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’].