Aranmula is a unique heritage town in Kerala. Located at a distance of around 116 km from the capital city of Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram, the place is situated on the banks of the holy river Pampa.Aranmula is a pilgrimage centre from time immemorial and was a prestigious trade post when the river was the chief mode of transport.
The main attraction here is the Vallam Kali or the Snake Boat Race. The place is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO and is one of the most sacred sites for the Hindus.It is home to the temple dedicated to Lord Parthasarathy along with a large network of other temples and sacred groves around it.
With fertile wetlands known as Puncha, the rich biodiversity and a soothing climate make the place a perfect model to showcase the eco-friendly culture of Kerala. The region has a rich stock of ground water which feeds the river Pampa and its estuaries such as the Vembanad and many others.
Best Time To Visit Aranmula
The place boasts a very pleasant climate throughout the year and can be visited anytime during the year. To witness the true energy of the place, it is best to visit during Onam or the Uthrittathi Vallamkali.
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How To Reach Aranmula?
By Air: Trivandrum International Airport it the nearest airport from here which is at a distance of 117 km from here. The airport is well-connected to all the major cities across the country and also has a connectivity to a few places abroad.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Chengannur, which is located at a distance of 11 km from here. The station has a good number of trains to various parts of the country such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and other major towns and cities across the state and the country.
By Road: One of the best ways to reach Aranmula is by road. The place has an excellent connectivity by road and has regular buses which ply from various destinations across the state and some from Bengaluru.
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1. Visit Sree Parthasarathy Temple
The Parthasarathy Temple here is considered to be one amongst the 108 Divya Desams or temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations across the country.
The temple is constructed in the Kerala style of architecture and the presiding deity is Lord Krishna in the form of the charioteer of Arjuna, and hence is known as Parthasarathy.
The idol installed in the temple is believed to be brought by the Pandavas in a raft made out of 6 pieces of bamboo and hence the place got its name as Aranmula or six pieces of bamboo.
As per legends Arjuna is said to have constructed the temple, to redress the sin he committed of killing Karna in the battlefield which was against the rule of killing an unarmed enemy.
Lord Krishna here is seen as Annadhana Prabhu or the Lord who provides food. It is believed that those who conducts the Annadhanam here, would not be affected by poverty throughout their life.
2. Visit Aranmula Kottaram Or Palace
Built around 200 years ago, the palace is also known as Aranmula Vadakke Kottaram. The place is the halting point of the Thiruvabharana Yatra at Aranmula. The Thiruvabharana Yatra is the traditional journey of carrying the holy jewels of Lord Ayyappa from Pandalam palace to Sabarimala temple, which takes place every year in the month of January.
The palace is one of the best examples of the Nalukettu form of Kerala architecture which is based on the concept of the traditional vasthu sastra.
3. Witness The Snake Boat Race
The annual snake boat race which is held in the Pampa river is known as Uthrittathi Vallamkali, which attracts not only the locals but also people from across the globe. The race is held amongst the 52 karas or villages who own a snake boat, which are considered to be the vehicles of Lord Parthasarathy.
The snake boats are called as Chundan Vallam which is considered to be holy and is worshipped with all due respect by every individual irrespective of their religion, caste, creed, etc.
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4. Purchase The Aranmula Kannadi
The Aranmula Kannadi or mirror, is the metal alloy mirror made here which is very different from normal glass mirrors. The metal alloy mirror has its front surface as the reflecting mirror which eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations are seen typically at the back surface of the mirror.
The exact metal used in the preparation is unknown to people and is maintained as a family secret amongst the craftsmen. The mirror has received a GI tag in the year 2004, which means that you will be able to get this unique mirror only here and nowhere else.
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