Sree Narayana Jayanthi boat race also known as Kumarakom boat race is conducted at Kottathodu at Kumarakom on Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi Day, which usually falls in August / September (Chathayam asterism in the Malayalam month of Chingam). The thrill of watching this adrenaline rushing sport is evident in the power- packed excited crowd.
Long and spectacular iruttukuthi boats and snake boats with more than hundreds of oarsmen rowing in the spirit of vanjipattu (boat song) will surely magnetize one to its magical vibe. The event is resplendent with unique poojas conducted in Kumaramangalam Temple and many other cultural programmes. The rowers strike the oars in unison with the rhythm and zest of the vanjipattu transforming the tranquil backwaters into a site of watery carnival.
Kumarakom boat race’s inception is rooted in history. Record pictures that Sree Narayana Guru (a social reformer from Kerala) visited Kumarakom in 1903 in a boat from Alappuzha accompanied by a procession of boats and consecrated the idol of Lord Subrahmanya at Kumaramangalam. Every year, the villagers celebrate his visit by conducting the boat race. On this very day a grand vibrant procession of boats carrying the portrait of Sree Narayana Guru from Kumaramangalam Temple to Kottathodu is also held.