Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular water sport held in Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala. The boat race is famously known as the snake boat race as many snake boats(Chundan Vallam) compete in the race. The snake boat race is held on the 2nd Saturday of August every year.
The snake boat( Chundan Vallam) is the traditional war boat that can accommodate almost 100 rowers. The canoeing-style boat is 100-120 feet long. The boats are used during the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, hence the boat race is also known as Snake Boat Race.
The snake boat race was held in 1952 for the first time when Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India visited Kerala. The prime minister was escorted from Kottayam to Alappuzha on the snake boat through the Punnamada Lake. The pageantry of snake boats accompanied him on the trip. The boat race was hyped with the rhythm of Vanchipattu (boat song) and the strong oarsmen slashing their oars through the waters of Punnamada Lake.
Nadubhagam Chundan stood first in the race. Thrilled and excited by the performance of the oarsmen, Jawaharlal Nehru jumped on the Nadubhagam snake boat avoiding the concerns of his security personnel. Jawaharlal Nehru donated a Silver trophy which is a replica of the snake boat on a wooden abacus with the following inscription along with his signature:
“To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Kochi.”
Ever since the race came to be known as " Prime Minister's Trophy" later the race was renamed as "Nehru Trophy Boat Race." The Alappuzha snake boat race is conducted in the fond memory of Jawaharlal Nehru every year.
Otherwise calm Punnamada Lakefront becomes a fierce sea of spectators boosted by the thrilling vibes spread from the energetic oarsmen. TheVanchipattu, " Thithai Thaka Thai Thai Thom". The serene and calm surroundings of Alappuzha reverberate to the tunes of Vanchipattu. The song motivates and elevates the spirits of the oarsmen to slice their oars with full force to victory.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the must-see attractions of Kerala if you are planning a holiday during the month of August. For more inquiries and details or to book your Kerala package tours contact Funday Holidays.