Kerala Boat Race is a festival occasion at rivers and backwaters of Kerala. Boat races Kerala are characterized by color, sweat, high-pitched folk music, excitement and teamwork. A typical snake boat team has 115 to 125 members. There will be 10 to 14 such teams competing. There are several snake boat race events, among them Nehru Trophy Boat race, is the most spectacular one. This annual boat-racing event at Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha district of Kerala was started in 1952 to commemorate the visit of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
He donated a trophy, which is a replica of a snake-boat in silver with the words of Nehru: "To the winner of the boat-race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore-Cochin".
The construction of snake boats is also an engineering marvel. The 'Asari' (carpenter) makes the gigantic boat from a huge tree called 'anjili' in Malayalam, which resembles a huge oak tree, characterized for its strength and resistance to rot. During the time of Rajahs (Kings) these snake boats were the vehicles of aggression and defense. Asaris kept the architecture of snake-boat building a secret. Even today, one has to go through many years of training to master the art of snake-boat construction. Scales are rarely used and it is a wonder that the intuition of an asary can produce such un-sinkable boats.
Kerala boat race is made a festival by almost all Malayalee people. Among the 115 or 125 team members, only 99 will row the boats, the rest are to enliven the stage with folk songs and music.
Kerala boat races are there in all parts of the state, but the most spectacular ones are seen in Alappuzha.
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Dev Sri provides Kerala tour and travel information through The Kerala Tourism website. Check out the website to find cool places, genuine Ayurvedic centers and Kerala travel packages.