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Nehru Trophy Boat Race: Kerala

''The tranquil lake front is transformed into a sea of humanity with an estimated two lakh people''

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is conducted on the Punnamda Lake, near Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August every year. For the people of each village in Kuttanad, a victory at this race for their village boat is something to be celebrated for months to come.
The major attraction of the boat race is the competition of snake boats chundanvallams or snake boats. Chundans (snake boats) are an impressive sight, measuring over 100 feet in length, with a raised prow. They were called snake boats by the former colonial rulers, who based the name on a native boat found in Norway,although Kerala's Chundans bear little resemblance to their European namesakes.
The snake boats and the smaller varieties of Kerala race boats like the 'Churulan', 'Veppu' and oadi' move in a formation down the 1.4 KM stretch of the lake as the sturdy villagers, their biceps rippling in the sun, row with an elaborate flourish of the oars to the singing of couplets from "Kuchelavritham Vanchipattu" the classic Malayalam poem written by Ramapurathu Warrier to regale King Marthanda Varma of Travancore in early 19th century during a boat journey from Vaikom to Thiruvananthapuram.

WHEN : August 9, 2014

WHERE : Punnamda Lake, Alleppey in Kerala

HISTORY : The first race was an impromptu once conducted in 1952 in honour of Panditji who visited Alappuzha. In that race of snake boats, Nadubhagam Chundan stood first. Panditji, who was thrilled and excited in the performance of the oarsmen, jumped into the Nadubhagam Chundan, forgetting all security arrangements.The boat proceeded to the boat jetty carrying the Prime Minister. On his return to Delhi in December 1952, Nehru donated a Silver Trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus. The trophy bears the following inscription above his signature:
"To the winners of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore Cochin. "
This trophy later came to be known as Nehru Trophy, and in fond memory of great Panditiji, the people of Alappuzha celebrate the Nehru Trophy Boat Race every year.

WHOM TO CONTACT : CHAIRMAN :DISTRICT COLLECTOR, ALAPPUZHA
Ph. 0477- 2251720 (O), 9447129011 (M)
Email :-dcalp[dot]ker[at]nic[dot]in / nehrutrophy[at]kerala[dot]nic[dot]in

SECRETARY : REVENUE DIVISIONAL OFFICER, ALAPPUZHA
Ph. 0477- 2263441 (Office), 9447495002(Mob)
NEHRU TROPHY BOAT RACE SOCIETY
Fax : 0477 - 2263441

EMERGENCY SECURITY NUMBERS

0477-2239161, 100, 1090, 1091

HOW TO REACH : Distance:
80 Km south of Cochin International air port . 70 minutes journey by N.H 47.
60 Km South of Cochi . An hour's drive from Cochi by N.H.47.
170 Km North of Kovalam . 3 & 1/2 hour's journey by N.H 47.
125 Km West of Thekkady . 3 hour's journey by N.H 47.
From Alappuzha Railway station to venue about 5 Km.
From Alappuzha K.S.R.T.C Bus station to venue-Walkable distance.

DO’S AND DONT'S FOR VISITORS : DO’s
Purchase tickets from authorized retail outlets (through Govt. depts. And tourism information office– authorized ticket counter)
Please check the tickets for authorized seal of the committee and serial number
Authorized counters can be identified with banners having logo of NTBR
Try to reach Alappuzha by 9 AM
The committee already arranged separate boats for the tourists and ticket holders to reach the race area
The ticket holders must reach the specially arranged boat jetty by 11:00 for catching the boat
Try to bring food items and water and can take to the venue
Occupy your seat by 12:00 noon
Vehicles can be parked in Municipal Stadium north of Zillah Court Bridge
This facility will available only up to 11:00 AM
Less luggage more comfort
Show your tickets at the entrance of the boat jetty and also at the entrance of the pavilion
For any help please contact the control room 2243441 / 100 (police)

DONT'S
Do not purchase tickets from unauthorized person
Do not purchase complimentary passes by paying cash
Do not purchase tickets having no seal or serial no. etc.
Do not bring any explosive items and dangerous electronic devices
Smoking is not allowed in the pavilion
Do not bring liquors to the pavilion


Source / Review By : TEAM TRIPONOMICS

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