Cochin Herald

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Nehru Trophy Boat Race 2018

Boat races are a significant part of the culture and tradition of Indian state of Kerala. It is an annual boat race that offers great excitement for the viewers. Nehru Trophy Boat Race is the most well esteemed boat race held in India. Started in year 1952, this event attracts viewers from far off corners of the world. It will be a significant experience to witness the huge boats cruising through the backwaters of Kerala.

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held every year on the second Saturday in the month of August. The drum beats along with the chanting of the boat songs known as Vanchipattu builds the environment for a perfect event. The frenzy of activities held during the boat race imparts a distinct character to the event. The celebration of this event also includes music and folk dance performances. This time of Nehru Trophy Boat Race is August 12, this year.

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala is held on the Punnamda Lake in Alappuzha. The area is thronged by teeming millions who come to witness this spectacular event. The occasion attracts visitors from all across the world.

The participants in this race compete fiercely to come out as winners. The sight of the men rowing the Chundans or Snake Boats is admirable. All the rowers are willing to put in their best efforts to achieve glory for their villages. It is a matter of great pride for the villagers to achieve victory in this race. There is a frenzied excitement in the air. The air reverberates with cheers and applauses.

This year’s spectacle promise to be one of the best with many prominent participants, from across the state. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar will be the chief guest for this year’s Nehru Trophy Boat Race to be held at Punnamada on August 11. Speaking at the general body meeting of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race committee, Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac said Tendulkar’s participation in the event, the 66th edition of the popular event, was confirmed. “Online booking facility will be introduced for spectators. We will introduce a photo-finishing system. The race will be held keeping green protocol,” the Minister said.

Thomas Isaac also informed that the Kerala government had allotted Rs 1 crore already for the grand event, and was also vying sponsorships for the same. The state government and the tourism ministry have already begun the preparation for the boat race season.

Earlier, the tourism department had called for an Indian Premier League (IPL) model based tournament for its traditional boat races this year. The Kerala Boat Race League (KBRL) will begin with Nehru Trophy Boat Race and see its culmination with President’s Trophy in Kollam, later this year.

Talking about the KBRL 2018, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Secretary M Malin informed that the league would organise 12 races. Also, the results of the races that take place during the Nehru Trophy Boat Race will be taken into consideration and act as qualification criteria. Over 20 snake-boats will be participating in the Nehru Trophy; however, only nine teams will be able to qualify for the forthcoming challenges.

Kerala is well known for its lovely houseboats and extravagant boat races. The boat racing season is here and with Champakulam Boat Race event scheduled to take place from June 28, the season is all set to begin. The preluding event to the Nehru Boat Trophy Race will take at Pamba, in Kerala. The widely popular game is also known as ‘MoolamVallamkali’.

The course is 1.4 km (0.9 Miles) in Punnamada Lake. The 100–120 feet long canoes made of a wood locally called “Aanjili thadi” (wild jack wood) carrying 90- 110 rowers which moves like a snake through the channels (hence the name), is an eye catching sight for any tourist. The Chundan Vallam also has the record as “the biggest water vessel used for sports purpose”.

Karichal, Kallooparamban, champakulam, Nadubhagom, Paayipaadu, Kaavalam, Alapaatu, Aanari, Cheruthana, Aayaparambu, Karuvatta Puthen Chunden, Karuvatta Sree Vinayakan, St. George, Jawahar Thaayankari, Vallamkulangara, Valiya Divanji, Sri.Ganesh, Paarthasarathy, Ambedkar, Mutteal Kainakary, Ellikkulam, Vadakkeaattupuram and Deva’s Chundan are the name of popular snake boats who participate in the Chundan Vallam category.

The snake boat which holds the record for winning the most number of trophies is the Karichal Chundan (15 times). It also holds the record for being the fastest chundan in the race during 2016 where it had a Heats time of 4m: 15s. UBC Kainakary holds the record for being the club which has won the trophy the most number of times (12 times, including two hat tricks).

Each year millions are thrilled by the super-fast boat race that is the culmination of dedicated oarsmen and their team spirits.

Time to celebrate the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Kerala, once again!


Cochin Herald

All stories by: Cochin Herald