So, this is one of the best parts of your stay in Kerala. Every year, for few months especially during the monsoons, Kerala organizes boat races that sees some of the most traditional colorful snake boats competing against each other.
Now, before you think of this race or boat to do anything with snakes then, fear not because the name is only used due to the shape of the boats participating in this unique race. More or less known as ‘Chundan Vallam’ is a traditional war boat canoe-styled mainly used by the people of Kuttanadu region. A typical snake boat can go up to 120 feet in length and every village here have their own team and snake boat, which they happen to take great pride in.
So, every year they compete against each other and rest, is combination of festivals and celebrations, which is a site to reckon. What may seem like any other ordinary race has actually a long history behind it! The snake boat race goes back to a history more than 400 years old. It was during the era of Alleppey Kings, who used such boats to fight with each other along the canals. The boats they used were not architecturally fast and good, which is why after suffering several losses he called the best craftsmen to design him something better and this is how the tradition of ‘snake boat’ came into existence.
“Where are the races held?”
Most of the races every year are held in and around Alleppey in locations like Punnamda Lake, Champakkulam – 15 Km from Alleppey, 22 miles from Alleppey at Payippad and we cannot forget the great Aranmula boat race at Pampa river. Each of these races are held at particular occasions and thanks to Kerala Private Tours me and my mates didn’t miss anything. The energy, enthusiasm and the friendly rivalry at these races is a sight to reckon.
“Getting there”
The nearest airport is about 53 miles/ 85 kilometers away from Alleppey. Apart from that Alleppey has its own railway station, which will be easily accessible from Ernakulam. Thankfully, due to our advance booking with Kerala Private Tours, our journey was smooth and less-tiring. From Aranmula, the nearest railway station is Chengannur with a distance of 10 Km between them. If you wish to travel around the region, then taxi would be a better option as I don’t think the buses here would be our cup of tea.



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