Photo Credit : jerry john
Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race held at Kumarakom during Onam festival. More than 1000 oarsmen in boats of different sizes and shapes participate in the race.
In 1903 the Sree Narayana Guru arrived at Kumarakom to sanctify an idol of Sri Balasubrahmonia Swami at the Kumaramangalom Temple. Guru was more interested in starting a school at the backward village. Eventually, both the school and the temple were started as per the desire of the Guru. The arrival of the Guru was a great day of celebration for the people of the village and they welcomed the sage into their midst, accompanying him in their boats in a procession through Vembanad Lake. To remember this event, for the past many decades, a boat race, preceded by a boat procession are held as part of the Sri Narayana Jayanthi celebrations at Kumarakom.
The day begins with special pujas at the Kumaramangalom Temple. This is followed by Gurupuja and Gurupushpanjali at the Gurumandiram. Arts and sports competitions for children are held as part of the celebrations. By forenoon the Kumarakom boat race commences.
Prior to this, the grand procession of country boats carrying a portrait of Sree Narayana Guru and the thidampu from Kumaramangalom Temple is held up to Kottathodu, the venue of the boat race.
Even though snake boats participate in the Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race, Iruttukuthi , in which about 50 oarsmen on row is given the most preference. The successful Iruttukuthy wins the Sree Narayana Ever Rolling Trophy.
The celebrations conclude with a public meeting and distribution of prizes for the winners.