Kerala is the most unique, heritage-proud and welcoming destination you would have ever visited. It’s a place like no other that gives you a feel of home away from home where you can witness the grandeur of the region and its humble and down to earth people. Beyond the lure of its natural beauty, Kerala offers a banquet of rich cultural heritage, mesmerizing tourist destinations, remarkable festivals and activities that beckon tourists from all across the globe.
Kerala is now full of vim and vigor. Do you know why? Because its monsoon season here in Kerala, the season to witness the love of nature. The ravishing beauty of rain-soaked Kerala cannot be expressed in just words, it must be felt. Monsoon is also the season in which you can be a witness to the most spectacular snake boat races in Kerala. It is a visual retreat and is glorified as the pride of Kerala that happens in and around Alleppey which is proudly hailed as the “Venice of the East“, representing the rich culture and tradition of Kerala. The Boat Races, though dates back to many centuries, it is still alive in Kerala in its full grandness and pomp.
This water fiesta is exclusively dedicated to the picturesque state of Kerala. The tranquil backwaters of Kerala become lively and cheerful with the colourful and vibrant snake boat races. It is also an opportunity to witness the team spirit, bonding and friendliness of the people of Kerala.
Each and every boat races in Kerala are associated with various legends and myths which are greatly admired by the Keralites. These boat races are mainly held in connection with the harvest festival of Kerala, Onam which often falls between the months of August to September. A large number of snake boats which is popularly known as Chundan Vallom and other small boats also participate in this water carnival. It is truly a spectacular event to watch over 100-125 oarsmen rowing in unison to the fast rhythm of the “Vanchipattu” or boat song in the company of 4 helmsmen and 25 singers. The Vanchipattu has special power in spreading great excitement and life all around. And the spectators cheering for their favourite team creates an aura of a competitive sport.
Every year between the months of July to September, Kerala hosts this cultural extravaganza locally known as “Vallam Kali“. The Champakkulam Boat Race is lauded as one of the oldest snake boat races in the state. And it indicates the beginning of the season of boat races in Kerala. It is originally known as Champakkulam Moolam Vallam Kali and is held on the river Pamba every year on the Moolam day in the Malayalam month of Midhunam. The Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is one of the oldest and most popular vallam kali (snake boat race) after Aranmula Boat Race in Kerala. Champakkulam Boat Race is extremely popular and draws hundreds and thousands of tourists every year.
As per history, it is said that Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan who was the Raja of Chempakasherri, set up a temple at Ambalappuzha on the advice of royal astrologers. To his surprise, he was informed that the idol was not auspicious only before the installation of the deity (Lord Krishna). Accordingly, the priests advised the King to get the idol of Lord Krishna from the Karinkulam temple in Kurichi which is considered very sacred as it is believed to have been given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna himself. On their journey to Ambalappuzha, the king sojourned at Champakkulam. The next day, thousands of boats gathered at the place to honour the King and the idol and escort them to Ambalappuzha. To commemorate this event, the King decided to organize a water carnival at Champakkulam, which is now popular as Champakkulam Boat Race.
The scintillating river of Pamba embellished with huge, well-decorated snake boats having a length of 100 to 120 feet and carrying over 100 rowers is a remarkable sight to behold. The colourful Champakkulam Boat Race becomes lively and imparts a festive mood all around with the drumbeats and chanting of the boat songs known as Vanchipattu. Apart from fun and excitement, the boat race is a matter of pride for the corresponding village taking part in the competition and they aim at nothing less than winning the race. The boat races in Kerala has a special power in making you overwhelmed with great excitement and you will simultaneously cheer and applause watching the race.
This year, 2019, the Champakkulam Boat Race is going to be held on July 15. So, if you plan a visit to Kerala between the months of July and August, you can be a part of this spectacular water carnival as well as the world famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Aranmula Uthrittathi Vallamkali, Kumarakom Boat Race, etc.
Champakkulam, Alleppey, Kerala, India.
By Air: Cochin International Airport, about 98.2 Km.
By Rail: Alappuzha Railway Station, about 15 Km.
By Bus: Alleppey Bus Station, about 14.9 Km.
By Water: Champakkulam is well-linked to Alleppey, Kollam, Changanasserry, Kumarakom, Cochin, etc by boat service through the backwaters.
Witness Kerala’s most popular and the oldest Vallam Kali (snake boat race) – Champakkulam Boat Race, during your trip to Kerala, which is going to be held on the holy Pampa River at Champakkulam on July 15, 2019.