Nehru Trophy Boat race at Punnamada, Alappuzha is one of the most significant and colourful boat races in Kerala. It is a world renowned event, held annually on the second Saturday of the month of August in the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha. Boats of all sizes compete in different events in the boat race and .Kerala is celebrating its 63rd Nehru trophy boat race on 8th August 2015.
The most prestigious and interesting event among the races is the competition of the "Chundan Vallam" or the snake boats. These majestic boats measuring a length of 30 to 60 metres (over 100 ft) with a raised prow, are quite impressive and can accommodate around 100 rowers, 4 helmsmen and 25 cheer leaders. The boats are well decorated with colourful trimmings and umbrellas during the race. Champakulam, Kavalam, Karichal, Jawahar Thayangari, Kallooparamban, Pacha, Pulincunnu, Nedubhagam, Cheruthana, Kandangari and Paippad are the chief competitors for the trophy. The huge boats racing through the blue backwaters is a spectacular sight. The venue is 5kms from Alappuzha railway station and a walk able distance from Alappuzha bus stand.
This race became a regular annual event after the visit of India's 1st prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952 to Alappuzha. He was so impressed with the impromptu race conducted on his behalf that he donated a Silver Trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus, with the words "To the winner of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore - Cochin" inscribed on it.
The water festival in Kuttanad is unique. No other country in the world has such festivities. The large number of participants in a racing boat marks still the uniqueness that no other sport in the world has such a large number in a team. The synchronized way of rowing needs long and devoted training and inherent aptitude. Those who steer the vessel need through knowledge of water current, observation power of high order, and they must be well versed in the different aspects of boat racing. The most notable fact in the races of boats is that a single neglected act of a single participant will lead a boat to lose in the race.
Most of the major water festivals of the region are associated with legends connected with famous temples like champakkulam (Ambalapuzha), Payipad (Haripad) and Aranmula. These festivals best retain the flavour of ancient Kerala culture, especially the Uthrithathi boat race on the Pampa , in Aranmula, where devotion, music and the sheer artistry and grandeur of the boats, known as Palliyodams , make it a unique experience for the spectators.
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We take immense pleasure to be a part of this renowned festival. We provide accommodation, travels, guides and all those which caters for the best results and make your festive mood relish with its true colour and harmony.