Snake Boats

Snake boats, also known as 'chundan vallams,' are traditional long and narrow boats used in the boat races of Kerala. These boats have a unique design, with a raised prow that resembles the hood of a cobra, and can be up to 100 feet long, carrying up to 100 rowers. Here's a brief history of snake boats in Kerala, their importance, and some of the famous boat races that feature these boats.

Snake boats have been used in Kerala for centuries, and are an integral part of the state's culture and heritage. They were originally used as war boats by local kings, and were later adapted for racing during temple festivals and other cultural events. Today, snake boat racing is a popular sport in Kerala, with communities and villages competing against each other in a display of strength, skill, and teamwork.

Snake boats are an important symbol of Kerala's culture and heritage, and are recognized around the world for their unique design and impressive size. The boats are made by skilled craftsmen, using traditional techniques and materials such as jackfruit wood and coconut fiber. Each boat is named after a Hindu god or goddess, and is considered a sacred vessel that must be treated with respect.

Famous Boat Races:

Nehru Trophy Boat Race: This is the most famous boat race in Kerala, and features several snake boats competing on the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha. The race was started in 1952 in honor of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who visited the region and was impressed by the traditional boat races.

Aranmula Boat Race: This is another popular boat race in Kerala, and is famous for its traditional snake boats. The race takes place on the Pampa River in Aranmula, and is held during the Onam festival, which usually falls in August or September.

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race: This is one of the oldest boat races in Kerala, and features several snake boats as well as smaller canoes. The race takes place on the Pamba River in Alappuzha, and is held as part of the Champakulam Moolam festival, which celebrates the installation of the deity at the local temple.

Payippad Boat Race: This boat race is held on the Payippad Lake in Alappuzha, and features several types of boats, including snake boats. The race takes place during the Onam festival, and is known for its fierce competition and exciting finish.

Indira Gandhi Boat Race: This boat race is held on the backwaters of Kochi, and features several snake boats competing against each other. The race was started in 1955 in honor of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and is held annually during the tourism week celebrations.

These are just a few of the many boat races in Kerala that feature snake boats. Each race has its own unique traditions and history, and offers a thrilling spectacle that is not to be missed.

List of Snake Boats of Kerala like Karichal Chundan.

Chundan Valloms of Kerala listing, information, websites.

There are many snake boats or Chundan Valloms belonging to different villages and also owned by private parties in Kerala participating in various boat races during the Onam season.