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Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Venue: Punnamada Backwaters, Alappuzha district

Snake boat races are magnificent fiestas that bring alive the tranquil backwaters of God's Own Country. Held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival in August / September, this is the largest team sport in the world. And in this league the Nehru Trophy boat race is one of the outstanding snake boat races of Kerala.

Perhaps, the most famous also, this annual regatta is held on the Punnamada Backwaters of Alappuzha district on the second Saturday of August, every year. The major attraction of the boat race is the competition of snake boats or Chundanvallams. These boats stretch about 100 feet in length, with a raised stern, resembling the raised hood of a snake. They are usually rowed by men numbering around 100; rowing in unison and in an aggressive manner.

The racecourse, having a length of about 1370 m, is divided into various tracks for the conduct of the competition. When they are advancing through various tracks, it appears like the fast moving snakes. The oarsmen splash the oars in unison with rhythmic chants. The movements of competing boats are so thrilling that the spectators get in tune with the excited mood of the surrounding uproars.

Apart from the races of chundanvalloms (snakeboats) and of smaller country crafts, the event offers many fascinating sights such as ceremonial water processions, spectacular floats and decorated boats. It is the cherished ambition of all boat clubs to win the prestigious Nehru Trophy, which is considered as a matter of pride and prestige.

The History of Nehru Trophy Boat Race is associated with the visit of late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India to Alappuzha. The first race was an impromptu one conducted in 1952 in honour of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who visited Alappuzha. In that race of snake boats, ˜Nadubhagam Chundan' stood first. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was thrilled and excited by the performance of the oarsmen, jumped into the ˜Nadubhagam Chundan', forgetting all security arrangements. The boat proceeded to the boat jetty carrying the Prime Minister. After his return to Delhi, a few months later in December 1952, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru donated a silver trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus. The trophy bears the following inscription above his signature; "To the winners of the boat race, which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore - Cochin." This trophy later came to be known as Nehru Trophy, and in fond memory of great Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the people of Alappuzha celebrate the Nehru Trophy Boat Race every year.

I would like to know about this event. Where i can get the tickets...
Posts: 1 | Registered: July 03, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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could you enlighten me on what this has to do with Neil Gaiman please?


I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.

the parrot... ...gets tiresome.
the parrot... ...i ate him.

Posts: 20599 | Location: England | Registered: June 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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the adventure lovers must try this.
Posts: 1 | Registered: December 11, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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