Kerala is the land of beaches and backwaters which is an indication how famous water sports are in the state. Boat races are an integral part of Kerala and traditionally they are called “Vallam Kali”. Vallam Kali or snake boar races in Kerala are considered to be the most prestigious and vigorous water sports in the country. You will hear about different kinds of boat races with their individual history and significance. In the history of Kerala, boat races were the medium to settle disputes between chiefs and kings. In this article, we have jotted down the most incredible boat races in Kerala organized during festive occasions.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The most famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala is held in the Alappuzha area in the Punnamada Lake. Organized on Saturday of the second of August each year, this popular boat race has got an exciting history behind. In 1952, our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala and was welcomed by the happy faces of Alleppey locals with their giant snake boats. As he sailed through the waters, he was highly impressed by the work of boat men.
Out of excitement and happiness, he gifted the winners with a trophy. It was from this day that the event is named as Nehru Trophy Boat Race and is celebrated every year with same enthusiasm. The race course covers 1.4 kilometers in the Punnamada Lake.
Aranmula Boat Race
It is the oldest boat race in the state held every year during Onam. It is a two day festive occasion organized in Aranmula, close to the temple dedicated to Arjuna and Lord Krishna. The boat race is held every year during the last two days of Onam celebrating the establishment of the Sri Parthasarthy Temple. Aranmula Vallam Kali is a kind of ritual dedicated to Arjuna and Lord Krishna. It battracts tourists from all round the globe to see the 25 huge conventional palliyodams housing 25 vocalists, 100 rowers and 15 helmsmen taking part in the boat race. In case you missed the chance of experiencing the spectacular boat race this year, make flight bookings in advance with Indian Eagle for the upcoming year.Kallada Boat Race or Kallada Jalotsavam
Kallada Jalotsavam or Kallada Vallam Kali is another spectacular boat races in Kerala organized in the Kallada River in Kollam. Held on the 28th day after Onam, most of the popular chundan vallam take part in the traditional event. The race course is in Kallada River – Muthiraparambu – Karuthrakadavu course visible from the beautiful Munroe Island. Veppam Vallams and Iruttukuthi take part in the race with other snake boats. The winners are awarded with Kallada Rolling Trophy and prize money of 1 lakhs.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race
The fourth name on our list is the popular Champakulam Moolam Boat Race held in the Pampa River every year at Champakulam. It is organized Midhunam’s Moolam day according to the Malayalam Calendar. It is the first boat race in the Monsoon season with a traditional history. It marks the day years back when the idol of Lord Krishna was brought into the Shri Krishna Temple on a boat. Before the boat race begins, the boats in the lakes are decorated and covered with colorful umbrellas and a group of artists perform welcoming Lord Krishna. The rowers sing their traditional song Vanchipattu on the decorated boats.
Payippad Boat Race
As said, there are spectacular boat races held in Kerala and Payippad Boat Race is one of them. Organized in the Payippad River in Allapuzha, it is a 3-day celebration during the Onam festival in August or September. The event is celebrating in memory of the day when Lord Subramanian idol was installed in the Haripad Subramanya Temple. Payippad Boat race is the only snake boat race in Kerala held for 3 consecutive days involving the second largest number of participants (first is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race). It is not just the boat race that makes the event wonderful but the splendid water exhibitions as well.
Summing it up, these were the most thrilling boat races in Kerala. Plan a trip to God’s Own Country during monsoons and experience the adrenaline rush you get by seeing the amazing boat races.
Author: The Fashion and City
Hi!! I am Swarupa. A fun loving girl, Leo, trend follower, mad for fashion, desert lover and most important a crazy animal lover.