Haripod Travel

Harippad is located 5 Km from Payippad which is world famous for the Payippad Boat Race. Harippad is the nearest railway station to Payippad and the most convenient place to stay when you travel to Kerala to see the oldest and most popular snake boat race in Kerala. This event is closely connected to the Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalappuzha. The race is held on the Payippad River on the Chathayam asterism of the Malayalam month Chingam, (August-September) the day of the installation of the deity at the Temple. The annual boat race will held this year on 17th September 2005.

Legends say that Maharaja Devanarayana of Chempakasseri, as instructed by the royal priest, built a temple at Ambalappuzha. But just before the installation of the deity he was informed that the idol was not auspicious. The king was disturbed, but his minister suggested an inspired solution. To bring down the beautiful idol of Sree Krishna - presented to Arjuna by the Lord himself, from the Karikulam temple in Kurichi.

The minister with a few others went to Kurichi, met the authorities there and returned with the idol. On the way back they stopped at Champakulam to spent the night and perform a pooja. The next morning boats from the entire region assembled to escort the idol in a colourful, ceremonial procession through the lake to the Temple.

Years later the pageant is still re-enacted with the same enthusiasm. An exotic procession of water floats, boats decorated with colourful parasols and performing arts greets the spectator before the race. The race proper is held in various stages for various categories of boats.

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple (32 km south of Alappuzha): Situated near Harippad, this is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a brahman family, headed by a priestess. The ancient shrine is an internationally renowned pilgrim centre dedicated to the Serpent God Nagaraja.

Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi are the beloved consorts of Nagaraja. It is believed that Nagaraja as the installed diety is endowed with the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and the spirit of Lord Shiva. Legend has it that the first priestess of Mannarasala gave birth to a five-headed snake, which is believed to reside in the ancestral house to safeguard the family.