One of the oldest traditions of Kerala, Aranmula Boat Race or Aranmula Uthrittathi Vallamkali is a grand event, held between August and September. These boat races are generally held during the harvest season, and perhaps the most important of these is the snake boat race or chundan vallam. An event infused with energy, it sees a number of oarsmen gearing up to row with full vigour, in mesmeric synchronisation. A crowd-puller, the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is among the oldest races held on the Pampa river, near Alappuzha. Organised at the beginning of monsoons in the state, the race is held annually in the months of June/July. Legend has it that it is hosted to mark the day when an idol of Lord Krishna was brought in a boat to be installed at Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalapuzha. Brightly-decorated boats rowed by hundreds of men present a charming spectacle. Tourists can also attend Jalotsavom or Payippad Boat Race, held on the Payippad river, in Alappuzha. Organised to celebrate the installation of the idol of Lord Subramanian at Haripad Subramanya Temple, this race is held during the festival of Onam. It is an exciting affair to watch a number of snake boats, rowed by hundreds of men, compete with each other. Attending the Kallada Boat Race or Kallada Jalotsavam, held on Kallada river, in Kollam, can be a fascinating experience. This annual race is held on the 28th day after Onam and sees around 10 boats competing with each other to get the Kallada Rolling Trophy and prize money of one lakh rupees. This race can be viewed from the scenic Munroe Island. A must-attend race is the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race held in the tranquil waters of Punnamda Lake in Alappuzha. This race sees huge footfalls as crowds gather to see the energetic competition taking place along the span of the 1.5-km-long lake. A two-day festival organised during Onam, Aranmula Snake Boat Race is the annual celebration of Sri Parthasarathy Temple. More than a race, it is a ritual, where over 25 palliyodams or snake boats, with 100 rowers, 15 helmsmen and 25 singers participate. Vibrant umbrellas, colourful tassels and flags are used to decorate the boats.

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