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Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Alappuzha

 

Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August every year .

In the year 1952, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India visited the erstwhile Travancore- Cochin. On his way to Alappuzha district from Kottayam he was  given a roaring reception by the people of Alappuzha, escorted by the huge snake – boats. Having gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake boat popularly known as chundan he donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the Snake Boat race to be held every year. The trophy is an imitation of a snake boat in silver, on which the following words of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is inscribed above his signature “To the winner of the boat which is unique feature of community life in Travancore – Cochin”.  Hereafter the boat race has grown into Alappuzha’s most important event.
This Boat Race is one of those events, which the people of Kerala look forward to with excitement. Thousands of Keralities- men, women and children- throng the watersides of Alappuzha to witness this event. Huge Pavilions are set up for the people on the bank and in the middle of the Punnamada Lake. Over 16 Chundan Valloms participate in the race along with scores of smaller crafts like the churulan, veppu, odi etc., with a price for each category. There are separate races for women too. The race begins with a colourful display of floats, performing arts and decorated boats.