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Boat Festival in Kerala: When to see, Things to do at Snake Boat Race during Onam festival

India TV News 2019-09-10 18:39:25

Boat races are among the most celebrated and important part of the Onam festival. Called Vallam Kali in Malayalam, it is a form of canoe racing for which people turn up in huge numbers. Snake shaped boats are used to compete with each other while singing songs in full volume. Boat races are the beauty of Onam festival and occur during the auspicious 10 days of August-September.

The snake-shaped boats, also called 'chundanvallam' are up to 100 feet long and go ahead by rowing in perfect rhythm in the backwaters of Kerala. 

History of the Snake Boat Races

It is stated that the snake boat battle goes down over 400 years in history.  It is said that the battles started back in the time of kings of Alleppey (Alappuzha) who used to fight with each other in boats along the canals. The birth of snake boat happened when one king asked the boat architects to build him a better vessel after experiencing huge losses. 

Important dates for Boat races 2019 are listed below:


Nehru Trophy Boat Race: August 10, 2019 (postponed to August 31, 2019).
Uthradam Thirunal Pamba Boat Race: September 10, 2019.
Payippad Boat Race: September 13, 2019.
Aranmula Boat Race: September 15, 2019.

Champions Boat League 2019


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