The view to boat race in Kerala gets its on-looker a student of history but an intimate of South India culture. Here Nehru Trophy Boat Race is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in Kerala. Nehru Trophy Boat Race considers as the biggest snake boat race throughout the world.
This comes as an annual festival executed on the Punnamada backwaters of Alappuzha district on the second Saturday of August month. The main attraction of this boat race is the race of the Snake boats called as the Chundan vallams. More than 16 Snake Boats have their vital attendance in the race. There emerge out also other types of races which are organised for small boats like veppu, churulan and odi in Kerala.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race comes associated with the visit of late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru from Kottayam to Alappuzha by boat. A pageantry of boats accompanied him on the trip. This boat race in Kerala was first held in 1952 to commemorate the visit of the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Pandit ji became so excited after he saw the race. He jumped into the race and travelled up to the boat jetty. After he donated a Silver trophy with an inscription “To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Cochin,” above his signature. The winner of that race was Nadubhagam Chundan.
The preparations for the Nehru Trophy Boat Race start a week before the event. The best oarsmen get in queue of selection and then train. There come about 150 oarsmen to represent their villages. This event is also the best example of the communal harmony that exists in this area as people from all caste and religion play their role in this boat race in unity. It is estimated that around 2 lacs people including locals and tourists come to enjoy this boat race.