Alappuzha will host the 67th Nehru Trophy Boat Race this year, which is scheduled to begin from Saturday. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race, named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, is conducted every year on the Punnamda Lake, near Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August.
It is a fiercely fought boat race, which turns the tranquil lake into a sea of humanity with an estimated two lakh people. The race is not only observed by the locals, but also sees particAlappuzhaipation from a number of tourists.
It is a popular Vallam Kali held in the Alappuzha, Kerala. Vallam Kali or Vallamkaliy literally means boat play/game. The most popular event of the race is Chundan Vallams, which means snake boat race. The other categories of boats which participate in various events of the race are Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam), Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam.
These boats race for the course of 1.4 km (0.9 Miles) in Punnamada Lake. The canoes are usually 100–120 feet long and are made of a wood, locally called ‘Aanjili thadi’ (wild jack wood). Each boat carries 90 to 110 rowers which moves like a snake through the channels.
The snake boat which holds the record for winning the most number of trophies is the Karichal Chundan. The Nehru Trophy for boat race is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus on which the following words are inscribed.
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