Vallamkalli or the boat races are organised on different levels in Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race held at Alappuzha on the second Saturday of August is the most prestigious one of all. 100s of men row together in perfect sync to bring honour to the village they are representing by bringing the trophy home!
These boat races are a plethora everything that is so mesmerising about Kerala. The traditional attires, sportsmanship, wooden boats, food and the music. The boats-men, as well as the villagers, sing songs to cheer their village team. These songs are called as Vanchi Pattu in Malayalam. One such famous song is Kuttanadan Ppunchayile sung by famous musician Yasudas. It has never lost its popularity since years. Traditionally other folks songs were sung which narrated famous mythological stories. Kuchela Vrittam Vanchippattu, which narrates the Krishna- Sudama episode was composed by Ramapurathu Warrier, the pioneer of Vanchippattu. Enjoy rendering of the same composition in this video.
Kodipunna Venkida Narayanan Assari, who hailed from a family of traditional boat craftsmen, rose to the occasion and designed the first Chundan Vallam in 1614.These boats carrying around 100 rowers were initially designed as the battle vessels to be used for the quick transportation of the soldiers and ammunitions. These boat race competitions or the Game of Boats as we like to call it, bring back the exactly similar feels. The rhythm of these songs captivate you like anything, when sung in unison, they help to keep up with the speed, momentum and coordination of activities of these rowers.
Sharing Vidya Vox’ beautiful composition that sums up the nostalgia and connection she has with the folk culture of Kerala, where she grew up as a child.
We are sure you would like to experience all of this in person! Don’t you? The beauty of getting goosebumps on listening to such folk songs is something beyond words. Join us to explore all of this and beyond for the #NehruTrophyBoatRaceTour curated by Wanderfirst Journeys.
P.S: We have a Pandora’s box of stories and legends of Kerala that shall be opened during the tour. So, book your tickets ASAP!!