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Boat Races


Ø BOAT RACES
In Kuttanadu, the land of lakes and rivers, snake racing are some things of cult, even asbull fighting is in European country . Sleek and immaculately poised, the snake boats square measure the pride of each village. These race boats dominate the thoughts and actions of the individuals of this region throughout the months of August and Gregorian calendar month, once recently twenty minor and major regattas square measure command.

The water competition in Kuttanad is exclusive. No different country within the world has such festivities. the massive range of participants in an exceedingly small boat marks still the distinctiveness that no different sport within the world has such an oversized range in an exceedingly team. The synchronic manner of athletics wants long and devoted coaching and instinct. people who steer the vessel would like through data of water current, observation power of high order, and that they should be versed withinthe completely different aspects of racing. the foremost notable truth within the races of boats is that one neglected act of one participant can lead a ship to lose within the race.

Most of the main water festivals of the region square measure related to legends connected with known temples like champakkulam (Ambalapuzha), Payipad (Haripad) and Aranmula. These festivals best retain the flavour of ancient Kerala culture, particularly the Uthrithathi race on the Pampa , in Aranmula, wherever devotion, music and also the sheer art and grandeur of the boats, referred to as Palliyodams , build it a novel expertise for the spectators.

BACKGROUND
Kuttanadu could be a immense expanse of water at bound seasons. This half consisting of water-logged space of central Travancore could be a region extending to thirty four,443 acres of agricultural land. it's traversed by completely different rivers, specifically Pamba, Achankovil and Manimala . These rivers wash into Vembanadu Lake .Some Years agone, the current Kuttanadu was a part of the Vembanadu Lake . The audacious and illustrious individuals of this specific a part of the country were engagedwithin the method of reclamation of water immersed land for the last one thousand and 4 hundred years. The reclamation of land still continues.

The inhabitants of Kuttanadu square measure by occupation agriculturists. They interact themselves within the cultivation of paddy and coconut trees on saved land. As natural conditions permit raising only 1 crop of paddy, the remainder of the time the individuals get immersed in festivities.

As country boats square measure sheer wants within the lifetime of the individuals of Kuttanadu and an oversized space of garden land is prohibitively luxurious to arrange different sports, it's no marvel that they recognized boats as their suggests that of enjoyments. The origin of the current boat races is extremely recent. once individualsaccustomed assemble in boats like Chundan, Oadi, Veppu, etc., to perform a colourfuland musical procession. Later solely to form enthusiasm and to infuse the sporting spirits among the individuals of the realm, the race systems were introduced. The snakeboats competition in Aranmula continues to be a non secular procession. the current boat races in Kuttanad have their own history connected to the rulers of the time. Chambakulam Moolam race is taken into account to be the foremost ancient.


THE RAJAS OF past
The story of those battling boats goes back four hundred years in history once the rajas of the erstwhile principalities of Chempakasseri (Ambalappuzha), Kayamkulam,Thekkumkoor (Changanacherry) and Vadakkumkoor (Kottayam) within the previous Travancore space, that square measure a part of the current Alappuzha district and Kottayam district, often crossed swords on the backwaters of Kuttanad. The Chempakasserry troops suffered serious casualties at the hands of the superior navy their rivals commanded. It before long dawned on the Chempakasserry Raja that the $64000 defect was along with his war boats, that were sluggish and restrain.

He known as all the boat architects within the land to his court and told them of his need to own higher, quicker boats for the troops. when days of onerous labor, a person UN agency was putative to be the simplest boat creator in Chempakasserry, Koduppunna Venkitanarayanan Asari, came up with a specimen that glad the raja's necessities. It had speed, manoeuvrability associate degreed capability to hold one hundred fit  warriors on board and its eel-like construction was most ideal for launching an ambush since it may be simply unbroken hid behind the overhanging bushes on the stream banks. The Asari was munificently rewarded and within the ulterior battles, the Chempakasseri Raja emerged victorious.


THE DECEIT
The story goes on to inform however the defeated Kayamkulam Raja sent a spy to Chempakasserri to be told the key of the new war boat. The spy, a handsome youth, succeeded in seducing Asari's female offspring. The girl's mother was joyful by the prospect of obtaining him as her daughter's bridegroom and persuaded her husband to show him the development of the boat.

Needless to mention, the deceitful youth disappeared the instant the thought he hadlearnt the key. Asari was captive by Chempakasserri Raja for treason. however he was free and showered with several honors once the snake boats engineered by the Kayamkulam Raja tested to be no match for the war boats of Chempakasserry within the next battle. The subtleties of the snake boat's style square measure onerous to choose and even these days it needs years of situation underneath a master boat creator before one may severally undertake the development of this ancient boat.

When a village decidesto have a brand new snake boat, a committee is made to lift the Rs.6 lakhs it requiresnow to create the boat. The boat creator is summoned and also the hunt for the "anjili"tree of the desired size usually takes the villagers to the high ranges of Kerala.As the snake boat takes form out of the massive trunk, the 'asari' dependschiefly onhis spontaneous  estimates.

Of late, the boat builders' prime concern is to create the snake boat as long as possiblesoon seat additional and additional rowers for speed. The Nedumbhagom snake boatrecentlyentered the Guinness Book of Records because the longest rowboat within the world. Butits one hundred thirty five feet length has since been overtaken by Vellankulangara snake boat, whichis a hundred and forty feet long.


THE BOATS [VALLANGAL]
Kuttanandu could be a place of boats. completely different forms of boats square measure seen forever roamingover the waters of this a part of the Kerala State . The boats of Kuttanadu square measure ofvarious sorts, consistent with their purpose.

Kochuvallams square measure little boats accustomed cross rivers and lakes. They additionally vary intheir sizes.

Kettuvallams arelargely load movers.

Churulans square measure pleasure boats and that they square measure thought of to be the conveyance of richpeople in past days. The Churulan Boats vary long from twelve ½ to twenty ¼ Kolesand their crew ranges from ten to thirty six.

Chundans square measure supposedto be Navy boats of Chempakasserry rulers. it's got a length of over 100feet and frequently over a hundred individuals square measure on board. each the ends of the boatsare raised from water level. The tooshie incorporates a height of regarding twenty feet fromthe surface of water. Nearly eighty six persons square measure rowers, 10 to fifteen square measure togive the rhythm, four squaremeasure to steer the vessel. it's to be specially noted thatthe Chundans have the utmostmanoeuvrability among all forms of race boats.

The Chundan (SnakeBoat) type of Race Boats is typically thirty eight ½ to forty eight ½koles (One koles being equivalentto twenty four inches) long and accommodates one hundred to one hundred fifty persons.

Veppu Vallams (Parunthuvalans)are aforementioned to be boats that were accustomed carry stores for the troopers on board theChundans. "Vaipu" became Veppu" by usage. Vaipu in Malayalam suggests that cookery. Thedesign and look of those vehicles dissent from all different race boats. The lengthof Parunthuvalan varies from twenty eight ¼ tothirty two ¼ Koles and it accommodates twenty eight to thirty six rowers.

Oadis or Iruttukuthies have a special origin. They were used for importation. it's to be noted, they areseen in lots within the bone areas close to cochin china and suburbs. Their terribly style isfor speed. each the ends square measure alike. manoeuvrability is small, much zero.They are ne'er turned and rowed up solely in shuttle between, by turning spherical therowers.The Odi, additionally known as Cheru Chudan incorporates a length of twenty eight ¼ to thirty two ¼ Koles andhas forty to sixty rowers.

Various sorts ofBoats, all home-made out of autochthonal materials square measure used for the boat races, rangingfrom the brilliant Snake Boat (Chundan) nearly 100 feet long and with 150rowers, to the littlest one that measures eighteen feet and accommodates a dozen crew.The boats square measure scooped out of single tree trunks, typically Kadampu and Anjili (ArtocarpusHirsuta). heaps of ability, labour, time and cash, come in the creating of those boatswhich square measure objects of envy and marvel from ages past. the foremost widespread varietiesof athletics Boats square measure known as Chundan, Churulan, Odi (Iruttukuthi) and Parunthuvalan(Veppu) andevery differs from the opposite within the form of the helm and bow, and capacitytoaccommodate the crew. The variations within the construction of the remaining partsofthe Boats aren't, however, terribly pronounced although the build naturally varieswiththe boats meant for the placid waters of rivers and lakes, and also the vesselswhich need to ply over the open backwaters, wherever waves and currents need to beencountered. straightforward and swift manoeuvrability is that the principal concern with themakingof boats, that race over rivers and lakes. The cut water is reduced to theminimumin these Boats. Their prows and helms square measure raised significantly high and also the streamliningis equally horizontal moreover as vertical. The Chundan and Odisquare measure such athletics boats.In the construction of Boats in attended hash out open backwaters, care is takento see that the cut water descends nearly to the keel and prime heaviness is avoidedby keeping the helm and bow quite low. At either finish, the gunnel is curved  upto forestall waves dashing in , as within the Churulan variety of boats. The bow and helmof these boats square measure of identical build to facilitate straightforward maneuvering.

Of all the Race Boats, the foremost imposting picturesque and coasty is that the Chundan,Snake Boat. the strict of the Snake Boat rises regarding fifteen feet from the water level,and is embellished with exquisite decorative styles in shining brass and wood.The extent of elaborate and high-priced ornamentation, characteristic of thelocalcraftsman's ability, indicate the wealth and eminence of the owner of the Boat,Longand slender, the Snake Boats cut across the water with loftiness and style.

The Race Boats,in use in Kerala, have abundant a typical with the war canoes of the previous yank Indian,the Maoris of recent Seeland and a few of the aboriginal tribes of the Tropical countries,especially in relation to the form and build, and also the manner and contrivances ofpropulsion.


COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
Many of the race boats belong to the joint possession of the individuals of the vicinity.Further, even the one owner boats square measure usually employed out by a bunch of individuals belongingto a specific vicinity for the aim of collaborating in anexceedingly race. Infact,they pay cash within the order of lakhs of rupees for collaborating numerous boatraces in an exceedingly season. the money needed is usually raised through public contribution.In fact they take into account it as a matter of pride to participate and win a ship raceunder the label and jercy of their vicinity (Kara). intrinsically race season bringsout an occurrence for enriching the heat of friendliness and brotherhood in thelocality, that is deteriorating in lately due too numerous reason. every boatrace is being celebrated because the competition of the vicinity. It usually allows a gettogether of members of the family et al of the vicinity. Festivals have thateffectof creating the people settled at overseas to come back to their native placeat least once in an exceedingly year. The race being celebrated because the competition of the 'Kara',the sons of the village can expertise associate degree irresistible temptation to be the partof the festivities. The homesick feeling that these boat races produce, makeseverybodysettled so much and concerning come back to their home village to participate within the boatrace festivities. The social impact of the race is extremely high. within the Regattas,the different Karas owning Race Boats enter, and unfalteringly, galvanizedbylocal loyalty, try their best to knock off the prize. The competition is austereand keen, in spite of the gaiety and merrymaking close it.


CHAMPAKULAM MOOLAM VALLAMKALI
During the fifteenth century A.D., a locality of the Travancore State , together with Kuttanadu,was dominated by Chembakassery Devanarayana family. The rulers of this family werehighly non secular. The origin of Chambakulam Moolam water competition is connected tothe installation of the known idol of Lord Krishna within the Amabalapuzha Sree KrishnaswamyTemple . it's thought of that the Moolam Boat competition is well known in commemorationof the delivery of the idol of Lord Krishna from "Karinkulam" temple, Kurichi nearKottayam. it's conducted once a year on the Moolam day of the Mithunam month ofthe Malayalam era.


PAYIPPAD JALOTSAVAM
Payippad Jalotsavam is endured the Payippad Lake, that is thirty five klick from Alappuzha,to commemorate the installation of immortal at the Subrahmanya SwamyTemple , Harippad.Legend says that the villagers determined to create a temple with Sree Ayyappa as thepresiding immortal when the temple was engineered, they'd a vision directive them toa whirlpool in Kayamkulam Lake wherever they'd realize the idol of Sree Subramanyawhich was to be put in at the temple. consequently, the elders of thevillagewith different and swimmers rowed to the spot and located the idol that wasescortedback ceremonially by devotees from the whole region in colorfully.


OTHER BOAT RACES

Ø Neerettupuram race.

Ø Rajiv Gandhi race.

Ø Pulimkunnu race.

Ø Karuvatta race.

Ø Karuvatta race

Ø Haripad race.

Ø Mannar race.