Come Sunday and the ‘Eroor-Champakkara Jalolsavam 2012’ will be all set to create a splash for boat-racing enthusiasts. All arrangements have been completed in the backwaters of Champakkara Lake by the ‘Janakeeya Samithi’, the association of Maradu Municipality, Tripunithura Municipality and Cochin Corporation, to ensure that the extravaganza is conducted smoothly. This year, three famous snake boats, including Sree Vinayaka, Chambakulam and Pullinkunnu will participate in the race.
Apart from the ‘chundan vallams’ (snake boats) other categories like seven ‘odi vallams’ will also compete in Grade A, while eight other vallams, including ‘iruttukuthi’ and ‘kothumbu vallam’ will be seen in action in Grade B.“These festivals symbolise the soul of our land and we have been organising the races for the last 28 years. Our aim is to reinforce the strength and preserve the unity of our land through the races. This year, we are seeking to spread the message of the dire need to preserve our water resources and environment,” Maradu Municipal Chairman T K Devarajan said.
He added that the race will also be a golden opportunity for racing enthusiasts to witness the beauty of a snake boat on the waters, from close range.
“In all other boat races in Kerala, the viewers get to watch the race from galleries situated far away from the lake. So they only get a bird’s eye view of the finishing lap. However, as the Champakkara canal has thickly populated shores on either sides, people can enjoy the thrilling race and the rhythmic boat songs from much nearer,” he said.
The race, which will begin at 2 pm from Thykoodam Bridge on the highway to Champakkara Bridge, along Sahodaran Ayyappan Road.
Excise Minister K Babu will inaugurate the programme which is being organised by the Eroor-Perikkad Boat Club. Benny Behanan MLA will hoist the flag. District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth will flag-off the race after the oarsmen’s drill which will be conducted under the instructions of S Gopalakrishana Pillai, Alappuzha.P Rajeev MP will present the trophy to the winners. Deputy Mayor B Bhadra will preside over the function.