Vallam Kali is a traditional Kerala boat race. It is a form of canoe racing in which paddled war canoes are used. It is primarily held in the springtime during the Onam harvest festival. Vallamkali is a race that features a variety of paddled longboats and ‘snake boats’. The Nehru Trophy costs approximately 6 lakh rupees to each player.

The main event is the chundan vallam race a ‘snake boat’ that is about 30-35 meters 100-120 feet long and has 64 or 128 paddlers on board. As a result, the snake boat race is also known as Vallam Kali and is a popular tourist attraction. Churulan vallam, iruttukuthy vallam, and kochu vallam are some of the other types of boats that compete in the competition.

  • History :

During a feudal war in Kerala in the early 13 th century between the feudal kingdoms of kayamkulam and Chembakassery, King Devnarayana of Chembakassery commissioned the construction of a war boat known as Chundan Vallam and tasked it to a famous Carpenter of the time. As a result, the technical methods for making these snake boats date back to the eighth
century. The Parthsarathi chundan is the oldest of the snake boats still in service today.

Vallam kali has traditionally been performed during the autumn harvest festival Onam. The main event is the chundan vellam run. Vallam Kali also includes races of various other types of traditional Kerala paddled longboats, and is one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions.

  • List of periodical vallam kali events:

1) Alappuzha’s Punnamada Lake hosts the Nehru Trophy Boat Race:

The Nehru Trophy Tri/Race champions Boat League is a well-known Vallam kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala, India. This boat race began in the kerala district of Alappuzha in 1952, when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated it. A trophy in the name of Jawaharlal Nehru was presented to the winners.

In 2019, the Boat Race was added to the almost-completed CBL- champions Boat League, with star sports
Network as its television broadcast partner. The league’s 2020 season has been cancelled due to the covid 19 Pandemic. In 2019 Nadubhagom Chundan was the winner of the race.

2) President’s Trophy Boat Race:

Every year on November 1 st , the President’s Trophy Boat Race is a famous boat race held on the Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam city. Kerala Piravi, the Indian state of Kerala, was established on this day. This is the most famous of the races held on Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam during the harvest festival, Onam, in the autumn.

There will be races in five categories first snake boats, Veppu Vallam, iruttukuthi vallam and another Veppu Vallam. In four heats, sixteen snake-boats will participate. The trophy was founded in the name of India’s President. The race will be witnessed by the President of India, who will also present the trophy and cash prize to the winning team. From 2019,
the race will be a part of Kerala’s IPL- style boat race league. The President’s Trophy Boat Race will be the final event of the Kerala government’s Champion’s League.

The event will take place at Ashtamudi’s Gateway. The race will begin near Thevally Palace on the water column and conclude in front of the house boat terminal. The race will take place on a water body that is 1250 meters long and runs between these two stages. Sree Ganesnan Chundan won the first edition of the President’s Trophy Boat Race. Devas Chundan was the runner-up. President of India, Smt. Pratibhatai Patil, was available for the first edition of race.

3) Kallda Boat Race:

This Jalotsavam is a prominent Vallam Kali held on the kallada River at Munroe Thuruthu in the Indian state of Kerala on the 28 th day after Onam. The boat race takes place on the Kallada River’s straight section. During the ceremony, notable achievers in different fields are honoured. Munroe Island is a great place to watch the boat race. Muroe Island is a significant tourist attraction in kerala.

The kollam district tourist promotion council’s country boat sightseeing across Munroe Island is the best of its kind
in the country. Munroe Island is accessible by road from kollam railway station (28 km). In the north, it’s 2km from kundara and 24km from karungapally. By route, kollam is 71 kilometers from Trivandrum international Airport. The races will be followed by a colourful sail-past and mass exercise performed by the competing vessels.

4) Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race:

Every year during the Onam festival in kumarakom, kerala, the Sree Narayana Jayanthi Vallam kali or Boat Race is held. More than 1,000 oarsmen compete in a variety of vessels of various sizes and shapes. Despite the fact that snake boats compete in this race, the emphasis is placed on the iruttukututhi, a race in which about 50 oarsmen row.