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Payippad Boat Race

Payippad Boat Race

Payippad Boat Race

Kerala is renowned not only for its natural beauty, but also for is fascinating boat races held across the state during different seasons. The Payippad Boat Race is one such race, which is organized annually in the small village of Payippadu in Kerala. Believed to be one of the oldest boat races held in the state and is organized annually during the ten day long Onam festival.

The Legend Of Payippad Boat Race

According to legend, the origin of the Payippad Boat Race is deeply related to Shri Subrahmaniya Swami Temple located in Haripad near, Payippad. It is said that the residents of the village of Haripad, once took the decision of constructing a temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. However, just before installing the statue of Lord Ayyappan in the said temple, the villagers received divine enlightenment instructing them to install the idol of Shri Subrahmaniya Swami instead.

They were further informed about the presence of an idol of the deity beneath a whirlpool in River Kayamkulam. The obedient devotees of the village of Haripad, then sent divers and swimmers to the said location to retrieve the divine four handed idol of Subrahmaniya Swami, which wa sta one time worshipped by Parasurama.  

The idol was then brought to the shore in the company of numerous country boats, where it was kept for public viewing before being installed in the newly constructed temple. It is believed that the Payippad Boat race has been held annually since then to commemorate the  occurance of this legendary event.

Celebration Of Payippad Boat Race

The Payippad Boat Race, which is also known as the Kerala Payippad Jalotsavam, is generally a three day long water sports event. It is the second most popular annual boat race event of Kerala, after the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which is organized across the Punnamada Lake. The Payippad Boat Race takes place across the river of the same name and attracts thousands of visitors who are mesmerized by the charming charm of exuberance and magnitude of the event.

Although, as the name suggests, boat races are the main attraction of the event, it also features various cultural and folk performances, which are generally organized by the local administration. The most mesmerizing of the races, is the snake boat race, which features teams of more than 100 people, consisting of oarsmen and musicians, competing in 100 feet long boats, with extreme skill and co-ordination.


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