Nehru trophy boat race takes place in Punnamada lake, Alappuzha, every year on the second Saturday of August. Nehru Trophy boat race or Nehru Trophy Vallam Kali in Malayalam is one of the most popular events in Kerala itinerary among tourists, including foreigners.
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 of Panditji are inscribed above his signature.
The snake boat race is something exceptional to Kerala and the length of a snake boat varies from 120 feet to 140 feet and will have about 120 oarsmen, who will display a marvelous spectacle of rowing in unison well complemented by high pitched songs and resonant drum beats to add up to the mood.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a festival for the people of Alleppey, the main attraction of which is the sportive sprits among the participants of the race. This aquatic festival fosters a sense of unity and fraternity and sports man spirit event attaching foreign tourists also.