“Look at my soul... so dainty! Listen to my heart... a symphony so divine! ”
“I came to Aranmula empty handed and left with a heart filled with music, arts and Indian culture,” said a visitor after her encounter with this sanctuary of aesthetics, spirituality and pastoral bliss situated in the southern state of Kerala. An experience far from mundane, Aranmula will be a holiday glorified with a hallow in your memorabilia - such are the elevating elements that constitute its environs!
Holy river Pampa girdles the verdant village and is intertwined with the culture and economy here. With lush green hillocks, paddy fields, rubber plantations, coconut groves, temples and churches - the hamlet mirrors an idyllic panorama. Aranmula is particularly famous for its unique metal mirror work, the Parthasarathy Temple and the annual snake boat race which has been taking place since the 14th century! This event has been devotedly nurtured by the Palliyoda Seva SanghaThe Palliyoda Seva Sangam (PSS) is a membership based organisation with two members from each of the 42 villages that own a palliyodam (snake boat). The PSS is responsible for the annual snake boat race that takes place on the day of the Uthruttadi star in Chingam month (usually between 15 August and 20 September). They have set up a museum in Aranmula to showcase models of boats, trophies, photographs of famous guests, etc. Also available here is a video of the race for guests who are cannot attend it. Even the recordings of the traditional songs (Vanchipaattu) that are sung by the oarsmen can be bought at the museum.
Several Institutions have been built up over the years to protect and energise Aranmula's artistic and natural wealth. The Vijnana Kala Vedi Set up in 1977 by a French lady, Ms Louba Schild who came to Kerala in 1968 and learnt Kathakali, with assistance from UNESCO and the Governments of India and Kerala, this centre has grown to be very popular in promoting Kerala's culture amongst foreign artists, researchers and culturally oriented tourists; preserving the traditional arts and crafts of Kerala in their natural and spiritual context; and also fostering the artistic education of youngsters in Kerala. Here you can learn two subjects from the list of 18 arts, crafts, languages and sciences. For more information, visit www.vijnanakalavedi.org
cultural centre offers an opportunity to study traditional arts, crafts and language of the region. The Aranmula Gram Panchayat (elected local administration) has taken up the task of solid waste management. Pampa Parirakshana Samiti Observing the cross sectional view of life in the Pampa Valley from the banks of river Pampa is an eye opener vis-Ã -vis the river's significance for the people and the cultural fabric. The Pampa Parirakshana Samiti was set up to build an understanding about the river's importance amongst the rural folk and underline the need to protect it. The PPS has been working with children especially so as to get them to take up the cudgels on behalf of the river.
is working towards protecting river Pampa. The Vastu Vidhya Gurukulam specialises in traditional architecture and mural paintings. At their Mural gallery, one can appreciate this ancient art as well as understand the processes by which it has come to fruition.