The 68th edition of Kerala's annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race postponed due to the pandemic
Kerala's grand spectacle sport, the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race that was scheduled for the second Saturday in August will not be held. The 68th edition has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the organisers.
This hugely popular event brings tourists and visitors from all over the world and has always been considered the curtain-raiser for the tourist season in God's Own Country.
However, since the last three years, the event has faced issues and hasn't been held as per the schedule. Both in 2018 and 2019, the event was delayed due to various reasons. In 2019, Kerala witnessed the worst-ever floods and the race was finally held on August 31.
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The history of the event dates to 1952 when then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited the area and a small flotilla of decorated boats accompanied him from Kottayam to Alappuzha on the famed backwaters.
An impromptu race was conducted in his honour. Thrilled by the performance of the oarsmen, Nehru, too, jumped into a snake boat.
On returning to Delhi, he donated a silver trophy, comprising a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus with an inscription and his signature. This trophy is awarded to the winner of the snake boat category every year.
The snake boat race is the main tourist attraction because of the boat's length, spanning from 120 to 140 feet, and with about 120 oarsmen to propel it.