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Champakulam Boat Race


Traditional Kerala Snake Boat. Courtesy of Kerala Tourism
Courtesy of Kerala Tourism
6 Jul 2009 (annual)
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Kerala's winding stretches of backwater are famous for their native boat races, held during harvest. The centuries-old Champakulam boat race is the first of the season and marks the beginning of a month of festivities.
The celebrations include spectacular water floats, decorated boats, Vanchipattu (the song of the oarsmen) and the thrilling Chundanvallom race.

Chundans (snake boats) are an impressive sight, measuring over 100 feet in length, with a raised prow. They were called snake boats by the former colonial rulers, who based the name on a native boat found in Norway, although Kerala's Chundans bear little resemblance to their European namesakes.
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