Major Boat Races and Snake Boats
Zonkerala Articles -> Major Boat Races, Types of Boats, Structure and Ownership of Snake Boats
Major Boat Races in Kerala :
There are many popular boat races in Kerala. They are :
There are different types of boats participating in the boat races like
Chundan Vallams (Snake Boats), Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi
Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam) and Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu
Vallam. The most popular race is the Snake Boat race in any Boat Race,
including Nehru Trophy Race. In Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the trophy is
presented to the winners of the Snake Boat Race.
The snake boats are about 100 feet in length, with a raised stern(about 15
feet) decorated with a flag and brass ornaments.Silken parasols are
arrayed along the entire length of the boat. The boat has the resemblence
of a snake and thus the name. There will be about 95 oarsmen, 5 Amarakkar
(Controllers) and 10 'Nilakkar' (persons supposed to enhance the vigour
and enthusiasm of the articipating oarsman). These boats are made from a
single tree trunks, usually Kadampu and Anjili.
Most of the race boats belong to the people of the locality. Even single owner boats are hired by people of a locality to participate in the boat races. They spend lakhs of rupees for participating in the boat races. It is considered as a matter of pride to the people of the locality to win a boat race for their land (referred to as 'Kara'). The rowing of the snake boats require a good amount of talent, training and team work. In the boat races the oarsmen should row according to the rhythm of 'Vanchi Pattu' (songs). This is not an easy task.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race Logo :
Every year, Nehru Trophy Boat Race logo is selected from entries received
from the public by a committee. The winner is presented with a cash prize
of Rs.2000/- and free pass for the race.
Tickets are available from various Govt. Offices of Alappuzha, Ernakulam
and Kottayam District and from the Office of the District Tourism
Promotion Council and Tourism Office Alappuzha. The tickets are available
at various rates like Rs.1000, Rs. 500, Rs. 200, Rs. 100, Rs. 75, Rs. 50
and Rs. 20.