Home
Upcoming Festival

Nehru Boat Race, 13th Aug 2016

Situated at a mere distance of 62 km to the south of Kochi and 155 km north of Trivandrum, this historic town is a true amalgamation of picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons. Its Beauty is such that this location got highly acclaimed for its timeless beauty and earned itself an idiom “Venice of the East" bestowed by Lord Curzon. Some common languages spoken here are Malayalam, Tamil, English, and Hindi which make this place a much sought after destination for one and all.

Alleppey is a city situated in the Alappuzha District of Kerala state of Southern India and is considered the oldest planned town in this region. Alleppey is also home to the iconic lighthouse built on the coast of the town which is the first of its kind along the Laccadive Sea coast. The city is quite conveniently placed on the tourist map as the nearest International airport is at Cochin, approximately 85 km from Alappuzha.

Owing to its proximity to the sea, the climate of Alappuzha is humid and hot during the summer, although it remains fairly cool and pleasant during the months of October and November. The average monthly temperature is 27 Degrees Celsius. Alappuzha city experiences a long monsoon season with heavy showers as both the Southwest monsoon and Northeast monsoon influences the weather of Alappuzha. The South-west monsoon affects the climate in the months from June to September. On the other hand, the North-east monsoon brings rain from October to November. Much famed across continents is The Nehru Boat Race, duly named after Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that takes place on the Punnamda Lake, near Alappuzha, each year on the second Saturday of August. In 2016, we will witness the 62nd anniversary of this annual carnival on 13th August. This world famous race is a competition between the Chundan Vallams, most popularly known as Snake Boat.

On this day which witnesses a fiercely fought boat race, the tranquility of the placid lake in front gets transmuted into a sea of mortality with an estimated two lakh souls, including foreign tourists enjoying this delightful sight. For the people of Kuttanad, a victory in this race for their village boat is something to be celebrated for months to come. There are more varieties of boats which participate in this race, namely Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam), Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam. Vallamkali literally means boat game, but can be translated in English to boat race. The rhythmic and the synchronized way of rowing these majestic snake boats make a rare pageant.

Each of these 100–120 foot long canoes is made of a special wood locally called "Aanjilithadi", and carries close to 110 rowers. The movement of these boats is very much serpentine while traversing through the channels and is hence an eye catching sight for any tourist. The Chundan Vallam has earned a position in the Guinness Book of World records for being classified as "the biggest water vessel used for sports purpose". A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience, as it connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Quilon to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India had visited Kerala in 1952, where he was given a memorable reception by the locals of Alleppey, while being escorted by the huge distinctively classifiable snake-boats. Having gone through the phenomenalelation of sailing in a snake-boat, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy, made in form of a replica of a snake-boat in pure silver which was aimed at the winner of this boat race.

How about visiting this ethereal destination with family to enjoy the beauty and witness the snake boats slithering on the water surface amidst the exhaustive cheering of the crowd…..?