Home to a culture that is considered to be one of the richest cultures in the world, Kerala is one of the best-kept secrets of India. A culture in which the heritage of the land is proudly preserved in the hearths and hearts of all the people of the land, a study into the culture of Kerala is a fascinating tale of natural beauty coupled with an ancient heritage. Perhaps no other aspect of the heritage of Kerala exhibits it as much as do the various festivals in Kerala, notable among which is the Champakkulam Boat Race.
Time for celebrating the Champakkulam Boat Race
The Champakkulam Boat Race is all set to begin on July 15, this year. The festival, which is one of the most-awaited events in the calendar of Kerala, has an origin which dates back to centuries in time. This spectacular snake boat race is held on the River Pampa on the day of the ‘moolam’, which is followed in accordance with the Malayalam month of Midhunam. The day is considered to be especially sacred as it is the day when the Deity at the AmbalappuzhaSree Krishna Temple was installed.
Description of Champakkulam Boat Race
The Champakulam Boat Race is held in accordance with a legend which is strongly adhered to by the people of Kerala. According to the legend, the king of Chempakasseri in Devanarayana, under the influence of instructions, provided to him by the royal priest erected a temple in his kingdom. However, just before the installation, he was informed that the idol was not auspicious. To make amends, the king brought the idol of Sree Krishna from the Karikulam temple in Kurichi, which legend claimed was handed over to Arjuna by Lord Krishna himself. It was during this journey that the king made a stopover at Champakulam. The next morning saw thousands of boats assembled at the site in a riot of colors in order to honor the sacred event and to escort the idol home
It is this scene which is enacted in this part of the world every year and which is known as the Champakkulam Boat Race.