the pageant is still re-enacted with the same enthusiasm. An exotic procession of water floats, boats decorated with colourful parasols and performing arts greets the spectator before the race. The race is held in various stages for various categories of boats.

No comments: