Audience in boats cheer the competitors at Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Kerala

  • 5 years ago
Snake boat race or the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the famous festivals in Kerala. It is held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. Vallam Kali or Vallamkali literally means boat play/game, but can be translated to boat race in English. The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (snake boats). Hence the race is also known as Snake Boat Race in English. Other types 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. The snake boat race is usually conducted during the months of August and September every year. The attractive backwaters are filled with activities as the villagers prepare for the great snake boat races. The Chundan vallam is the largest and the most majestic of all the race boats.

The length of the Chundan Vallam boat varies from 100 to 120 feet long and the longest boat accommodates nearly 120 rowers in the boat with 60 on each side of the boat. The rowing is perfectly synchronized with the boatmen's song. The main steersman of the boat stands on the amaram which rises to a height of nearly 15 -20 feet. The amaram resemble the angry snake with its neck raised. It is decorated with brass studs and beautifully engraved works.The main boat races are the Nehru trophy boat race which began in the year 1952 when India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Alleppey. It is one of the major events which take place on the second Saturday in the month of August every year.

Source: Wikipedia

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