Kerala's Snake Boat Race Starts Tomorrow

News in Asia
Kerala's Snake Boat Race Starts Tomorrow

The annual Vallam Kali, traditional boat races and one of the main tourist attractions in Kerala, India, will kick off tomorrow, August, 10 with the major chundan vallan race. 

Races will take place through the months of August, September and October with the final President’s Trophy Boat Race scheduled for November, 1, in Kollam District.

Kerala boat races selebrate the monsoon season in the state showcasing Kerala's beautiful scenery, lakes and rivers. The races take place in different districts and locations of the state to allow locals and visitors to enjoy the event on a variety of backdrops. 

The major attraction of the festival besides the races themselves are the snake boats, or chundan vallom. Depending on the district, teak or anjili tree wood is used for building the boats. Each boat is intricately decorated and bears characteristic motifs of the community that owns it. 

This year, nine teams will be competing in the races. There will be 12 races in total: Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Pulinkunnu, Thazhathangadi, Piravom, Marine Drive, Ponnani, Kainikari, Karuvatta, Kayamkulam, Kallada races and the President’s Trophy Boat Race.

Kerala's boat races date back to the 13th century when a war boat named Chundan Vallan was built. Today, each of the about 30-35 metre long snake boats carry between 64 and 128 paddlers.

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