Boat Races Kerala
Boat races Kerala are considered one of the major water sports and major tourist attractions of Kerala. These boat races are organized every year by several religious and social organizations during temple festivals. Legions of participants take part from various districts. Some of the popular boat races in Kerala are as follows-
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race
This is an ancient and most popular race of Kerala which is organized on the Pampa River at Champakulam, Alappuzha. The story behind organizing this event is that as suggested by the astrologers, a temple was built by the Raja of Chempakasseri, Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan, at Ambalappuzha. And the idol that was placed in this temple was brought from Karikulam Temple in Kurichi on a boat. Later on, it was declared by the king that to commemorate this event, a boat race will be organized every year.
Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali
Dedicated to Lord Krishna and Arjuna Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali is the oldest boat race event that is organized in Kerala during Onam festival between August – September. Huge boats are used in this race and there can be seen four helmsmen, 100 rowers along with 25 singers singing Vanchipattu songs throughout this race. Boats are well decorated with golden lace, flags and ornamental umbrellas.
It is considered among the finest snake boat races. It is organized on the Payippad Lake which is 35km from the district of Alappuzha. There is a connection beween Payippad Jalotsavam and Subramanya Swamy Temple, Haripad. It is myth behind this race that before construction of Sree Ayyappan Temple, there was a vision of villagers that there should be placed an idol of Subrahmanya under a whirlpool that was found in Kayamkulam River. And villagers found it at exact location and then it was carried to its present location on a boat. Since then Payippad Jalotsavam is celebrated annually in order to commemorate the same event.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
This event is organized on the backwaters of Punnamada, Alappuzha. It is a rowing competition and several teams participate in this race. There is a myth behind this event is- when Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru visited this destination, a snake boat race was conducted and he greatly impressed after seeing the enthusiasm of participants and offered Nehru Trophy to the winners. Since then Nehru Trophy bearing silver model of a snake boat is given to the winners.