Friday, June 10, 2011

Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala

About Boat Race:
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the most popular events of Vallam Kali, held in the heritage Indian state of Kerala. Vallam Kali means boat game or boat play. This magnificent boat race is organized in the beautiful Punnamada lake, near Alappuzha district. The boat race is one of the prime attractions of the state, that attracts a number of tourists every year from all over the world.
The race is an annual event, which is conducted on second Saturday of the month of August, in the memory of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

History of Boat Race:
In the year of 1952, when Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru (the first prime minister of India) visited Kerala, the people of Alleppey gave him a very warm welcome, by escorting him in a huge snake boats. With the wonderful boat ride, Nehru ji got very much impressed and he donated a silver trophy, which is the replica of snake boat, affixed on a wooden base. The trophy contains the following inscription along with his signature:

“To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Cochin”.

Later on this trophy came to be konwn as Nehru Trophy, and people started celebrating this amazing event of Nehru Trophy Boat Race every year.

Attractions of Boat Race:
The major attraction of the race is the event of 'Chundan Vallams', which means ''Snake Boats''. Hence it is also known as “Snake Boat Race”. These snake boats (chundans) are made of forest wood, which is locally called as 'Aanjili Thadi'. These are 100 to 120 feet long canoes, that carry about 90 to 110 people, thus it is also recorded as the biggest water vessel used for water sports event.

Karichal, Kallooparamban, Chambakulam, Nadubhagom, Alapattu, Paayipaadu, Aanari, Kaavalam, Vallamkullangara, Sri Ganesh, Cheruthana, Aayaparambu, Jawahar Thaayankari, St George, Valiya Divanji, Pattara, Ambedkar, Paarthasarathy, Ellikkulam, Deva's Chundan and Vadakkeaattupuram are name of the other famous snake boats, that take part in the category of Chundan Vallam.

Other Attractions of the Place:
Along with enjoying this magnificent boat race, you may also visit many tourist spots around, such as Alappuzha beaches, Mannarasala Shri Nagaraja Temple, Ambalappuzha Shri Krishna Temple and Chamapakulam Church (the oldest church of Kerala) etc.

Pathira Manal is also a must visit spot, where you may encounter many species of rare migratory birds and do not forget to have a quite unique experience of Alappuzha houseboats.

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