President's Trophy Boat Race 2016

Come November and Kollam city becomes inundated with people who have travelled from far and near. It is that time of the year when the waters of the Ashtamudi Lake get thrashed by the enthusiastically pumping paddles of hundreds of oarsmen.

Yes, we are talking about the annual Presidents Trophy boat race, which was instituted by President Pratibha Patel in 2011. Thousands of people gather on the banks of the scenic Ashtamudi Lake at Asramam creek to witness this event with lots of frenzy and fervor for the sport. Adults and children alike cheer their teams with much laughter, drumming and clapping. The nerve-racking tension as the boats race through the 1.25km stretch over the lake creates equal moments of hushed silence as well as raucous shouting and cheering.

The sight of the amazingly long and slim snake boats all lined up at the starting point with each contesting team wearing a uniform color, sets the adrenaline thumping, even as the wait stretches on for the formalities to be over with. The sudden frenzy in the water as the race starts is a sight to behold and better not enjoyed through the screen of a mobile phone as you attempt to take memorable pictures; just enjoy the real moment of action! It’s an unbelievable sight to see so many huge black crafts slicing through the pristine waters in perfect unison to the fast-paced rhythm of the vanchipattu (the boatmen’s song). The crowds also sing the song to egg on the oarsmen.

Contesting teams are asked to register before the end of the month of October to help the organizers coordinate this socio-cultural event successfully. The boat races are held in five categories, which are the Chundan Vallam (snake boats), two levels of Veppu Vallam and two levels of Iruttukuthi Vallam. Sixteen snake boats compete in four heats with the final winning team receiving a gold-plated trophy as well as a cash award from the President of India. This is the only regatta in the country that’s named after the president, reflecting the cultural importance of this event.

Aside from the President’s trophy, an additional ever-rolling trophy was also instituted this year in the memory of Lance Naik B. Sudheesh who was killed in an avalanche at Siachen this February.

The best part is that no one comes back empty-handed from the event, as all the teams are given a token cash award for their spectacular efforts. The Raviz hotel in Kollam is very much a part of these cultural events and helps in sponsoring and organizing this spectacular sport, much to the joy of its in-house guests who get top priority in witnessing the festive atmosphere.

boat race ashtamudi lake kollam
boat race aerial view at ashtamudi lake
chundan vallam boat race at ashtamudi lake
cultural events on kerala piravi at ashtamudi
boat race front view at ashtamudi lake
front view of the boat race at ashtamudi lake
boat race at ashtamudi kayal, kollam
kerala piravi snake boat race at ashtamudi kayal
presidents' trophy boat race at ashtamudi lake, kollam
ritual art form performance at ashtamudi
the raviz resort and spa ashtamudi - aerial view
boat race at ashtamudi lake in kollam
aerial view of the boat race at ashtamudi lake kollam
kerala piravi vallam kali at ashtamudi Lake
boat race preparations at ashtamudi lake kollam
vallam kali program at ashtamudi lake kollam
ashtamudi kollam - wide angle image
the raviz ashtamudi aerial view
boat race teams lined up at the ashtamudi lake
chundan vallam boat race at ashtamudi lake
kerala piravi vallam kali at ashtamudi lake
ashtamudi lake bird view
chundan vallam boat race at ashtamudi lake
vallam kali - bird view from ashtamudi lake
residents of ashtamudi attending the president's trophy boat race
ashtamudi president's trophy boat race
vallam kali at ashtamudi Lake in kollam
boat race at ashtamudi backwaters
boat race at ashtamudi kayal on kerala piravi
boat race teams lining up at ashtamudi lake
president's trophy boat race at kollam backwaters
snake boat race at ashtamudi lake on kerala piravi day
president's trophy boat race teams at ashtamudi kayal
kerala piravi president's trophy snake boat race at ashtamudi
president's trophy boat race at ashtamudi backwaters
famous snake boat race in kerala at ashtamudi lake
cultural celebration during president's trophy boat race
cultural celebration at ashtamudi lake kollam
traditional dance performance on kerala piravi
kerala art form performance at ashtamudi
snake boat race on kerala piravi at ashtamudi backwaters
kerala piravi snake boat race at ashtamudi lake kollam
kerala piravi boat race at ashtamudi lake
snake boat race at ashtamudi lake kollam
presidents' trophy boat race at ashtamudi lake in kollam
presidents' trophy boat race at ashtamudi on kerala piravi
presidents' trophy boat race at ashtamudi lake kollam
President's Trophy Boat Race at Kollam
presidents' trophy boat race practice at ashtamudi
snake boat race at ashtamudi lake
traditional event at ashtamudi lake
vallam kali held at ashtamudi lake
vallam kali held at ashtamudi
women boat race at ashtamudi