The Nehru Trophy Boat Race on Alappuzha’s Punnamada Lake is one of Kerala’s most electric annual spectacles.

In pictures This boat race in Kerala is a testament to the states beauty and strengthAll Photos by Lenin CV
news Culture Sunday, August 13, 2017 - 13:01

Beautiful blue skies stretch out above. The chundans (snakeboats) stand ready on the clear waters of the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha, their rowers bursting with barely contained energy. The air is thick with anticipation, as over a lakh spectators watch on eagerly from the pavilions on the banks.

As the race kicks off, the atmosphere is electric. Massive teams of rowers churn the lake’s waters as their muscles pump in rhythmic unity, and the snakeboats glide across the waters. The cheers and cries of support rise to a brilliant crescendo as the chundans power their way past the finish.

First organised in 1952, during a visit of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the Nehru Trophy has since become one of the major racing traditions in Kerala. The 65th edition of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race saw a record 78 boats – carrying 20 to 100 rowers – participate in the event.

The early part of the day saw races among various smaller categories of boats, including with women rowers in the Thekkanodi category. The spectacular highlight of the races, though, belonged to the 20 chundans sponsored by the major boat clubs of the state. Following many highly competitive heats, the electric finale saw the Gabriyel Chundan, of the Thurthippuram Boat Club, snatch the victory from their rivals. 

 

 

All Photos by Lenin CV

 

 

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