The famed Champakulam Moolam boat race held on July 12 in the expansive Pampa River close to Champakulam village in Alapuzha district marked the official begin of Kerala’s snake boat racing season that can have vacationers flocking to the backwaters of Central Kerala, the place most of the races are held. Considering the muted proceedings in the final two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers and boat golf equipment hope to revive the famed frenzy round snake boat races this season.
Popularly known as Vallamkali, boat races start proper after the first part of monsoon with the Champakulam boat race. Traditionally, the races are carried out throughout the harvest season and are sometimes related to the Onam pageant throughout the August-September interval.
Here is a list of the main races:
Kumarakom boat race
Location: Kumarakom, Kottayam district
Nearest railway station: Kottayam (15 km)
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (78 km)
Date: September 10, 2022
While most boat racing occasions in Kerala are both ritualistic or purely aggressive, Kumarakom race, aka Sree Narayana Jayanthi boat race, is to commemorate the nice social reformer Sree Narayana Guru. He is stated to have visited Kumarakom in 1903, in a boat from Alappuzha. The race celebrates the reminiscence of this go to.
As half of the occasion, a grand processession of nation boats carry the Guru’s portrait from Sree Kumaramangalam Temple, which the Guru established, to Kottathodu, the venue of the race. It is normally held on the Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi day.
Nehru Trophy boat race
A snake boat competing in the 2019 Nehru Trophy Boat Race
| Photo Credit: VIBHU H
Location: Punnamada, Alappuzha district
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha (7 km)
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (83 km)
Date: September 4, 2022
Arguably the most prestigious and watched race of the season, it is normally held on the second Saturday of August yearly and a giant quantity of folks collect on the banks of Punnamada Lake to look at 100 ft lengthy snake boats racing to the tune of previous boat songs. However, this yr, it is going to be held on September 4.
As the identify of the trophy suggests, the first race was held in 1952 when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was on a go to to Alappuzha. He is stated to have been so thrilled by the sight of the majestic snake boats that he leapt onto one of the snake boats, Nadubhagam Chundan, ignoring his safety cowl. After returning to Delhi, he donated a silver duplicate of a snake boat on a wood abacus. Hence the identify Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
Location: Payippad, Alappuzha district
Nearest railway station: Haripad (5 km)
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport (115 km)
Date: September 8 to 10, 2022
Held to commemorate the set up of the idol at Haripad Subramanya Swamy temple, it is carried out on the Payippad river close to Payippad village in Alappuzha district. The three-day water pageant usually hosts the largest quantity of snake boats after the Nehru Trophy race. This yr, the main race might be on September 10.
Aranmula boat race
Aranmula boat race
| Photo Credit: JAYAKRISHNAN OMALLOOR
Location: Aranmula, Pathanamthitta district
Nearest railway station: Chengannur (10 km)
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport (115 km)
Date: September 11, 2022
This is the oldest river boat pageant of Kerala, and is extra of a ritual than an precise race. It is believed that way back marauders from the hills attacked the boat that set off from Kattoor Mana carrying provisions for the feast to be served at the Aranmula Parthasarathy temple on the day of Thiruvonam. When the native households in the neighborhood of the temple got here to learn about it, they set off in their boats, chased off the attackers and accompanied the Thiruvonathoni (Thiruvonam boat) to the temple. Every yr, the Aranmula Vallamkali pageant recreates that legend. The precise race is held on the Uthrittathi day, the day after Thiruvonam.
President’s Trophy boat race
Location: Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam
Nearest railway station: Kollam (1.5 km)
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport (67 km)
Date: November 26, 2022
One of the remaining boat races of the season is additionally one of the largest with a golden-plated trophy and a high prize of ₹10 lacs awaiting the winner. It is held in November on a 1250 m lengthy water column in the expansive Ashtamudi lake in Kollam, and is the remaining race of the Champions Boat League that kicks off with Nehru Trophy.
Champions boat league
Snake boats compete in fifth leg of the 2019 Champions Boat League (CBL) organised by Kerala Tourism at Marine Drive in Kochi, Ernakulam district
| Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT
In this annual sporting occasion involving 12 races, organised by Kerala Tourism to preserve and promote boat racing, the snake boat staff with the most factors after the remaining race wins the league. The league kicks off with the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha, and ends with the President’s Trophy Boat Race in Kollam.
The debut version, flagged off by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in August 2019, featured 9 groups. Tropical Titans (historically, Pallathuruthy Boat Club) had gained by scoring 173 factors, adopted by Raging Rowers (Karichal) and Mighty Oars (NCDC Devas).
This yr, moreover the 12 races, there may also be an allied competitors that includes small boats on the Chaliyar river in Kozhikode district.
Schedule of 2022 races in the order they’re held:
- Nehru Trophy | Punnamada, Alappuzha | September 4
- Thazhathangadi, Kottayam | September 17
- Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha | September 24
- Piravom, Ernakulam | October 1
- Marine Drive, Ernakulam | October 8
- Kottappuram, Thrissur | October 15
- Kainakari, Alappuzha | October 22
- Karuvatta, Alappuzha | October 29
- Pandanadu, Alappuzha | November 5
- Kayamkulam, Alappuzha | November 12
- Kallada, Kollam | November 19
- President’s Trophy | Ashtamudi lake, Kollam | November 26
For updates and reserving tickets: Champions Boat League web site