The Nehru Trophy Boat Race that is held annually in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha is the most exciting time in Kerala. A number of boat races along different categories are held every year. But, the most-awaited race is definitely the Snake boat race or the Chundan Vallam. This features boats that are so long they have their own world records and can seat 130-150 people on-board.
While around 120-125 oarsmen give it their all paddling in this race to cross the finish line, there are about 5 singers on board to fill these oarsmen up with the much-needed energy by singing the traditional songs or Vanjipattu. These songs not only pump them up but also help in the rhythm as these oarsmen row the boat.
The song “Kuttanadan Punjayile” which was penned by the legendary Sri. Vayalar Ramavarma is recognized as the ultimate boat song and has been covered by many popular artists. Check out this cover of the song by YouTube sensation Vidya Vox that would put you in the right mood!
The boats are coated with fish oil, which along with their shape helps them glide through the water. Here’s another video that will give you a taste of what you can expect at Alappuzha aka the Venice of the East.
This boat race is nothing short of a celebration and gets more thrilling with each passing year. This year at the 66th Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the chief guest is none other than the master-blaster, Sachin Tendulkar! Will we see Sachin jump into a boat and go on an impromptu ride just like the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru did? We sure hope so.
With so much and more to witness on the 11th of August, 2018, wouldn’t you also want to be a part of this celebration? If you do, then just book your ticket to see this unique sporting spectacle right here!