The 117-year-old Chennithala Palliyodam (snake boat), one of the prominent boats that have been a feature of the Aranmula Uthrittathi Boat Race for more than a century now, is getting a facelift.
The Chennithala Palliyodam, which travels the maximum distance among the 40-odd boats that participate in the race, by covering over 80 km across the three rivers of Achenkovil, Kuttanperoor and Pampa to reach
the race venue, is undergoing the facelift after time took its toll on the boat. With the boat race to take place during Onam in August-September, the rare repair work on the boat is expected to do away with a few age-related difficulties that used to crop up during the journey towards Thiruvaranmula.
The work began on November 5 at a specially set up shed in the Anaklattu Mutt at Chennithala. With work ritually beginning on the boat in an upturned state, there will be a ceremony on March 18, the ‘Vallam Malarthal’, when the position will be changed and work on the top portion of the boat will begin.
Chengamkari Venu Achari, a renowned boat architects, is leading the team carrying out the repair and maintenance on the boat while Bhaskaran Karazhma is handling the iron work. The work is expected to be over in July, when the ‘Neetilirakku’ function will be held, office-bearers of the Chennithala South No.93 NSS Karayogam, the official caretakers of the boat informed.