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Updated: September 4, 2009 21:05 IST

Aranmula in festive mood, annual regatta tomorrow

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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In this file photo the 50-year-old 'amaram' (head) of Jawahar Thayamkari, the snakeboat that has won several prizes in past races, being moved into a shop that sells antiques in Kochi.
In this file photo the 50-year-old 'amaram' (head) of Jawahar Thayamkari, the snakeboat that has won several prizes in past races, being moved into a shop that sells antiques in Kochi.

With 48 hours left for the annual snakeboat regatta, the temple village of Aranmula on the banks of river Pampa is in a festive mood.

Palliyodams (snakeboats) passing through the river course and people attending the sumptuous ritualistic feast, Vallasadya, at the centuries’ old Sree Parthsarathy Temple have become a regular feature. Cricketer Srisanth too was among those who have offered Vallasadya at the temple on Friday. Vallasadya is a unique feast at the Aranmula temple during the festival month of Chingom and not less than five Vallasadya are being served at the temple premises daily.

Earlier, on the first day in the Malayalam month of Chingom, renowned playback singer, K.J.Yesudas, had offered Vallasadya to the crew of six snakeboats as his offering to the presiding deity. The Palliyoda Seva Sanghom, organisers of the snakeboat regatta, is making hectic preparations for the smooth conduct of the annual event. The main pavilion is getting ready at the PWD Sathram complex on the banks of the Pampa. river

District Collector, T.T.Antony, accompanied by engineers attached to Water Resources Department, inspected the race course in the forenoon.

Though water level in the race course have gone up due to rainfall, the Water Resources department has made arrangements to release water from the Maniyar dam of Pampa Irrigation Project (PIP) as and when necessary.

PIP authorities attached to Water Resources department have opened the Maniyar dam shutters early in the morning as part of a trial run releasing water into river Pampa to raise the water level in the race course of Aranmula boatrace.

Meanwhile, the mud bankremoval work in the race course has been completed facilitating the free movement of snakeboats during the race and boat pageantry.

The Collector will hoist the festival flag at the Sathram complex on Sunday forenoon.

Union Minister for Tourism, Kumari Selja , will inaugurate the annual snakeboat regatta at 1.30 pm. PSS president, K.V.Sambadevan, said that the Minister for Home and Tourism, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, would

preside over the inaugural function.

According to PSS president K.V.Sambadevan, as many as 41 Palliyodams will take part in the pageantry followed by race to be held in `A’ and `B’ batches. The procession of Palliyodams in the water stadium in Pampa will begin at 1.30 pm, he said.

He said PSS will deploy15 divers and three speed boats along the race course, besides a team of Indian Coast Guards, on Sunday.

Mr Sambadevan said seven short circuit cameras would be installed along the race course, from the starting point to the finishing point. A team of experts attached to Southern Naval Command in Kochi will stage a helicopter show above the race course, 200 metres away from the VIP pavillion, on Sunday afternoon. The PSS would also honour P.J. Kurien, Congress(I) chief whip in the Rajya Sabha and P.S.Nair, Central Travancore Development Council chairman on Sunday for their contributions and support for the cause of Aranmula Vallamkali, Mr Sambadevan said.

Traffic diversion

Meanwhile, District Superintendent of Police, K.K.Chellappan, said vehicular traffic on the Kozhippalam-Aranmula stretch of the Chengannur-Kozhencherry Road would be diverted via Kozhippalam-Iykara junction Road from 12 noon to 7 pm on Sunday.

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