Nehru Boat Race to herald Kerala's new tourist season
Oarsmen row their boat during the Nehru trophy boat race in Alleppey.
The 16 snake-boats are the pick of some 100-odd boats that will be seen during the event but they alone will be competing for the Nehru Trophy, now in its 60th edition. The other boats will be eligible for a different set of prizes.
Four other snake-boats will be on display at the event, as would, for the first time, four dragon boats, said Tomy Pulikattil, one of the organisers of the event and a leading operator of houseboats in Alappuzha.
"Boat races have now become the most talked about event by tourists across the globe. The most common question asked by tourists is whether boat races will be happening when they visit Kerala," Pulikattil said.
Kerala's tourist season begins in the second week of August, peaks towards the end of December and continues till the end of January.
Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said that boat race has now become one of the most popular events for tourists.
"Historically and traditionally, boat races were mainly centred in districts of Alappuzha, Kollam and Kottayam. The popularity of this event has now spread to other districts and we are now planning to have more boat races in districts like Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur," Kumar told IANS.