Information and Tips on Boat Races in Kerala
Boat races in Kerala have always belonged of the custom and culture. There are instances in the history of Kerala when disagreements in between kings and chiefs were settled by boat races. Popular boat races like Nehru Trophy Boat race are yet another reason that the tourists are brought in towards 'God's Own Country'. A variety of groups from various regions take part in boat races, which are organized every year. These races are arranged specifically during temple celebrations, which offer this water sports an aura of spiritual sanctity. A few from these races are ancient and have different myths and legends attached to them. These races are more popular in Alappuzha and nearby areas but here is a list of annual boat races that are organized at different tourist locations in Kerala.
The Snake boat races, frequently understood by the locals as Chundanvallams, are the one which are most popular. A snake boat (or chundan vallam) is actually a long standard canoe style boat used by the people of the Kuttanadu region, in south India's state of Kerala. Normal snake boats are 100 to 120 feet long, and hold around 100 rowers. Each of the villages in the area has its own snake boat, which they take terrific pride in. Every year the villagers gathering and race the boats along the lakes and rivers.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The Nehru prize boat race on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, held on the second Saturday of August every year, is the most competitive and most popular of all the boat races in Kerala the race performed on the second Saturday of August every year is a major traveler destination.
The history of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is associated with the visit of late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India to Alappuzha. He chanced a trip from Kottayam to Alappuzha by boat, through water logged Kuttanad. A pageantry of boats accompanied him on the journey. The very first race was an impromptu as soon as conducted in 1952 in honour of Panditji who visited Alappuzha. Because race of snake boats, Nadubhagam Chundan stood first.
Panditji, who was delighted and delighted in the efficiency of the oarsmen, delved into the Nadubhagam Chundan, forgetting all security arrangements. The boat proceeded to the boat jetty carrying the Prime Minister. On his return to Delhi in December 1952, Nehru contributed a Silver Trophy, which is a reproduction of a snake boat put on a wooden abacus. This prize later became understood as Nehru Trophy.
Popular Boat Races in Kerala
Pulinkunnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race
It is on the Pulinkunnu River and would be held on last Saturday of August. It is about 20 km from Alappuzha town on the Alappuzha-Changanacherry route
Neerettupuram boat race
It would be held during Onam season (August/September) at river Pampa. It is near Edathua, about 30 km from Alappuzha town
Champakulam Moolam boat race
This boat race is the earliest and most popular snake boat race The race is hung on Pampa River on Moolam day (inning accordance with the Malayalam age M.E) of the Malayalam month Midhunam.
The Aranmula boat race
It is the oldest riverboat feast in Kerala and is held during Onam (August/ September). It occurs at Aranmula Parthasarathi temple
Payippad Vallaarattu or Jalotsavam
It is a three-day water celebration. It is conducted in Payippad Lake, which is 35 km from Alappuzha. There is a close relation in between this Payippadu boat race and Subramanya Swamy temple in Haripad
Sree Narayana Jayanthi Vallam Kali
The boat race is at Kumarakom and is held on the month of September every year during Onam festival
Indira Gandhi Boat race
It is boat race celebration celebrated in the last week of December in the backwaters of Kochi.
Kallada boat race
The boat race is a yearly occasion, which takes place 28 days after Onam. This boat race is hung on the Muthiraparampu-Karuvathrakadavu course of the Kallada River, Kollam district.