Alappuzha, meaning the land between the sea and a network of rivers falling into it, evokes a sense of romance and beauty. The land is rich in rivers, lakes, canals and paddy fields. Alappuzha's amazing backwaters constitute its hallmark. The locale for the renowned snake boat races is its criss-crossing waterways. The unique scenic splendors coupled with religious and historical monuments makes Alappuzha one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Kerala. Let the canal network be at any part of the Vembanad Lake, the chances of one coming across some of the unique and interesting vistas on and along the canals are simply inspiring. This could come in the form of panoramic paddy fields; coconut lagoons; pied King Fishers hurtling down to catch fish etc. Among other common sights that one would come across during the cruise are isolated islands; men on country boats engaged in fishing and shepherding their ducks to new pastures, cargo being moved in huge boats called rice barges or Kettu Vallams and school children being ferried across the canal. During the cruise, one would also be able to drop at some villages to check out the techniques and procedure involved in coir making. Also, if interested one may try any of the wayside eateries serving ethnic food, especially fish delicacies, and also toddy, the natural beverage produced from coconut trees.
Kuttanad Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of banana, cassava and yam. This is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done 1.5 to 2 m below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region.Kuttanad is the most beautiful backwaters region of Kerala. It is here that most of the snake boat races are conducted and a majority of the rice boat & houseboat cruises are scheduled. Kerala's network of navigable backwaters stretches to over 900km. These serene waterways are fringed by palm grove and paddy fields and offer a striking spectacle of the rustic life. It is the rice granary of Kerala, where vast stretches of verdant paddy fields are interlaced with enchanting backwaters create some of the unforgettable sights. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala is all about an agrarian community, striking a chord of harmony with its physical setting. Noted for its farming below sea level (about 4 to 10 feet) the land of Kuttanad possesses a socio-cultural fabric of its own. Four major rivers in Kerala viz. Pampa, Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala flow into the region. Pathiramanal Location: 1 1/2 hours drive by motor boat or 30 minutes by speed boat from Alappuzha. Pathiramanal, a small island on the backwaters of Alappuzha, is a haven for hundreds of rare birds migrating from different parts of the world. Surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, stretching from Alappuzha to Kochi and the Kayamkulam Lake, Pathiramanal is accessible only by boat. The green island thus forms an ideal place for a break in the journey while on a backwater cruise. The mainland Alappuzha has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers criss crossing it and is a district of immense natural beauty. QST & R Block Situated in Kuttanad popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala, QST & R Block Kayals (backwaters) remind the visitor of the famous dikes of Holland Here cultivation and habitation are made possible at four to ten feet below the sea level. For this purpose extensive land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and is protected by dikes built around it. A leisurely cruise along the canals here is a memorable experience. Getting there: QST & R Block Kayals are accessible by boat from Alappuzha (1.30 hrs by motor boat and 30 minutes by speedboat.) Ambalappuzha-Sreekrishna Temple Amabalappuzha Sreekrishna Temple on the Kollam-Alappuzha Highway is called the Dwaraka of the South. It is frequented by thousands of devotees especially during the annual festival which falls in April every year. 'Ambalappuzha palpayasam' the devotional delicacy of the temple, is renowned for its unique taste. Ambalappuzha is also famous for the traditional visual martial art of Kerala, Velakali. Karumadi Karumadi, three Km. east of Ambalappuzha, has a statue of Buddha called Karumadikuttan, a perennial source of interest for the tourists. Arthunkal Church Arthumkal Church is famous for the St. Sebastian's church which is situated south west of Cherthala town 22 Km north of Alappuzha. The famous Arthumkal Perunal is held in January every year. Catholics from all parts of the state participate in the feast of St. Sebastian. Mannarsala Mannarassala near Harippad 32 Km. south of Alappuzha is an important centre of pilgrimage in the district. The famous Mannarassala temple devoted to the serpent deity is a rare phenomenon of worship. The Ayilyam festival held in November every year is very famous. Water Carnival Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the annual water carnival at Punnamada Lake, is considered the biggest snake boat race in the world. The colourful boat pageantry which precedes the boat race is a marvellous treat to the eyes. The snake boats with a length of 30 to 60 metres and with 100 to 150 oarsmen plough the waters with the rhythm and symbols to the tune of the legendary songs. The Nehru Trophy was instituted by the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who was enthralled by the charm and gaiety of the water carnival. The boat race attracts a large number of tourists, domestic and foreign. In addition to this the boat races at Payippad, Thiruvanvandoor, Neerettupuram, Karuvatta and Thykkoottam are quite famous. Fishing Alappuzha is a great centre of fisheries. 'Chakara' a rare marine phenomenon in which a large number of fish throng together in the early days of May to August is a peculiarity of Purakkad, one of the main fishing centres on the coast of the Arabian Sea. This is in fact a fishermen's fiesta. Coir The district is the major centre of coir and allied products. There are about 4000 production units including a few big factories with mechanized looms. Alappuzha retains monopoly in coir production and exports.
Bird Watching Take a boat trip to Pathiramanal Island in the middle of Vembanad Lake. Pathiramanal is a favourite stopping point of migratory birds and you can spot some which you have never seen.Houseboat Ride The traditional Kerala rice boat called Kattuvallam cruise is another which you can not miss. Cruises can be tailored to your needs from hourly basis to overnight cruises. These boats are upto 100 feet long and equipped with all modern amenities like bedroom, attached toilet, kitchen, sitting area etc. Enjoy the Kerala villages when these boats cruise through small canals and an unforgettable local cuisine from its kitchen. Walk on the Beach The venice of the east, as it called was earlier a port and the light house is still there. The white sand pristine beaches is an ideal evening picnic spot. A small park nearby attracts children. Visit a Coir Factory Its famous coirs are exported to almost all countries. You can experience the real craft of these people. The uniqueness is that the Aleppey coir is made from coconut husks which are beaten and woven in to ropes and then yarn it.
Nearest bus stations: Alappuzha has both private and KSRTC bus stands in the town itself. Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, about 5 km from the beach. Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 90 km from Alappuzha town.Location Latitude: 9.492853, Longitude: 76.317726
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