Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Champion’s Boat League (CBL)
Backwaters of Kerala is always the unique attraction for any traveler visiting India. Until the idea of backwater tourism got conceived, our backwaters were Nature hotspots and a livelihood for the local community in terms of farming, fishing etc. Later by the innovative thoughts of some Tourism entrepreneurs, the idea of converting a 100 feet long Rice Boat to a Houseboat changed the Tourism fate of Kerala backwaters. This revolution was followed by many hotels and resorts along the coconut palm fringed backwater areas of Kerala. And Kerala is now mainly known for its unique backwaters and its life around.
As Kerala has around 400 kms long backwater stretch, local boat festivals were always a part of local culture and entertainment. Boat races are known for Chundan Vallom (Snake Boat) which has 100 to 138 feet length.
Kerala Tourism took a bold decision on bringing this unique Water Sport “Vallom Kali” as an annual event for the Tourists as well as local community across the entire backwater belt of Kerala. And here comes Champion’s Boat League (CBL) which is going to be a game changer in the Tourism History of Kerala.
CBL will start with Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alleppey every year and will have 12 Races with 09 teams at 12 difference backwater spots. Starting at Alleppey, it runs on every Saturday at Thazhathangady-Kottayam, Karuvatta-Alleppey, Piravom-Ernakulam, and Marine Drive-Ernakulam. Kottappuram-Thrissur, Ponnani-Malappuram, Kainakari-Alleppey, Pulincunno-Alleppey, Kayamkulam-Alleppey, Kallada-Kollam and President’s Trophy Finals at Kollam Ashtamudy Lake.
CBL brings 12 Saturdays of fun and festival. The only water sports in the world in which 100-120 players participate in a single team at a time. One Chundan Vallom is 100-138 Feet long which is again the longest canoeing boat in the world. Above all it has a unique feature related to Responsible Tourism for maintaining the local community for keeping their water sports on a regular conservation basis. Every participating team will get an assured fee of INR 48 Lakhs in a season apart from the prize money of INR 25 Lakhs, 15 Lakhs and 10 Lakhs as first, second and third prizes respectively. Also the races brings a great opportunity to the local people for a great family entertainment.
For the Tourism fraternity in Kerala, now it’s a great opportunity to promote these 12 Races as a must inclusion in the tour itineraries during September, October & November .These races unite sports, entertainment and culture. All race destinations offer exclusive local cultural art forms and opportunities to explore the region. Also all Race venues are declared as Green Protocol Venues where the local people and Tourism volunteers become a part of maintaining the Green Protocol to make sure such events don’t spoil the destinations.
Calendar for CBL 2020 will be announced soon which will enable the Tourism Trade to get ready for next year to tell it to the world that Kerala has another unique product and that too a Water Sports. Kerala with many awards and accolades on Sustainable Tourism, CBL will prove to be another feather on the cap towards its Sustainable Tourism initiatives. This unique event can be a part of many tour itineraries in the coming years.