With the Champakkulam Boat Race held in river Champakkulam on July 14 2011, yet another boat race season has commenced in Kerala. Associated with the state festival, Onam, these boat races are something of a cult to Kerala. About half a dozen major and minor boat races enliven Kerala’s waterbodies during the season between June and September.
It is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held the Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha that succeeds Champakkulam Boat Race. This year, it is to be held on August 9. It is one of the most popular and competitive boat races in Kerala. Magnificent snakeboats compete for the prized trophy instituted by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.
The Pulinkunnu Boat Race, on August 30 is held in memory of Late Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. The race is held in Pulinkunnu river in Alappuzha. The next fascinating event is Payippad boat race, held on September 14. It is conducted annually at Payippadu near Harippadu. Payippadu village has also a rare distinction of possessing the largest number of elegant Chundan Vallams (snake boats) of Kerala.
With Aranmula Uthrattathi Boat Race, conducted on September 16, curtains fall on the major boat race season of Kerala. This ritualistic regatta held in river Pamba is closely connected with Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. It will be a mesmerizing sight for you to watch the elegantly decorated snake boats floating down the serene river Pamba.
Reaching there on the eve:
Nehru Trophy Boat Race:
Date : 9 August 2011
Venue : Punnamada Backwaters, Alappuzha
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, about 8 km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha.
Pulinkunnu Boat Race:
Date : 30 August 2011
Venue : Pulinkunnu River, Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, about 10 km away.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha
Payippad Boat Race:
Date: 14 September 2011
Venue: Payippad River, Payippad, Alappuzha
Nearest Railway Station: Harippad about 5 km away.
Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km away from Alappuzha
Aranmula Boat Race:
Date : 16 September 2011
Venue: River Pampa, Aranmula, Pathanamthitta
Nearest railway station: Chengannur, about 10km away.
Nearest airport: Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, about 117 km away.