The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is an annual traditional snake boat race held in the backwaters of Kerala, India. It takes place in Punnamada Lake in the city of Alappuzha (Alleppey) on the second Saturday of August each year. The event is named after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who visited Kerala in 1952 and was so impressed by the snake boat races that he donated a silver trophy to encourage the competition.
The race features long, narrow, and colorful snake boats, which are traditional wooden boats unique to Kerala. Each boat is crewed by around 100 oarsmen and is around 100 to 120 feet (30 to 40 meters) in length. These boats are beautifully decorated with elaborate carvings and flags during the event.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a significant cultural and sporting event in Kerala, drawing large crowds of spectators from all over India and even abroad. It is part of the larger festival called the “Onam” celebrations, which is the state festival of Kerala.
The boat race is a competitive event, and various snake boat teams from different regions of Kerala participate in the race to win the prestigious Nehru Trophy. It is a thrilling and vibrant spectacle as the teams row their boats rhythmically to the accompaniment of traditional songs and cheering from the spectators.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kerala and is an important tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world to witness this unique and colorful tradition. It also promotes camaraderie and sportsmanship among the local communities.