Mal: ആറന്മുള āṟanmuḷa

‘Six Bamboo (Boat)’  Town, Kerala

From Mal: aṟu, ‘six’; and  muḷa, ‘bamboo’.

The 6thC Parthasarathy temple here is named after Krishna in his role as Arjuna’s charioteer in the Bhagavad-Gita [Skt: pārtha, ‘ Pāṇḍava’, ‘Arjuna’; and sārathy(am), ‘charioteer’].

There is a legend that the temple’s statue was brought here on a raft made of six bamboos:  a tall tale to explain a puzzling name.

The raft was attacked  and local snake boats rushed to save it. The special snake boat race in the area was born. The Vallam Kali snake boat regattas [Mal: vaḷḷam, ‘canoe’, ‘boat made of one trunk’; and kaḷi, ‘play’, ‘game’] owe their origin to this and they are in themselves an offering SriParthasarathy.

Aranmula is also famous for its handmade metal-alloy kannadi mirrors [Mal:  kaṇṇāṭi, ‘mirror’, ‘glass’].

For related place names see Indian Place names and Kerala place names.


Aranmula Snake Boat Race

Aranmula Snake Boat Race          Arun Sinha