Enthralling backwaters, gorgeous beaches, traditional temples, ever-green forests and a delightful climate, make the state of Kerala, a paradise on earth. No wonder, it is one of the states where we can see tourists irrespective of the season.
A visit to this paradise, particularly to Alappuzha, during the months of August and September can give you an exceptional experience. The eminent boat race of the river Payippad, neighbouring Alappuzha, is an ostentatious event which is held between August and September, every year. This much distinguished carnival is three day long and is deeply allied with Sri Subramanian Swami Temple of Haripad.
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History of the race
The ancient temple at the heart of Haripad belongs to 16th century and hence the boat race can be traced back to that era, making it one of the the oldest boat race of India. It is alleged that villagers had a dream of an Idol of Lord Subrahmanya existent in Kayamkulam Lake near the village. Trusting their vision, they went to the lake. A whirlpool appeared in the lake and a beautiful idol with four hands of Lord Subrahmanya was found there. Then the idol was taken out and was brought to the shore in a regal procession of country boats. It was installed in a temple at Haripad village. To commemorate retrieval of the idol, started a ‘Jalotsavam’ (a celebration with water) which gave birth to the present day boat race.
A feast to the eyes
Payippad boat race is a spectacle to behold as it has maximum number of traditional snake boats participating in it, next to Nehru trophy. The race between the adorned snake boats in deep backwaters, with a huge mass cheering the participants and the entire festive air will give you an exhilarating and intoxicating experience. It’s a great feast which will make you spellbound. After the race, several water pageants with ornate country boats shall be held, adding more allure to the three day event. Throughout the event, the place becomes pulsating and every visitor will be enchanted for sure.
Another striking feature of the Payippad Boat Race is the active involvement of everyone regardless to their caste and creed. It is a celebration that unites all the villages around the area of Alappuzha.
How to reach
Best way to reach is to take a flight to Kochi and then take a taxi or public transport to event venue at Alleppey.
Alternatively, you could reach Alleppey directly by train and then take public transport.