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Their eyes beheld a most amazing creation.


Here was this thing twenty-eight kols (about 60 feet) long and fifty angulams (palm measures) wide. Most of it was a long solid log of kadampu (burflower tree) wood with a jutting nose and dug-out cavities. The stern was a gracefully ascending blade rising up more than twice the height of a man, reinforced by chiseling and riveting. Hastily put together without the traditional lengthy curing processes the thing mesmerized the awestruck audience.

Once upon a time,

in this watery world called Kuttanad,

kingdoms fought over harvest and fishing rights.

There for a rajah to wage his naval battles,

came a weapon of stealth called CHUNDAN

A historical film

The story about how the famous Snakeboat of
God's Own Country came to be.

- based on the novel Chundan

Though graceful, there was something unsettling about it.


It evoked a snake with its hood raised  .... a horse with its forelegs frozen in mid-gallop.


There is tremendous visual tension in its lines ... as if the next moment it's going to roll over.


Staring at the bronze bow that resembled a banana flower pod, in hoarse voice the elderly palace architect blurted out "chundan". 

s]cp-´-¨sâ ZrjvSnbnÂ
AXp-hsc temIw ImWm¯ Hcp km[\w.

F´mWv A­Xv?
28 tIm (60 ASn) \ofw. 50 A¦pew hoXn.

   F¶psh¨mÂ, A¡me¯v \nehnepÅ Ccp«pIp¯n hůnsâ H¸w hoXn, ]s£ Cc«ntbmfw \ofw.
   Xpe\w AtXmsS XoÀ¶p. 
   _m¡n hniZoIcWw tI«m Bcpw H¶p hnj-an¡pw. 

ap«\mSv CSnbv¡m³ \n¡pwt]mse Hcp ap\. ap\ sXm«p a²yw hsc Hcp¯Sn.

AXmIs«, acw Ip¯n¯pc¶p AIw s]mÅbm¡n FSp¯ncn¡p¶p.              

]IpXnsXm«p ]n¶m¡w t\m¡nbm ImWmw... ]eIIÄ Xac Xpf¨p, acbmWnIÄ ASn¨p Iq«nt¨À¯p,

    "CXv ImWpt¼mÄ Hcp hůnsâ HmÀ½ hcpt­am?' F¶p tXm¶pamdp Hcp LS\.

]ndIn Hcp Xe. AXmIs«, 2 BÄ s]m¡¯n ]WnXpIq«n DbÀ¯n, ]¨ncp¼p Ioe§Ä ASn¨p Dd¸n¨p \nÀ¯nbncn¡p¶p.
   Kpcphnsâ ZrjvSn BZyw t]mbXv DbÀ¶p\n¡p¶ Aac¯n ssI Nmcn\n¶v Xsâ t\sc t\m¡n Xe XpSbv¡p¶ injy³ sNøsâ t\À¡mWv. 
   ]ns¶ t]mbXv IqÀ¯p\n¡p¶ ap³hit¯¡v.
   hmg¨p­p t]mepÅ B Iq¼n t\m¡n AdnbmsX s]cp´¨³ Dcphn«p
   "".. Np ... ­³... ''

"… This is not a boat … it's a device to defeat the enemy. …  
If you want to have a long thing that can carry lots of combatants on water, .... if you want a thing that is strong and won't capsize or sink, .. if you want something that turns quickly around  … so that your swordsmen get a second chance to slash ... then whatever you call it, ....this is it!!
Illustration for Graphic Novel
by  Namboothiri

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