The annual Snake boat races are a thrilling festival event held in Alappuzha, Kerala, India, just before the festival of Onam in August or September every year. These annual races feature many classes of boats, but the most spectacular event is the race between the giant Snake Boats or Chundanvallams at the annual races or Vallamkalis held on the Punnamada Backwaters at Alappuzha. The annual Snake Boat races festival held in Alappuzha, Kerala, India, is a thrilling event where giant Snake Boats compete for the prestigious Nehru Trophy. The Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, gave the trophy to the people of Alappuzha after his visit to Kerala in 1952. As Nehru arrived in Alappuzha, he was given a grand welcome, along the backwaters with hundreds of boats including swift-moving Snake Boats. As Nehru saw a demonstration of the rowers' prowess, he suggested an annual race be held and donated the Nehru Trophy to be given to the winning team. The Nehru Trophy has a silver replica of a Snake Boat set on a base. The annual Snake Boat races festival is an exciting event held in a celebratory atmosphere.
Snake Boat Festival Celebration in Kerala: Snake Boat races festivals are held in many venues in Kerala, India, but the races in Alappuzha are the best known. Teams of rowers compete for the Nehru Trophy. The Snake Boats or Chundanvallams, can seat up to 100 people. The rowers pull with all their might, sitting two in row along the length of the Snake Boat. The boats float low in the water and have a long curving stern. The prow is pointed in shape or may have a decorative knob at the end. The prow rides low in the water with the length of the Snake Boat extending behind it. Apart from rowers, the Snake boat carries a cox, and leaders who maintain the rhythm of rowing through chants, songs and exclamations. You can see the amazing Snake Boats of Kerala on Kerala tours with Kerala Backwater. The excitement of the Snake Boat Races has to be experienced to be appreciated. The snake boat races at Alappuzha have become a popular attraction for international travelers.