Nehru Trophy Boat Race: The True Culture and Heritage of Kerala
Kerala is the most exiting tourist place in South India; Nehru Trophy Boat Race (Vallam Kali) is a stylish and popular Vallam Kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala, India. The Nehru Boat Race (Vallam Kali) Festival which is a most impressive game also named as Snake Trophy Boat Race and more importantly it is the only admired boat racing game of Kerala. Alappuzha is a best tourist place in Kerala among other tourist destinations and being major tourist attraction this festival is celebrated near Alappuzha (Alleppey) in Lake Tranquil of Punnamada in Kerala which is celebrated on second Saturday of August every year. Nehru Trophy Boat Race has emerged as an international sports event which is witnessed by a large number of spectators from all over the globe. The boat race is one of its kinds in the world and is only organized in Kerala, India. What makes this event more beautiful is the peculiarity of the month August because this is the month when the surroundings of the event venue turn all green and picturesque, just the reason of monsoon rains.
The event is known by the name of Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race because the rolling Nehru Trophy was started by the first Prime Minister of independent India in 1952, when he visited Kerala for the first time. The people of Alleppey gave him a warm reception escorted by snake boats and Jawaharlal Lal Nehru was so happy that he donated a rolling trophy which is handed over to the winner of the snake boat race every year. This boat race is accomplished by a number of boats, having massive size and attractive shape it draw the maximum tourist attention, includes Kochu Vallam, Vadakkanody Vallam, Veppu Vallam, Odi Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Churulan Vallam. Due to the huge size of these Snake Boats greater number than hundred oarsmen are required to push and speed up in the water with the team sprits. The greatest teamwork and team spirit required to be winner.
Some of the famous and eminent boats which participate in Nehru Trophy (Vallam Kali) Snake Boat Race in Alleppey are Kaarichaal, Paayipaadu, Chambakulam, Cheruthana and St George. Boat race is also known by the name of ‘Vallam Kali’ in Malayalam. It is a game which tests the muscle power of human being on the placid backwaters with the background music and drumbeats of musicians and cheering of the crowd in support of their favorite boat. It is also said that the kings of Alleppey (Alappuzha) used boats to flight with each other’s along the over 400 years ago. Due to defeat of one king, who suffered big losses, decided to architect boat a better vessel and generated the snake boat.
A number of participants take part in the boat race and the main attraction of the event is the snake boat race, which is as long as 100 to 120 feet. It is made up of forest wood, which is locally called as ‘Aanjili Thadi’. The made up boat is known by the name of ‘Chundan Vallam’, which carries around 100 rowers at a time and has the distinction of being the largest water vessel that is used for the purpose of sports. The boat is also entitled as snake boat because it resembles the cover of hissing snake.
Boat race, the venue ‘Punnamada Lake’ will be overflowing with excitement. Hundred-Thousands of people, locals & tourists, assemble to watch the race. World’s most famous boat race game has attracted a number of tourists nationally and internationally, for this year a number of bookings done in advanced. So if you are planning a tour to Kerala, adjust it accordingly and do visit Alleppey as it is an event worth witnessing, which leaves the lifelong cherishing memories in your hearts. If at all you have not planned your trip still it is time to ponder over it.
Kochi Airport is 54kms away from the Alleppey and Trivandrum Airport is at 154kms distance from Alleppey. Travelling to Alleppey by Train is too easy; it is connected to major cities like Kottayam, Cochin, Chengannur and Changanassery. By road Alleppey is connected is interconnected by a number of roadways of South India. One can also reach Alleppey from Cochin by backwater.
Last but not the least; Kerala is regarded as the most popular tourist destination in southwestern India because Kerala is known as Gods own country and also blessed with full of tourist places. One can enjoy the Backwaters, Beaches, Hill Stations, Monuments, Museums, Spice Plantations, Wildlife, Ayurveda and Religious Places in Kerala.
• Track length – 1400 M.
• Chundan –
• Amaram – 5 Persons
• Nilakkar – 5 Persons
• Total no. of team members- 111
• Tracks –
• 4 tracks of 10 M. wide from East.
How to reach Alappuzha
• 080 Km. South of Cochin International Airport – 70 minutes journey by NH 47
• 062 Km. South of Kochi – An hour drive from Kochi by NH 47
• 170 Km. North of Kovalam – 3 ½ hours journey by NH 47
• 155 Km. North of Trivandrum – 3 hours journey by NH 47
• 125 Km. West of Thekkady – 3 hours journey by road
• 050 Km. West of Kottayam – 1 hour journey by road