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Kerala Snake Boat Race The Joy Of Winning

The boat race of Kerala, India, which is commonly known as Vallam Kali in the vernacular form, is a traditional form of canoe racing, mainly conducted during Onam festival, which is a major celebration in Kerala during August-September, when the Singham month falls as per Kerala Calendar. It occurs during harvest season, when people are in a very happy and sporty mood with lot of produce around them establishing their prosperity.

Vallam Kali races are of many kinds of paddled longboats, and one of them called Chundan Vallam which means Snake boat is considered a major event.

There are other types of boats which participate in the boat races of Kerala, such as Churulan Vallam, IruttukuthyVallam, OdiVallam, VeppuVallam or VaipuVallam, VadakkanodyVallam, KochuVallam etc.

The renowned boat races

There are about 25 boat races conducted in Kerala during Onam season, of which few are very popular, such as

  1. AranmulaUthrattadiVallamkaliheld atAranmula, Pathanamthitta, which is the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala. In this race, the golden lace at the head of the boat, the flag and the ornamental umbrella at the center make it a show of pageantry to

  2. President's Trophy Boat Race is another popular Vallam Kali held on the Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam on November 1 every year, which marks the birth of Kerala as an Indian State.

  3. Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a Vallam Kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, conducted on the second Saturday of August every year.

  4. Pampa Boat Race is the one organized on the Thiruvonam day at Neerattupuram, which is the only boat race scheduled on this festival day

  5. Kallada Boat Race held on the Kallada River at Munroe Thuruthu on 28 days after Onam, which is conducted along the long stretch of Kallada River

  6. Thazhathangadi Boat Race organized at Kottayam

  7. Champakulam Moolam Boat Race which is the oldest and most popular vallam kali held on the River Pamba on Moolam day of the Malayalam month Midhunam, to mark the installation of Ambalapuzha Krishna temple deity.

  8. PayippadJalotsavam is a water festival of three days conducting snake boat racetraditionally.

  9. Kumarakom Boat Race held in the month of September every year, in which more than 1,000 oarsmen participate.

  10. Gothuruth Boat Race is held from the year 1938, and it is conducted in the river Periyarat Ernakullam

Other Boat races

There are a dozen or so Boat Races conducted in Kerala, at various locations, such as Alappuzha, Pulinkunnu, Neerettupuram, Karuvatta, Kumarakom, Mannar,Kottayam, Thazhathangadi, Kottapuram, Kodungallur, Kochi Kaithappuzha, Karunagappally etc. mostly during monsoon times and large number of tourists visit these places to witness these races.

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