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If you are lucky enough to be in Kerala during a Snake Boat Race, it’s truly a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It is mainly conducted during the season of the harvest festival Onam in autumn. Snake boats are long canoe-style boats that are used by people in Kerala backwaters – they’re often about 100 to 120 feet long and can easily accommodate up to 100 rowers on them. When you watch one hundred rowers move their oars in perfect synchronization as they expertly negotiate the currents of the backwaters, you’ll know that they have been practicing this move for years! The prestige of their village is at stake, and this is their chance to win big. Pitted against twenty odd other boats, they use every vestige of their skill to pull ahead of the rest. Pride, patriotism, determination and teamwork – you see it all! These races form an integral part of the culture and community of the people here – an expression of the relationship between the local dweller and the backwaters.

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Alleppey kerala

Alleppey

Alleppey, also known as ‘The Venice of the East’, has a large network of canals that meander through the town and surrounding villages. The Snake Boat Race held every year in August in the backwaters is a major attraction. The Kerala backwaters are a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce, and are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. An enchanting glide in a ‘Kettuvallam’ (Houseboat) through the backwaters of Alleppey is…

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