Kerala, known as God’s own country, has many water sport activities in its backwaters. One of the most famous and celebrated one is locally known as Chundanvallams. These are known as Snake Boat Races. The reason why they got the name is because of the length of the boats used in the races. There will be around 100 – 300 people rowing on either side to complete the race as soon as possible. These boat rides are organized in famous parts of Kerala such as Alappuzha and Punnamada. Some of the most famous ones are listed down below with the details about it. Read on.
One of the first Boat Races which are most ancient in Kerala is known as the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race. This lengthy boat resembles a huge cobra with its hood raised. Sometimes the length of these boats is almost 100 ft. These ancient boat races are organized on the river Pampa in Alappuzha, Kerala.
This boat race is organized over a three days’ period. One of the finest boat races in the world is organized on Payippad Lake, like its name, which is around 35 km far from Alappuzha. Haripad’s Subramanya Swamy Temple and the Payippad Jalotsavam are closely interconnected. There is a legendary story behind starting this boat race. Every year it is organized to celebrate the event.
This is an annual Boat Race that is organized on the beautiful backwaters of Alappuzha precisely Punnamada, Kerala. There are several teams who take part in this competitive rowing race and the winner of the takes away the Nehru Trophy. History has it that when Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala, he witnessed the rowing event. That is when he awarded the winners of the rowing competition with the Nehru Trophy. Ever since there is a silver symbol of a snake boat on the Nehru Trophy given to the winners.
This Kerala Boat Race which is dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna takes place at the time of a special festival of Kerala known as Onam. The boat race is organized in the calendar months of August /September and in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam. The boats are massive consisting of 100 rowing people and four helmsmen. The specialty of these boat races is that there are 25 singers singing through the race. They sing Vanchipattu songs in the boats decorated with gold lace, a flag, and ornamental umbrellas. In local slang these snake boats are called Palliyodams.