Alappuzha is famous for its annual boat race, held on the second Saturday of August every year. The long elegant snake boats, with crews of over hundred men vying to win the coveted trophy, attract spectators from all over.
The race goes back in history to 1952 when India's first Prime Minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, visited Alappuzha and inaugurated the function in which the gigantic snake boats with over 100 rowers in each raced one another. Having gone through the tremendous excitement, on his visit to Alappuzha, of sailing in a snake boat he donated a ‘Rolling Trophy’ to be awarded to the winner of the Snake Boat Races to be held every year. This was later christened, 'Nehru Trophy'.
The celebrations that mark this annual event include music and folk dance performances and of course the boat race. From then onwards, year after year, the boat race has grown into Alappuzha`s most important event