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Don't Miss The Boat Races in Kerala 2016!

Written By: Siji Ram

The backwaters in Kerala is one of the plenty of reasons that tourists flock in to the state from across the globe. The boat races held here are the largest team sport around the world, and is also one that attracted locals and foreigners alike!

Here are some of the boat races in Kerala 2016 that are not to be missed if you're on a trip to this haven any time around Onam!

Nehru Trophy boat race

Nehru Trophy boat race in Kerala
Photo Courtesy: Sivavkm 

1. Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2016

Date: August 13th

Among all the boat races held in Kerala, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race that happens at the Punnamada lake near Alappuzha is the most popular one that attracts a lot of audience. Women's boat races are also held here. The highlight of the event is the races of Chundan Vallams (snake boats).

Nehru Trophy boat race

The boat race in full swing!
Photo Courtesy: Manojk 

This boat race was earlier named as 'Prime Minister's Trophy'. Later, in 1969, it got renamed to Nehru Trophy Boat Race.

2. Payippad Boat Race 2016

Date: September 16th

Payippad Boat Race is one of the oldest and popular boat races in Kerala. It is held annually at the Payippad river in Alappuzha district. After the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, it is in this boat race that the most number of snake boats or Chundan Vallams are used.

The even is made colourful by water pageants, apart from the races of the snake boats.

boat races in kerala

Boat races are a sight to marvel!
Photo Courtesy: Sivavkm 

3. Kumarakom Boat Race 2016

Date: September 16th

During the festival of Onam, Kumarakom boat race is held at Kumarakom backwaters on Sree Narayana Jayanti. The race is held to commemorate the arrival of Sree Narayana Guru in 1906, when he was welcomed to the place by villagers who accompanied him in boats to celebrate the event.

Though snake boats are also for race, the iruttukuthi boats are given more importance than the majestic Chundan Vallams.

boat race

Boat races are a major atraction of Kerala
Photo Courtesy: Manojk 

4. Aranmula Boat Race 2016

Date: September 17th

Aranmula boat race is organised at river Pamba in Aranmula of Pathanamthitta district. The race takes place on the star Uthrattathi in the Malayalam month Chingam.

Around 48 Chundan Vallams take part in this fiesta. The oarsmen sing traditional boat songs as they race along in fervour.

These boat races are organised in Kerala around the season of Onam, one of the traditional festivals of Kerala. Specially designed boats are used for them such as Churulan Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam, Kochu Vallam, Vadakkanodi Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, etc. The Chundan Vallam or the snake boat is the most popular among the boats used for races, for its attractive shape and the huge size.

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