Snake boat Race is a sporting event on the backwaters of Kerala that draws large crowd.
Usually, a snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100-125 oarsmen, who row in unison to the fast rhythm of Vanchipattu (song of the boatman). Join the excitement and the thrill of the boat race by crowding around the water's edge and cheer along. Watch these magnificent fiestas bring alive the tranquil backwaters. Many interesting myths are tagged with this exciting sport event.
Snake boat races are held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival in August/September. Scores of long snake boats and other smaller crafts participate in these events. The largest team sport in the world, the snake boat races are preceded by colourful water parades.This mesmerizing event draws hoards of enthusiastic tourists from all over the world.
These huge wooden boats will be painted in vibrant colors that add to the festivity of the milieu. Shaped like massive snakes with their prows shaped like open snake jaws, these boats offer a visual treat. If you happen to visit Kerala in the month of August you can be part of the fun and frenzy of one of the most famous snake boat races held in Kerala - The Nehru Trophy boat race. Held every year on the second Saturday in the month of August, it is a must see activity. The fast drum beats and boat songs set off the spectators and the oarsmen into a frenzy of activity.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular snake boat race held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha.
Other important boat races are:
President's Trophy Boat Race
The President's Trophy Boat Race is held on the Ashtamudi lake on Atham day which marks the start of Onam Celebrations in Indian state of Kerala.
This is the most popular of the races to be held during the season of the harvest festival Onam in Autumn on ashtamudi lake in Kollam district of Kerala. It is an annual event extravaganza. The course of the boat race will be from the Thevally Bridge, across Ashtamudi Lake, to the Kollam boat jetty, near the Kollam Kerala State Road Transport Corporation KSRTC bus depot
Kallada Boat Race
The Kallada Jalotsavam is held on the Kallada River at Munroe Thuruthu on 28 days after Onam (28 th Onam) in Indian state of Kerala. The boat race is conducted along the straight portion (Nettayam) of Kallada River. Famous achievers in various fields are honoured during the event.
Indira Gandhi Boat Race
The Indira Gandhi Boat Race is an annual boat race conducted in Kochi, Kerala, India. It is conducted in the last week of December in the Lake of Kochi, by the Department of Tourism of the state of Kerala. This boat race is one of the most popular vallam Kali (snake boat race) in Kerala. The trophy of the race is named after Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race
The Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is the oldest and most popular vallam kali (snake boat race) in Kerala state of south India. The race is held on the River Pamba on Moolam day (according to the Malayalam Era M.E) of the Malayalam month Midhunam, the day of the installation of the deity at the Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple.
Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali
The Aranmula Boat Race the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala, the south western State of India is held during Onam (August-September). It takes place at Aranmula, near a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full-throated singing and shouting watched by an exciting crowd.
Payippad Vallaarattu, or Jalotsavam, is a three day water festival conducted in Payippad Lake, 35 km from Alappuzha district of Kerala state in south India. There is a close relation between this Payippadu Vallam Kali and Subramanya Swamy Temple in Haripad.