Exotic Kerala: Mangalassery Snake Boat Race

Is it a bit of an exaggeration to call my native Kerala, “God’s Own Country” ???

This question used to pop up in my mind on seeing ads from Kerala Tourism department.

But, one year of travel through the length and breadth of this state wiped off all the doubts in my mind.

And now it’s your turn 🙂

1We were on our way to watch the annual Snake Boat Race, organized by “Navodaya Club“, at Mangalassery. A small village of Kannur district in North Kerala. This was the view waited for us, as we took a turn and descended to the riverside.


We stopped for a while and savored the beauty at our backyard for some time.

People always associate “Vallam Kali” or “snake boat race” to the vast backwaters of south kerala.

Here, in northern districts of Kannur and Kasaragod it’s a rare event and been introduced only a few years back. This year’s event was the third edition at Mangalassery and held on 21st September.

35Before the race began there was a tableau showcasing the art and culture of the region.

As it’s something quite new for most of the crowd, they really enjoyed even the practice sessions.


141312Scorching sun didn’t have any effect on the festive mood and people made their own custom VIP seats and enjoyed the show 🙂


As the real race started, I just became part of the crowd.

161718The event, the crowd and more than anything else, the whole setting by nature,  certainly had an unforgettable impression on us.

I am sure, I’ll be back there for the next edition…

51 thoughts on “Exotic Kerala: Mangalassery Snake Boat Race”

    1. Yes, Sue, it was really an unforgettable setting and just after a week of this event, I went back to this place again.

      With no crowd around, the only color was shades and shades of green and it looked so serene 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and have a beautiful day ahead 🙂


  1. Wow, Sreejith, these pics are Indeed a feast to the eyes . Stying in Kannur since almost 2 years, I am disappointed that I didn’t know of this event. I will surely make it a point to visit next year . Wouldn’t want to miss it!.


    1. Hello Manjusha,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      There is so much to explore in Kannur, and I am lucky to get some off time and using it to the max.

      Kanjirakolli is another beautiful place where we have great views of the western ghats and some nice waterfalls.

      Valiyaparamba backwaters is another place with a lot of islands and exotic beaches, you could find not even a single soul for kilometers…

      If you need any info. please let me know 🙂

      Have a great time, Manjusha 🙂


  2. Sreejith, Kerala looks stunning through your lens! I guess the “God’s Own Country” seems correct. The boat race looks exciting! I wish I were there to witness the event myself. Great photos!


    1. Thank you so much, Indah 🙂

      The boats used in this part of Kerala is smaller with around 25 oarsmen, but the real boat race happens in South Kerala where a special snake boat called “chundan vallam” is used and been rowed by 64 or more oarsmen…

      These boat races attracts quite a lot of tourists from across the world and are really grand events.

      Hope you will get a chance to explore this amazing land soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even before I read the heading for the post, I could tell from that first picture its got to be Kerala 🙂 Lovely pictures. I did not own a camera on my last visit to Kerala which was almost a decade ago, but I knew I was coming back! what is the best time to visit kerala from a photographers point of view?


    1. Hello Sweta,

      So nice to see that you had been to Kerala and now planning to come down here again 🙂

      Kerala offers a wide range of options for people to explore. For example, you can explore the hill stations of Idukki and Wayanad across the year and it would be at it’s best during the winter months from Nov. to Feb.

      If you are fond of beaches, there are many popular ones as well as unexplored ones, and you need to avoid them only during the peak monsoon months from Jun to sep.
      Same is the case with the house boat cruises in the back waters of south Kerala.

      And, if you would like to see a Theyyam, come down to North side during the summer months, from Feb. to May.

      So in nutshell, it’s your interest that matters, what to shoot 🙂

      If you need any more info. feel free to ask 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Amy 🙂

      I am just lucky to be born and brought up here, and it’s my pleasure to share what I see and feel beautiful with all you wonderful people 🙂

      Have a beautiful day ahead 🙂


    1. May be you let this be the reason to plan one more trip to India, a relaxed trip to Kerala 🙂

      Don’t forget to let me know while planning 🙂

      I am so happy to see your comment, CG and glad you liked this story 🙂


  4. Hey Sreejith…. I reblogged this as I feel many more of my followers would love to see your post about your beautiful country. Hope that was ok? I note that there wasn’t a reblog button on your posts, hence I created my own posts, and embedded yours within. Best wishes my friend, Spike


    1. Uncle Spike, I am so honored to see your comment 🙂

      So happy that you felt my post is worth a re-blog …

      Thank you so much for providing a wider audience for my blog and this really makes me more responsible to come with interesting quality content.

      Let me check how to fix the reblog button problem in my blog…

      Have a beautiful day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha, ha…from these shots it is quite accurate for you to call your hometown “God’s Own Country”, you do a great job promoting it ~ a beautiful place indeed. While I love the scenery and landscapes, you capture the spirit of the people so well in this series. The shot of the kid with the ice-cream is perfect!


    1. Frankly this is a kind of work around, Dalo 🙂

      To come up with striking landscape images, I need to upgrade quite a number of gadgets and it takes time to save up that much amount. The easy way is to capture what’s possible with what I have, so people become easy targets 🙂

      And I am finding it rather effective too, as I mentioned before, as human element 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and so glad that you liked the landscape images 🙂

      For landscape images, you are my bench mark, Dalo 🙂 Miles to go before I could venture that level….


  6. looks like a fun race – I like the ayer shots and the feel of the people you give us – and the viewers in the tree was my favorite shot – and I read your comment to Sue – about how you went back to this spot after the race to just see green and serene – wow – 🙂 and well, with or without the race – that area is a slice of heaven for sure…. ❤


    1. You are absolutely right, it’s all about the place that caught my attention too and I am sure I’ll keep visiting there as the vast paddy cultivated land keeps changing it’s color and that will give me a lot of opportunity to photograph 🙂

      I am so happy to see you liked the images, Yvette 🙂


  7. I like seeing the landscapes you capture. These shades of green and soft yellow are really lovely. I would stay for the entire event provided that I catch one of those luxury seats on a tree top 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha…. I’ll make arrangements for that if you are coming by 🙂

      Yea, Paula, more than the event, the landscape attracted me.
      The yellow swath of land being the paddy fields, which changes colour season by season, I am sure, I’ll get different images each time I visit there 🙂


  8. Very refreshing post! I came to know about Snake Boat Race while writing a post on Alleppey. It’s a wonderful tradition …a must watch for every visitor to understand the true spirit of Kerala. All the photos are captivating.


    1. Snake boat race is always associated with the backwaters of South Kerala and here in north it’s something new.

      The best part about the boat race here is the beautiful setting by nature…

      It was my first experience and I am sure to be there for the next edition too 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your views …

      Wish you and family a Very Happy New Year, Moon 🙂


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