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Kerala Attractions

Indira Gandhi Boat Race

Indira Gandhi Boat Race

A Neck-to-neck Competition

A colourful water sport and festival in Kerala, Indira Gandhi Boat Race is an annual event. With so much energy, these boat races entice tourists from all over the world. The boats used in the competition are stream lined in shape to make them run faster. These boats are known as the Vallam Kali. The term “Vallam Kali” or “Vallamkali”, literally means 'Boat Game' in Malayalam. The competition is a great way to boost tourism in Kerala.


Organized during the last week of December, the festival is held along the backwaters of Cochin. The trophy of the race was also instituted in memory of the late Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.


Indira Gandhi Boat RaceThe sportive spirit of the performers makes this race unique. Onlookers can witness around 150 oarsmen among them, every oarsman represents an unique village, vow to discern strict rules during the game. Well-off people take charge to feed them during practice sessions. The arrangements for the Indira Gandhi Boat Race start several weeks in advance. To ensure a smooth passing through the water, these snake boats are especially applied with sardine oil.


Thousands of people from villages group at the shore and they cheer the oarsmen. The enthusiastic crowds, fervour and festivity exceeds after the sixteen majestic snake boats race starts. The priceless trophy further boosts up the tourism in Kerala. Generally, a snake boat is manned by up to 125 oarsmen, 25 singers and four helmsmen, who row in union with the fast rhythm of the Vanchipattu (the song of the boatman). The festival in Kochi comes out as a visual treat to the visitors.

Thrill in the performance of the Oarsmen with Indira Gandhi Boat Race in Kerala!

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