Kerala, nicknamed Gods own Country is a land blessed with all sorts of attractions. The green meadows of Kerala are an added positive to the state’s external beauty. Geographically sound and sturdy is Kerala’s structure. The southern tip of India is blessed with a lot of water bodies and surprisingly events which took place in water were always a thrill for the Keralites to enjoy.Boat race is one among them and the most interesting.
It is a yearly event that takes place in the backwaters of Alappuzha. Taking over the ancestral culture and heritage of the Keralites, boat races are one of the thrilled events that ever occurred in Kerala. It’s been over hundreds of years since boat races began and still they project the cultural harmony and unity of the society. Various types of boat races are there which includes the most prominent Aranmula boat race and the Champakulam race. Others are the Kallada boat race, Nehru boat race and the Payippadvellum kali to name a few. Nehru boat race as the name tells was inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959, the former prime minister of India.
It’s a pleasure to watch these long nosed beetles which move through swiftly and with great courage. The spirit of those in the boat at the time will be incomparable. It’s a game where a mix of courage and determination wins the race.
These races mix up a lot of factors like aggression, team work, technique and confidence in the apt proportion to get the desired results. Win or lose depends on matter of seconds. Some of the boat races can conclude in two or three days. The vibrant and colorful approach of several boats is welcomed with great enthusiasm by those diehard fans. The traditional race or the Vellamkali was held in the backwaters, the silent shallow waters of Punnamada Kayal in Alappuzha. Thousands gather in groups to watch the inaugural ceremonies and the race.
The Champakulam boat race is the first one to set its mark and follows it a series of races at different venues. It is also the oldest form of boat racing. After that follows the Aranmula boat race which is also a popular event. Boats known as “Palliyodams” are used for this race.
It occurs in the River Pamba. Thousands throng the riverside to watch and enjoy the atmosphere which will be electric. The sequential movement of the boats to the tune of songs is an amazing view. Payippad boat race is also one of the major boat races held in Kerala. “Chundanvellams” are long nosed boats that are used for this race. It’s a splendid occasion for photographers to absorb this and convert to digitalized format because these are unexplainable rare moments of thrill and excitement. The glory and success stories are unpredictable as it’s a matter of who can regain that lost power in that final moment. The scene of a boat race can provide agony and ecstasy among its several viewers.