India | Kerala

Chundan Vallam

Chundan Vallams or Snake Boats are the traditional battle vessels of Kerala. They resemble the shape of a snake and are made of Anjili wood. Its length extends up to 65 meter, and has a capacity to accommodate 100-110 oarsmen.

Chundan Vallom got its name because of its pointed prow, which stands four feet above the water. The front end of this boat is narrow in shape and the back end is very high from the water level.

On the day of race, the Chundan Vallams are polished with a special oil to make them move smoothly through water. The whole body is dressed with silk parsons, and the rear part of the boat is decorated with brass ornaments and a flag.

The first Chundan Vallam dates back to the 9th century.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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