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A virtual tour of your city or town through pictures, including lesser known tourist traps

Updated on February 24, 2009

 

Boat races, as a sport signifies the excellent team spirit, integration and harmony of the people of Kerala. Boat races are held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival during August - September. Scores of long snake boats and other smaller crafts participate in these events. The race is preceded by colourful water parades.

 

A snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100-125 oarsmen, who row in unison to the fast rhythm of vanchipattu (song of the boatman). Thousands of people crowd the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish. The oldest of these events have curious legends and myths attached to their origin. Myths closely linked to the rustic people and their beliefs. The boat races are considered to be symbolic of the sea-faring and martial traditions of the early inhabitance of Kerala.

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Chundan vallams participate in the race along with scores of smaller crafts like the churulan, veppu, odi etc., with a prize for each category. There are separate races for women too. The race begins with a colourful pageant of floats, performing arts and decorated boats. And goes on late into the evening.

 

The  "Eroor-Chambakkara Boat Race" is conducted at the ChambakkaraLake in Ernakulam.  It is a festival for the people of Ernakulam. The boat race is conducted between Chambakkara & Thykudam bridges so that the public can view the boat race from the two sides of the canal. Exciting floats, shingarimelam, theyyam, kathakali, adventurous water sports demos and other cultural programmes usually follows the boat race.

Thripunithura is a small satellite town , located in Cochin (Ernakulam). In ancient days, the Royal Family of Cochin set up base here and administered from the city. The city still holds unmistakable marks of being the capital of a grandiloquent royal dynasty. The Atha Chamayam, a ritual started by the royal family still continues to be followed and national and international tourists flock in great numbers to participate in the event. Thripunithura is also called ‘the land of temples’. The city is famed for preserving its cultural legacy and is a center of learning for the performing arts of Kerala. It is in this small town, the boat races are held during Onam.

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    • profile image

      vijay 7 years ago

      I have heard about kerala boating race. while i was in school in our school our teacher teach the lesson about kerala boating race. first time i saw this beautiful race photo.

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image

      Carmen Borthwick 8 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Very interesting hub, learned things I didn't know of two minutes ago. Thanks.

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