Chambakkulam Boat Race : The Chambakulam Boat Race
Venue: At Harippad about 32 km
from Alappuzha, south Kerala.
One of the most popular snakeboat races of Kerala, the Chambakkulam Moolam Vallomkali is conducted on the Moolam day of the Malayalam month of Mithunam (June/July). The exciting event breaks the tranquility of the quiet backwater countryside which is fresh and green after the monsoon showers. A hundred robust oarsmen man each snakeboat, their powerful arms moving in unison to the rhythm of the Vanchippattu (boatman's song). It's amazing to watch the 100 ft long snakeboats knife through the waters scattering a mist of spray in their wake.
The snakeboats of Kerala are so called because of the raised prow that resemble the hood of a snake. Thousands of people crowd the banks to cheer the boatmen on. At least eight snakeboats participate in the race. Kerala has numerous varieties of country crafts each one designed for a particular purpose since time immemorial. There are races for boats of every category right from the largest to the smallest craft.
The boat races, more than competing events, are festivals in the backwater country. The race proper is preceded by a ceremonial procession of waterfloats, gaily decorated canoes with dance and music aboard them, and the buzzing crowds...
Getting there: There are frequent boat services
in the Alappuzha - Edathua - Ambalappuzha route covering Kuttanad.