Nouka Baich Boat Race

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With the south-west monsoon gradually setting in, nouka baich boat races will soon begin in several rural pockets of West Bengal.

About Nouka Baich Boat Race:

  • It is a traditional boat race of West Bengal.
  • Timing
    • The races occur in the month of September across riverine Bengal, when the river waters are swollen during the last weeks of the monsoons.
    • They continue till September, sometimes till October, even November in some places.
  • These boat races were previously dominated by male but in recent years one can see participation of women too.
  • These boat races in southern West Bengal are particularly linked with the worship of the Hindu deity Manasa, the goddess of snakes.
    • The worship of Manasa is the worship of snakes. And the local deity most commonly worshipped in rural south Bengal is Manasa, a deity worshipped by agrarian communities.
  • Type of boats used
    • In this race four to five kinds of traditional boats are used for the races.
    • Other boats that are commonly used for races in Bengal include the Chhip, Kaile Bachhhari, Chande Bachhari, Chitoi and Sorpi.
    • A special type boat called Sorengi which is about 90 ft long which imitates nature is also seen in these races.

Q1: What is Vallam Kali (i.e Nehru Trophy Boat Race)?

It is a Snake Boat Race held every year in the month of August in Vembanad Lake. In 2002, it was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention.

Source: With onset of monsoon, boat races set to enthral rural Bengal