Snake Boat Race In Kerala: Diving Into An Offbeat Keralite Experience

 In Adventure, Holidays, Kerala, Travel

Welcome to the enchanting world of Kerala, where traditions collide with the thrill of Snake Boat Races, creating a Bollywood-worthy spectacle. Just like a star-studded blockbuster, this aquatic extravaganza happens twice a year, leaving spectators in awe. As we embark on this cinematic journey through Kerala’s Snake Boat Race, let’s first dive into the “Kerala Tour Package” that offers you an exclusive front-row seat to witness this adrenaline-pumping event. 

But there’s more to Kerala than just these races – discover “things to do in Kerala” beyond the races that make this South Indian state a blockbuster destination. Join us as we unveil the magic of Kerala, where culture and competition dance on the serene waters!

The Significance of The Snake Boat Race In Kerala

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The Snake Boat Races in Kerala are not just mere competitions; they’re vibrant expressions of Kerala’s rich heritage and fierce team spirit. Imagine standing on the lush banks of Kerala’s picturesque backwaters, the air buzzing with excitement, as you witness these slender, serpentine boats slicing through the water. The races happen twice a year, but their significance lasts a lifetime.

These battles of the oars symbolize the deep-rooted traditions and unity of the local communities, each boat telling a unique story of Kerala’s history. They’re also a compelling reason to explore the captivating “places to visit in Kerala.” From the serene backwaters of Alleppey to the misty hill stations in Munnar, Kerala’s charm is irresistible.

Moreover, “hotels in Kerala” offer the perfect blend of luxury and authenticity, letting you indulge in the state’s warm hospitality. So, next time you plan a trip to this tropical paradise, make sure to schedule it around the Snake Boat Races. It’s an immersive experience that’ll leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for Kerala’s cultural tapestry.

The Origin Of The Snake Boat Race In Kerala

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Imagine yourself transported back in time, amidst the lush, palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala, India. As you explore the tranquil waterways and verdant landscapes, you stumble upon the intriguing history of the Snake Boat Races.

The Origins: The tale of the Snake Boat Races, a true symbol of Kerala’s vibrant culture, dates back centuries. These races aren’t just events; they’re a fusion of tradition, competition, and community spirit. Legend has it that these races began as a friendly competition between the various communities residing along the serene backwaters.

The name “Snake Boat” comes from the long, slender design of the boats, resembling the sinuous movement of a snake as they slice through the water. The original purpose was to determine the fastest boat among rival villages, much like today’s high-octane sport.

This aquatic tradition is deeply ingrained in the culture of Kerala, where unity and teamwork are paramount. The rhythm of the rowers’ synchronized strokes resonates with the beating heart of this mystical state.

As you delve into the history of the Snake Boat Races, you’ll uncover the tales of bravery, camaraderie, and the unbreakable bond between the boat racers. The races are a testament to Kerala’s unique heritage, and they continue to captivate and inspire, making them a must-experience activity in Kerala, along with exploring offbeat places and savouring the delectable Kerala cuisine.

The Participants

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These races, held twice a year, draw teams from diverse communities across the region, each with a unique story to tell. At the heart of the action are the oarsmen, often called “oars heroes.” Their unwavering dedication and impeccable teamwork are what make the Snake Boat Races truly exhilarating. 

These athletes, hailing from various villages, put their blood, sweat, and tears into rigorous training, transforming their bodies into formidable paddling machines.

But the participants are more than just oarsmen. Each team is a microcosm of the local culture. Captains steer the massive snake boats, and singers lend a melodious touch, keeping the rhythmic pace. The excitement is palpable as villagers cheer for their beloved teams, adding an electric atmosphere to the races.

The diversity of participants truly reflects the inclusive spirit of Kerala, where Snake Boat Races bring people together, celebrating tradition and unity through the thrill of the water.

Suggested Read: Kerala Travel Tips

The Atmosphere During The Race

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The atmosphere during the Snake Boat Race in Kerala is nothing short of electrifying! Picture this: thousands of eager spectators lining the banks of the serene backwaters, their excitement palpable in the air. As the rhythmic drum beats signal the impending showdown, you can feel the anticipation building, heartbeats syncing with the hypnotic rhythm.

The sun-kissed waters reflect the vibrancy of the event, creating a sparkling canvas for the impending spectacle. Each boat is a work of art, with glistening paint and ornate decorations, a testament to the pride and tradition of the participating communities.

The air is thick with the aroma of delicious Kerala delicacies, tempting your taste buds with local flavors. As the race begins, the cheers from the crowd are deafening, making it impossible not to get caught up in the fervor. The energy is infectious, and you’ll find yourself cheering along, lost in the adrenaline-pumping experience of the Snake Boat Race in Kerala. It’s not just a race; it’s a celebration of culture, tradition, and unbridled enthusiasm.

Things To Do Beyond The Snake Boat Race In Kerala

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Beyond the exhilarating Snake Boat Race in Kerala, the state beckons with a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered. Here’s a quick checklist of things to do that will immerse you in the vibrant tapestry of Kerala:

Explore Hill Stations: Head to Munnar, the ‘Kashmir of South India,’ and savor the lush tea plantations and breathtaking landscapes. Visit Wayanad, another gem among Kerala’s hill stations, for its misty forests and wildlife sanctuaries.

Savor Local Flavors: Delight your taste buds in Kerala’s restaurants, offering a delectable array of authentic cuisines. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the spicy seafood, delectable appam and stew, and the traditional Kerala Sadya feast.

Retail Therapy: Embark on shopping in Kerala‘s bustling markets, where you can pick up souvenirs, spices, and handwoven textiles. Kerala’s vibrant street markets are the perfect places to haggle for unique finds.

Beach Bliss: Unwind on the golden sands of the beaches in Kerala like the Kovalam Beach or Varkala Beach, and let the soothing waves wash your worries away. Explore the scenic beauty of Alleppey Beach and indulge in water sports and beachside activities.


Kerala’s allure extends far beyond the adrenaline of the Snake Boat Race. Whether you’re captivated by the serene hill stations, the diverse culinary landscape, retail therapy, or the tranquil beaches, Kerala promises a multi-dimensional experience that will leave you enchanted and eager for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Snake Boat Race in Kerala, and why is it famous?

The Snake Boat Race in Kerala is a traditional and highly renowned annual boat race. It’s famous for its vibrant cultural significance, competitive spirit, and the synchronized rowing of massive snake-shaped boats, attracting crowds and attention worldwide.

When and where are the Snake Boat Races held in Kerala?

The Snake Boat Races in Kerala typically occur during the monsoon season, from June to September. The most famous race, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, is held in Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August, while other races happen at various locations across Kerala during this period.

How are the Snake Boats constructed, and how many rowers do they hold?

Snake Boats, known as “Chundan Vallams,” are meticulously crafted from locally sourced materials. They’re traditionally made from a single tree trunk and can measure up to 100 feet in length. These boats typically accommodate over 100 rowers, creating a stunning visual spectacle during races.

Can tourists participate in or watch the Snake Boat Races?

Tourists can’t participate in the Snake Boat Races as team members, but they are welcome to watch these events. Kerala’s snake boat races are major attractions, and visitors can witness the thrilling races from designated viewing areas along the rivers and lakes.

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