PATHANAMTHITTA: The annual Aranmula Uthrittathi Water Festival, marking the idol installation anniversary of Aranmula Lord Parthasarathy temple, was held in the Pampa on Sunday. Braving the heat, thousands, including hundreds of women and children, thronged both sides of the river to witness the procession and race of palliyodams (snake boats), which began at 2.30 pm.
A total of 52 palliyodams, including 37 ‘A’ batch of bigger size snake boats and 15 ‘B’ batch palliyodams of smaller ones, participated in the water festival. Tourism and Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the festival. At the inaugural address, the minister promised all government assistance, including grant, to the Palliyoda Seva Sangham, the apex body of the palliyodam karas which conducts the water festival.
The government would initiate measures for the protection of the tradition and heritage of the centuries-old water festival held in the name of Aranmula Lord Parthasarathy, Kadakampally said.
Forest Minister K Raju flagged off the race of palliyodams. Palliyoda Seva Sangham president Krishnakumar Krishnaveni presided. Sangham secretary P R Radhakrishnan welcomed the gathering. Swami Golokananda of Sree Ramakrishna Ashramam delivered the benedictory address. Poet S Ramesan Nair was presented with the Ramapurathu Warrier award. Anto Antony, MP, handed over the award for Sasidharan Nair of Melukara for the veteran ‘vanchipattu’ singer. MLAs Veena George, Raju Abraham and Saji Cherian, NSS chief P N Narendranathan Nair, TDB chief A Padmakumar, member K P Sankaradas, district panchayat president Annapoornadevi, Collector P B Nooh, NSS registrar P N Suresh and NSS taluk union president C N Somanathan Nair spoke.
Melukara, Vanmazhy lift Mannam trophy
Melukara palliyodam (snakeboat) and Vanmazhy lifted the Mannam Trophy in the race for A and B batches, respectively in the annual Aranmula Uthrittathi water festival held on Sunday. Edayaranmula palliyodam won the second prize in the ‘A’ batch category while Thaimaravunkara bagged the second prize in the ‘B’ batch race. NSS president P N Narendranathan Nair presented the trophies to the captains of the first-prize winning boats. R Sankar Trophy, instituted for the most decorated palliyodam, was won by Edayaranmula.