Festivals of India: Kerala Boat Race

India is a diverse nation. Everyday people are celebrating something in various parts of this huge nation. We know about many religious and cultural festivals but have very basic (in many cases none) knowledge about the art themed fairs & festivals celebrated across the country along with some traditional religious festivals which are pulling many tourists now a days.

This specific Travel series of mine concentrates on the calendar of those festivals which every Indian should proudly attend and enjoy!

boat race 5
The famous snake boat


There are many boat races in Kerala like Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Neerettupuram Boat Race, Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, Pulimkunnu Boat Race, Karuvatta Boat Race, Haripad Boat Race, Mannar Boat Race etc. that take place in the waters of Kerala each year during August & September. But the Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alapuzzha is the most famous, biggest and oldest boat racing competition in Kerala. It is the one which you should not miss. It’s also one of its kinds in the world. It’s held on the 2nd Saturday of every August. The race will take place on 12th August in 2017 and on 11th August in 2018.


boat race 4
The Trophies

Where & How To Reach?

The boat race takes place on the Punnamada Lake near Alapuzzha. The race courses are 1370 meters in length. From Alapuzzha tourists and locals (who are ticket holders) are taken to the destination by jetty. The last jetty leaves at 11 am.  Tourists are expected to take their seats in the pavilion by 12 noon. The Punnamada Lake jetty point is just 11 minutes away from Alapuzzha city center. The ticket prizes ranges according to the pavilion you choose to sit in. You can book the tickets on book my show, on their website as well as at the venue itself. But it’s always safe to book the tickets in advance if you want good seats. You can carry your own food and water to the race but make sure your bag isn’t too heavy.

Sr. No Categories of Tickets Rate
1 Tourist Gold (Admit 1) Rs. 2500/-
2 Tourist Silver (Admit 1) Rs. 1500/-
3 Rose Corner (Admit 2) Rs. 750/-
4 Rose Corner (Admit 1) Rs. 450/-
5 Victory Line (Admit 1 Rs. 300/-
6 All View (Admit 1) Rs. 230/-
7 Lake View (Admit 1) Rs. 150/-
8 Lawn (Admit 1) Rs. 100/-
Alappuzha to Punnamada
From Alapuzzha to Punnamada Lake
route map
The Destination Map

What Is It?

The Kali-Vallangal i.e. racing boats are a spectacular sport to watch. Around 100s of people row the sleek snake boats through the water in a synchronized manner. Even a little mistake by a single person can be harmful for the whole team. The participants go through riggers sessions of diet and practice for the whole year to win this competition. It was first started when the then prime minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru visited the area in 1952. He was so impressed by the snake boats that he donated the silver trophy and thus began the racing game. Watching hundreds of oars held by strong boatmen, working with the rhythm of water, the drums and songs is mesmerizing. Every year nearly 2 lakh people attend this event from across the globe. It’s also known as Kerala’s F1 races.


Where To Stay & Other Activities

Alapuzzha is famous for it’s backwaters. There are many luxury hotels, home-stays in and around the city. One can also rent a houseboat to stay in. Air BnB offers amazing deals on their app and website for the roof in Alapuzzha. August is the best season to visit the city and enjoy the scenic views.

You can read more about the same on their official website:



PC.: Internet


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