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A journey through the history and curiosities of Kerala's biggest boat festival...
1952: Impressed by the boat race organised as part of his visit to Kerala, Jawaharlal Nehru gifted the winner's silver trophy with his signature.
The inscription in the trophy reads - "To the winners of Vallamkali, the symbol of the social life of Thiru-Kochi".
Nadubhagam, Champakkulam (Amichakari), Parthasarathy, Kavalam, Valiya Deevanji, Napoleon, Netaji and GearGoss participated in the first boat race.
The first race was held at the western end of Vembanadu Lake, on the boating track on the west side of Munroe Vilakku.
In 1952, Nadubham Chundan came first in the exhibition boat race.
Nadubhagam Chundan holds the Guinness record for the longest rowing boat in the world.
As the Alappuzha district was not yet formed, the Kollam District Collector conducted the boat race in 1952.
Held at Vattakkayal at Meenappally in Kainakari, the first race for the Prime Minister's Trophy.
The name was changed to Nehru Trophy after the death of India's first PM.
Since 1955, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race has been held at Punnamadakayal.
Competitions are held on four tracks of 1,370 metres long and 10 metres width.
Karichal Chundan holds the record for the most number Nehru Trophy wins, lifiting the title 14 times, including 2 hat-tricks.
Karichal also won the Nehru Trophy for the most consecutive times - 1980 to '84
In 2006, led by Julie Amar from the UK, foreign women rowed for the first time in the Nehru Trophy.
Napoleon Chundan won the first hat-trick – 1957-59
Jain David M
Naveen Mohan, Kevin Mathew
Sarath Sivasylam, Manorama Research Library
Manorama Research Library