The 60th edition of the traditional Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race held on the Punnamada Lake in Kochi, Kerala, attracted a huge crowd over the weekend.
The boat race also heralds the beginning of the tourist season in Kerala.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was the guest of honour at this year's race.
Scores of oarsmen rowed furiously while vying for the coveted Nehru Trophy.
A snake boat, full of women competing with other boats, was the main attraction of this year's race.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy distributed the prizes at the end of the event.
Snake and dragon boats were kept on display to attract the visitors, who generally try to coincide their trips with such races in 'God's own country'.
The tourist season in Kerala begins in the second week of August, peaks towards end of December and ends in January.
The popularity of such races has increased manifold in the last few years. The provincial administration is looking forward to introduce such events in several other districts of the state.
The history of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race dates back to the time when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Kerala state in 1952 and was greeted by people in snake boats and a race that followed.
So impressed was he by the traditional boats and the race, that he gave away a trophy to the winner. (ANI)