Nehru Trophy Vallam Kali
Trophy Boat Race is one the famous Vallam Kali held in Punnamada Lake
in Alappuzha district of Kerala state in south India. Vallam Kali (or
Vallamkali) literally means boat play/game, but can be translated to boat
race in Malayalam.
race is conducted on the second saturday of every August.
Kali include races of many kinds of traditional boats of Kerala. The race
of Chundan Vallam (snake boat) is the major item. Hence Vallam Kali is
also know in English as Snake Boat Race and a major tourist attraction.
Other types boats which do participate in various events in the race are
Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam),
Vadakkanody Vallam, Kochu Vallam.
Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India visited Kerala in
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.
trophy is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus
on which the following words are inscribed.
the winner of the boat-race which is a unique feature of community life
100 - 120 feet long boats made of a forest wood locally called "Aanjili
thadi" and is being moving like a snake through the channels , carrrying
90- 110 sailors is an eye catching sight for any tourist landing on to
alapuzha for experiancing the boat race. The "Chundan Vallam"
also has the record as "the biggest water vessel used for sports
Chambakulam, Paayipaadu, Kaavalam, Alapaatu, Aanari, Cheruthana, Aayaparambu,
St.George,Jawahar thaayankari, Vallamkulangara,Sri.Ganesh,Paarthasarathy
are the knights of backwaters (Chundan vallam) .
Trophy Boat Race
Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the most colourful water sport in Kerala, is conducted
at PUNNAMADA LAKE in Alappuzha on the second saturday of every August.
This prestigious cultural event of Kerala has been attracting people from
all over the world. 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.
trophy named as NEHRU TROPHY was donated by the late Prime Minister of
INDIA Jawaharlal Nehru to the winners of the first boat race which was
an impromptu one conducted in 1952 in honour of Panditji who visited Alappuzha
aquatic festival fosters a sense of unity and fraternity and sports man
spirit event and attaching foreign tourists also.
In the year 1952, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin.
On his way to Alleppey from Kottayam 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 popularly
known as Chundan, Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded
to the winner.
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
Kerala, especially Alappuzha is famous for Snake Boats or locally cally
Chundan Vallams. Snake boat races (chundan vallam kali) is normally conducted
during Kerala's main festival (Onam) season.
boats are constructed in wood with a lenght of 100 to 160ft and the rear
portion towering to a height of 20ft. Normally a snake boat can contain
up to 128 oarsmen including 4 main orsmen holding pankayam and who directs
the boat. There will be few singers and a capain.
boat races in kerala are Nehru Trophy boat race, Payippad vallam kali,
Chambakkulam moolam vallam kali, Karuvatta leading channel boat race etc
CHUNDAN VALLAM (SNAKE BOAT)
CHURULAN VALLAM (RACE BOAT)
KETTU VALLAM - HOUSE BOAT
Chundan Vallam (Chundan boat) known to outside world as Kerala snake boats
is one of the icons of Kerala culture used in Vallamkali (boat race).
Constructed according to specifications taken from the Sthap Athya Veda,
an ancient treatise for the building of wooden boats. These boats are
about 100 to 158 ft in length, with the rear portion towering to a height
of about 20 ft. and a long tapering front portion. It resembles a snake
with its hood raised. Its hull is built of planks precisely 83 feet in
length and six inches wide.
It is decorated with golden lace. And there will be a flag and two or
there ornamental umbrella.
Traditionally each boat belongs to a village and the villagers worship
that boat like a deity. Only men are allowed to touch the boat and to
show respect they should be barefooted. To make the boat slippery while
in water it is oiled with a mixture of fish oil, coconut shell carbon
and eggs. Repair works are done annually is done by the village carpenter.
Traditionally it will be commanded by a Kaarnavan / Karanaadhan Village
leader)with 'First Adanayampu' and under him there will be three main
oarsmen, symbolize the four Vedas who control the movement of the boat
with 12 feet long main rudder-oar (Adanayampu). Sitting two in row along
the length of the Boat there will be 64 oarsmen, representing 64 art forms
(or sometimes there will be 128 oarsmen). They row in rhythm of the vanchipattu
(boatman's song). There will be around 25 singers in a row at the middle
between the oresmen. And in the middle of the second half of the boat
is a platform for eight people to stand from where the main singer will
lead the song.They represent the Ashtadikpalakas(the Devas or Gods who
guard the eight directions).A colourful and decorated umbrella also will
be there.Sreerenganathan 06:04, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
VALLAM (SNAKE BOAT)
The boats of Kerala are known after their shapes, sizes or purposes.
The Chundaanvallam is so called because of its pointed prow. The term
snake boat comes from its stern, which represents the raised, the hood
of a snake and its length . The front end of this type of boat will be
tapering in shape and the rear end will be very high from the water level.
They have a length of about 60-65 meters and a capacity carrying hundred
to hundred and ten people during the race time. The stern is majestically
caparisoned and decorated with a flag and brass ornaments. Silken parasols
are arrayed along the entire length of the boat. There will be almost
95 oarsman, 5 Amarakkar (Controllers) and 10 'Nilakkar' (persons supposed
to enhance the vigour and enthusiasm of the articipating oarsman). It
has got a resemblance to the shape of a snake, when it advances in a competition
and hence became popular as snake boats. Snake boats are the traditional
battle vessels of Kerala known as Chundan vallams . They were originally
designed as a naval vessel used for battle.
CHURULAN VALLAM (RACE BOAT)
The Race Boats "churulan vallams" are boats having a capacity
for about 45 persons . They are designed as a passenger boat. But the
end of these types of boats will be shaped as a Circular ring (Churul
'Vaipu' vallams are boats having a passenger capacity of about
40-45 person . One end of the boat will higher than the level of the other
end. These boats are originally designed as boats for preparing food while
they accompany the battle vessels in olden days.
Iruttukuthy or Odi type of boats are designed for transportation during
the night . The shape of the boat is suitable for speedy journey. The
width of the boat is so designed to avoid friction with water while moving.
In olden days these boats were supposed to be used for piracy works.
VALLAM - HOUSE BOAT
These massive boats once used for transportation of goods are now converted
as house boats
(SONG OF THE BOATMAN)
These highly rhythmic songs were created to keep up the spirits of the
boatsmen . The rhythm of these songs blend perfectly with the movement
of the oars and to keep up devotional, mythological or relating to rustic
life styles. Every snake boat has about twenty-five singers keeping time
with traditional percussion instruments.
Jalotsavam , Alappuzha
The three day annual fiesta on the Payippad Lake, 35 km from Alappuzha,
commemorates the installation of the deity at the Subramanya Swamy Temple,
Haripad. The story is that the people of the village decided to build
a temple with Sree Ayyappa as the presiding deity. After the temple was
ready, they had a vision directing them to a whirlpool in Kayamkulam Lake
where they would find the idol of Sree Subramanya which was to be installed
at the temple. Accordingly, the elders of the village with divers and
swimmers rowed to the spot and found the idol which was escorted back
ceremoniously by devotees from the entire region in colourfully
races held during Onam (August/September):
ATDC Boat Race, Alappuzha
Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, Pulinkunnu
Neerettupuram Boat Race
Kumarakom Boat Race
Karuvatta Boat Race
Kavanattinkara Boat Race,
Kumarakom Arpookara Vanitha Jalamela,
Kottayam Mahatma Boat Race, Mannar
Thazhathangadi Boat Race,Kottayam
Kottapuram Boat Race,
Kodungallur and Kumaranasan Smaraka Jalotsavam, Pallana