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Thousands participate in Kerala's famous snake boat race

August 14, 2011 - Alleppy

Thousands of people participated in the annual snake boat race in Alleppey, Kerala state on Saturday. The event was organized at the Punnamada Lake.

A large number of people gathered on the banks of the river to watch the fervour and hard work put in by their favourite teams.

The first boat race was held here in 1952 to honour the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was on a visit to the state. Impressed by the vibrant sport, Nehru donated a rolling trophy for the winner, and since then, this competition gained more popularity with each passing year.

"We came to see the boat race today and it is a real fight to win and it is very impressive to watch," said Judy, a tourist.

Around 59 boats participated in the competition, but Devas Chundan of Chambakulam Jesus Boat Club won the race.

People filled with excitement were seen cheering and supporting their respective teams.

Greik, a tourist, expressed his excitement by saying the snake boat race was very impressive.

"I am glad to be here, the race is very exciting, the riders are very well trained, the race is very impressive, and lots of excitement is here, so it is great," he added.

Snake boats are long and narrow, originally designed to transport soldiers to the war front with speed of about 50 kilometers (31 miles) an hour. But these days they are exclusively used for races.

The construction of the boat, usually over 50 metres long, takesnearly two years and costs over 40,000 dollars each.


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