Kerala is very famous for its backwaters and lagoons. These water bodies are suitable for conducting various water sports. The famous water sport activity conducted in Kerala is the boat race. There are numerous boat races conducted in Kerala, which are so popular that tourists from other places come to enjoy the race. It is one of the major tourist attractions and is part of the tradition of Kerala. The boat races are conducted mainly as part of some festivals like Onam, harvest festival, temple festivals etc. Some of the races conducted here are associated with decades old myths and legends.
There are different types of boat categories that participate in the boat race. Some of them include Snake boats called Chundan Vallams, Veppu Vallams, Iruttukuthi etc. The main attraction of all the boats is the Chundan Vallams. The boat races conducted in Kerala are examples of the communal harmony of the people in those areas as people irrespective of caste and religion participate in the boat races. There will be around 100 oarsmen in the boat and it is a spectacular sight for the people gathered to watch this event. The boat festival season begins with the Champakulam Moolam Vallamkali.
Some of the major boat races conducted in Kerala are
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Aranmula Boat Race or Aranmula Vallomkali is held during the Onam festival during the months August / September. It is held from the river Pamba in Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district. It is from near the famous Hindu temple Aranmula Parthasarathy temple that this boat race is conducted. http://kerala.me/fes_aranmula_boat_race.php”
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Champakulam Moolam Boat Race or Moolam Vallamkali is conducted on the Pampa River and is held on the Moolam star of the Malayalam month Midhunam. Champakulam boat race is the first boat race of the harvest season and marks the beginning of the boat races in Kerala. This is the oldest boat race conducted in Kerala.To see more follow the link:-http://kerala.me/fes_champakulam_boat_race.php”
Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a popular snake boat race held in the beautiful Kochi Lake and is conducted by the Department of Tourism of Kerala. This race marks the ending of the Tourism fair and is attracted by a huge crowd. The trophy given to the winning team is named after the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. http://kerala.me/fes_indira_gandhi_boat_race.php”
Kallada Jalotsavam or boat race is a famous Vallam Kali held in the Kallada River at Munroe Thuruthu. It is conducted on the 28 th day after Onam. http://kerala.me/fes_kallada_boat_race.php”
Kumarakom boat race also called as Sree Narayana Jayanthi boat race or Kannetti Guru Jayanthi boat race is conducted at Kottathodu in Kumarakom. It is conducted in memory of the social reformer Sree Narayana Guru on the Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi day which falls on the Chathayam star of Malayalam month Chingam. http://kerala.me/fes_sree_narayana_jayanthi_boat_race.php”
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular boat race conducted on the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. This vallom kali is held annually on the 2nd Saturday of August. It is conducted in memory of Late Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. http://kerala.me/fes_nehru_trophy_boat_race.php”
Payippad boat Race is held in Payippadu River, a tributary of Achankoil River near Harippad in Alappuzha district. It is conducted in the Onam season in the Malayalam month Chingam that falls in August / September and lasts for 3 days. http://kerala.me/fes_payippadu_vallamkali.php
The President’s Trophy Boat Race or Ashtamudi boat race is a famous boat race held in the Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam district. It is held in the Malayalam month Chingam on Atham star that marks the beginning of Onam season.http://kerala.me/fes_presidents_trophy_boat_race.php