Kerala Boat Race

Things that make Kerala a unique destination to explore are its Boat Races. Boat Races are among the grandest traditions still alive and thriving in Kerala. God’s Own Country, Kerala, is renowned for its Boat Races. These races have been a part of the tradition and culture here since ancient times. As the popular attractions of Kerala, Boat Races here are perhaps the most vigorous, prestigious and community oriented water sports in India. Kerala Backwaters play host to several boat races held every year, and each has its own story of origin. These boat races are a spectacle that needs to be experienced to be believed.

Champakkulam Boat Race
Boat Races are Kerala’s identity, and Champakkulam Boat Race is the oldest Snake Boat Race in the state. The Pampa River plays host to this race held in Champakkulam, a village in Alappuzha district. The race takes place in the month of June or July, and draws crowds in large numbers. This is the event that kicks off the boat racing frenzy which takes over the State for the next few months.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the prominent boat races in Kerala. Held on the second Saturday of August every year, the Boat Race attracts tourists from around the world. Held at Punnamada Lake, nearly 100ft long boats compete against each other. During this time, the entire region comes to life with ceremonial water processions and gorgeous water floats.

Aranmula Boat Race
Also known as the Aranmula Uthrittathi Vallamkali, the Aranmula Boat Race is among the ancient boat races of Kerala. This Boat Race is renowned for its grandeur and unique history. The heritage village of Aranmula is nestled in the banks of the river Pampa in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The snake boats used for this race are called Palliyodams. The design of the boat is credited to Lord Krishna himself, the chief deity at the Aranmula Sree Parthasarathy Temple.

Thazhathangadi Boat Race
Another popular boat race of Kerala is the Thazhathangadi Boat Race conducted in Meenachil River in Kottayan district. The festival is conducted during the Onam season (the harvest festival of Kerala). This is one of the oldest boat races of Kerala that sees the participation of majestic snake boats, churulans, oadis and irrutukuthies (varies types of boats) etc.

Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race
Every year, River Pamba plays host to the Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race that is held during Uthradam, one of the most auspicious days of Onam. There is a wide participation of locals as well as tourists thronging the banks of the river. The serene water of the River Pamba is transformed into a race track. The water sport witnesses a participation of more than 100 oarsmen in snake boats.

Karuvatta Boat Race
Karuvatta Boat Race is held as part of the Onam Celebrations. The race is held in the leading canal near the Thottapally spillway at Karuvatta in Alappuzha district. Locals and tourists gather to watch these 100ft boats compete against each other. These beautiful boats are diligently crafted by highly skilled artisans.

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