Nehru Trophy Boat Race | 10 August 2019 | Alappuzha Backwaters

Alappuzha, rightly hailed as the “Venice of the East”, is awash with numerous canals, rivers, and lakes; it is a land situated below sea level, and home to waterbodies aplenty! Several local boat races are held across the state. However, for every Keralite, the epitome of Vallomkali or the boat race is the Nehru Trophy boat race of Alappuzha a festival that flashes in minds the image of jet-black snake boats gliding swiftly on the ripples. The snake boats, rowers and their affiliated boat clubs are synonymous of astounding athleticism and sportsmanship. The history of the Nehru Trophy boat race can be traced to the visit of the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in1952 He donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the annual race. The trophy was a replica of a snake-boat in silver. On July 1, 1969, the trophy was renamed the Nehru Trophy. In addition to the iconic snake boats other boats like the Churulan and Odivallom also participate in boat races. But the snake boat is considered the king among boats. The Punnamada lake track is 1400 meters long. 4 snake boats compete at a time on 4 respective tracks which are 10 meters wide. 111 oars touch the water in perfect harmony. The electrifying physical strength of the rowers takes each of the boats to the winning point. The Nehru Trophy race is unique. It embodies the strength, passion and festive mood of a region. It is undoubtedly the pride of Kerala in the sporting world.


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