A rare reunion with Champakulam Chundan, the original Kerala Snake Boat

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It was a rare reunion that took place at the office of the biggest IT employer in the state, when the team, which won the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race on July 12, came to ‘see’ and ‘touch’ the original Champakulam Chundan, the most-celebrated among the snake boats in Kerala that currently adorns the UST campus in their Technopark campus.

At the Champakulam Moolam Boat Race held on July 12, the Kerala Police Boat Race team won the Raja Pramukhan Trophy atop the latest generation Champakulam Chundan boat.

In recognition of the winning team’s appreciation and gratitude, and on the invitation from UST, the Kerala Police Boat Race team, the rowers of the Champakulam Chundan, visited to see the old 120-foot-long snake boat, which is now around five decades old, made out of wood, adorning the UST campus, here.

Led by coach Sunil, the winning team arrived at the UST campus along with the trophy and posed with the old boat. The team was welcomed by Alexander Varghese, Chief Operating Officer, UST and others.

UST in 2013 became the proud owner of the prestigious ‘Chambakulam Chundan’ snake boat, winner of numerous boat races, including the prized Nehru Boat Race held annually at the famed Alappuzha backwaters.

The 120-foot-long snake boat when participating in races used to take on 110 oarsmen and has won the signature event of Kerala the Nehru Boat race during the years 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 2009.

Joe Nalkara, then president of UST, said their new campus (in the Technopark campus in the capital city) is an apt home for Chambakulam Chundan for several reasons.

“This boat and UST Global share something in common – both have impressive stories to tell of success and victory. Our new campus is designed in a very indigenous fashion, a fitting tribute to the heritage and culture of Kerala, and this snake boat is a proud symbol of Kerala’s traditional ethos and will further enhance the ethnic aura of our campus,” said Nalkara.

The ownership documents of Chambakulam Chundan was then handed over by the district panchayat member Jacob Abraham to UST ‘s official Harish Parameswaran.

“The snake boat will not be just a showpiece at the UST Global campus, but will prove to be one big inspiration by way of its presence for all the employees of UST Global from now on,” said Parameswaran, then.

The acquisition of the Chambakulam Chundan was part of UST’s efforts to preserve a rich tradition of Kerala, which has ruled the waters for so long.

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