Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Paddlers training for Nehru trophy boat race

The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala, India. Vallam Kali or Vallamkali literally means boat play/game, but can be translated to boat race in English. The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (snake boats). Hence the race is also known as Snake Boat Race in English. Other types boats which participate in various events of the race are Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam), Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam.

The race conducted on the second Saturday of August every year is a major tourist attraction.


How this boat race got the name

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India visited Kerala in 1952. He was given a roaring reception by the people of Alleppey, escorted by the huge snake-boats. Having gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake-boat Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race. The trophy is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus on which the following words are inscribed.

To the winner of the boat-race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore-Cochin.

The 100–120 foot long canoes made of a wood locally called "Aanjili thadi" carrying 90- 110 rowers which moves like a snake through the channels (hence the name), is an eye catching sight for any tourist. The Chundan Vallam also has the record as "the biggest water vessel used for sports purpose" .

Karichal, Kallooparamban, Chambakulam, Nadubhagom, Paayipaadu, Kaavalam, Alapaatu, Aanari, Cheruthana, Aayaparambu, St. George, Jawahar Thaayankari, Vallamkulangara, Valiya Divanji, Sri.Ganesh, Paarthasarathy, Ambedkar, Pattara, Ellikkulam, Vadakkeaattupuram and Deva's Chundan are the name of popular snake boats who participate in the Chundan Vallam category. Famous Karichal Chundan winning the Nehrutrophy Boat Race in 14 times. (

Palliyodam, or Royal Canoe of Aranmula, is the other type of snake boat.


The current hatrick title for continuously winning three times in a row is held by Kumarakom Town Boat Club under the leadership of Raju Vadakkathu Kumarakom Kottayam.

Year Club Winners
1952 Nadubhagam Boat club natubhagam chundan
1954 kaavalam team Kavaalam chundan
1955 Nedumudi NSS Karayogam Paarthasarathi Chundan
1956 kaavalam team Kavaalam chundan
1957 Ponga Boat club Neoplian Chundan
1958 Ponga Boat club
Kavalam Boat Club
Neoplian Chundan
Kaavalam Chundan
1959 Ponga Boat club Neoplian Chundan
1960 kaavalam boat club Kavaalam chundan
1961 Ponga Boat club Neoplian Chundan
1962 kaavalam boat club Kavaalam chundan
1963 U.B.C Kainakari Kainakari chundan
1964 U.B.C Kainakari St. George Chundan
1965 U.B.C Kainakari Parthasarathi Chundan
1966 Pulinkunnu boat club Pulinkunnu chundan
1967 Pulinkunnu boat club Pulinkunnu chundan
1968 U.B.C Kainakari Parthasarathi Chundan
1969 Pulinkunnu boat club Pulinkunnu chundan
1970 U.B.C Kainakari Kallooparamban chundan
1971 Kumarakam boat club
Pulinkunnu boat club
Kallooparamban chundan
Pulinkunnu chundan
1972 Kumarakam boat club Kallooparamban chundan
1973 Kumarakam boat club Kallooparamban & Karichal
1974 Friends boat club Karichal Chundan
1975 Friends boat club Karichal Chundan
1976 UBC Kainakari Karichal Chundan
1977 Thayankari boat club Jawahar chundan
1978 Thaynkari boat club jawahar thayankari
1979 UBC Kainakari Aayaparambu Valiya Diwanji
1980 Pullingati boat club Karichal chundan
1981 No Winners .
1982 Kumarakam boat club Karichal chundan
1983 Kumarakam boat club Karichal chundan
1984 Kumarakam boat club Karichal chundan
1985 Friends boat club jawahar thayankari
1986 Village boat club, Kainakari Karichal chundan
1987 Village boat club, Kainakari Karichal chundan
1988 Pallathurathi boat club Vellamkulangara Chundan
1989 UBC Kainakari Chambakulam chundan
1990 UBC Kainakari Chambakulam chundan
1991 UBC Kainakari Chambakulam chundan
1992 Sreelakshmana boat club Kallupramban chundan
1993 UBC Kainakari Kallupramban chundan
1994 Jet Airways Chambakulam chundan
1995 Alappuzha boat club Chambakulam chundan
1996 Alappuzha boat club Chambakulam chundan
1997 Navajeevan club Alappadan chundan
1998 Pallathuruthi boat club Chambakulam chundan
1999 Kumarakam town boat club Alappadan chundan
2000 Alappuzha boat club Karichal chundan
2001 Friends boat club Karichal chundan
2002 Kumarakam boat club Vellamkulangara chundan
2003 Navajeevan boat club Karichal chundan
2004[1] Kumarakam Town boat club Cheruthana chundan-Raju Vadakkathu
2005 Kumarakam Town boat club Payippad chundan-Raju Vadakkathu
2006 Kumarakam town boat club Payippad chundan-Raju Vadakkathu
2007[2] Kumarakam town boat club Payippad chundan
2008[3] Kollam Jesus boat club Karichal chundan
2009[4] Kollam Jesus boat club Chambakkulam chundan
2010 Kumarakam Town boat club Jawahar Thayankari

Other renowned boat races in Kerala

External links


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