Snake boat races in Alappuzha (Alleppey) Kerala, India
nehru trophy snakeboat race.Photo by M T Cherian
Snake Boat race is stated to be the sport event having the highest number of members in a single team. Usually, a snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 cheerers /singers and 100-125 oarsmen, who row in unison to the fast rhythm of `vanchipattu'or boatmen's song.
The snake-boats, it is said, have its origins in Alappuzha with a history of over 400 years when kings of erstwhile Chempakasseri (Ambalappuzha), Kayamkulam, Thekkumkoor (Changanassery), and Vadakkumkoor (Kottayam) fought battles on these boats in the backwaters of Kuttanad.