Champakulam Boat Race

The Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is widely regarded as one of the oldest and famous in Kerala. The race is usually held on the River Pamba on Moolam day of the Malayalam month of Midhunam – which is regarded as the day the deity is installed in the Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple.

Back in the olden days, Maharaja Devanarayana of Chempakasseri was ordered by the priest to construct a temple at Ambalappuzha. However, he realized before installing the deity that it was not considered auspicious. The King wanted to find a solution to this problem. His minister offered a solution to this problem – he said that the Lord Krishna idol which was located at the temple in Kurichi, presented by Arjuna himself, should be brought to the temple. Thus, the minister went made the long trip and came back with the idol in tow.

During their journey back home, they stopped for a night at Champakkulam in order to perform a holy ceremony. The next morning, a colourful procession comprising of beautifully decorated boats assembled to bring the auspicious idol to the temple which was located on the other side of the shore. Today, the tradition is still upheld in the form of the Champakkulam boat race which is held in that honour. Spectators are treated to a spectacular show of water floats and decorated boats before the start of the race. It marks the beginning of celebrations.

It should be noted that in Kerala, the festival dates are decided in accordance with the Malayalam calendar as well as the local traditions and customs of the land. Hence, the festival usually takes place in the month of June or July.  The race lasts for that one day and usually marks the beginning of other boat races in surrounding areas.

Malayalam language is the official language in this region.

Travel Tips

This famous boat race is observed roughly in the months of June and July. Therefore, that is the best time to visit Kerala. Also, in order to get a good view of the boat race, one must be adventurous enough to climb the trees in the area.

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • ° Max
  • ° Min
  • mm
Things to do

The Kerala boat races are famous in India and other parts of the world. It is also the largest team sport anywhere in the world. The season of boat races in beautiful Kerala begins with the famous Champakkulam Moolam Vallam Kali is boat race. The festival has its starting point at Champakkulam, a quaint and picturesque village located in the Alappuzha district. It usually takes place on the moolam asterism in the Malayalam month of mithunam around June or July.

On the main day of the race, locals and travellers alike travel from far off destinations to gather at the river bank to enjoy the race. The boat racing enthusiasts will climb the nearby trees to get a better view of the race. The boats which comprise a number of categories like the chundan or snake boat, veppu, iruttu kuthichurulan, among others from surrounding areas assemble at the starting point. Among the many boats on display, the snake boats with their intricate and fascinating designs attract the visitors who are assembled at the location.

Considering it is the largest boat race in the world, the snake boat race is widely regarded as a test of endurance, skill and above all - speed.

Getting Around

Kerala is quite well connected with all modes of transport. A guide to the different modes of travel in Kerala one can choose from for the fastest, cheapest6 and most comfortable rides.

Places to Stay

Among the high end hotels try Vivanta by Taj the best here. Oasis, Hotel Highland Park are good, affordable places.

How to Reach

  • Trivandrum International Airport is connected to Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Kozhikode.
  • Trivandrum central is connected daily Delhi and Mumbai by the bi-weekly Trivandrum Rajdhani, to Mumbai also by Netravati Express and to Chennai as well as Kozhikode and Ernakulam.
  • Thiruvananthapuram is on NH47 that links it to Salem, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, Ernakulam, Alleppey and Kollam to the north, and Padmanabhpuram and Kanyakumari to the South.

Surrounding Attractions

Kovalam is arguably Keralas most famous tourist attraction. Three crescent-shaped beaches separated by rocky headlands are Kovalams main hotspots. But there are less frequented beaches that are as picturesque all along the coast. No less enticing are the Ayurveda centres-cum-resorts that have mushroomed around the beaches. The most celebrated place of the festival would have to be Alappuzha.

Kovalam is the best place to watch the arrival of the south-west monsoon as it hits the Indian coast in end of May or early June. The humid wait, local debates on the arrival date, daily forecasts from Thiruvananthapurams Met Offie, and finally the black sky, wild wind, majestic thunder, lightning and sheets of water over the Arabian Sea make a great off-beat holiday.

Kovalam is famous for the three adjacent crescent beaches-Lighhouse beah, eves or hawa beach and Ashok beach. Lighthouse beach is the southernmost and the most popular.

Kollam lying between the eight-cornered Ashtamudi Lake and the sea, at the southern end of a network of backwaters, it makes for quite a lovely visit. Backwater cruises along the lake and its offshoot canals.

Neendakara port is famous for a post - monsoon phenomenon called 'Chaakara'. Mud banks are formed under the sea, creating a lagoon teeming with millions of fish.

Emergency No.


Police Staion: 100

Fire Brigade: 101

Ambulance: 108

Women helpline: 1091