Alappuzha

Image of Alappuzha BackwatersIts criss crossing canals and once busy waterways inevitable evoke comparisons with Venice. A prosperous trading town of yesteryears, which exported coir products to different part of the world.Alappuzha relinquished its commercial position to other towns, notably Kochi, in later years.Today,tourism has appeared as its new saviour.Old settlers have left behind architectural treasures – numerous old mansions and trading houses built ina unique style.Thest buildings, along with the quiet streets and winding canals, lend quaint town its distinctive allure.

Situated at the south – western tip of India’s longest lake, the Vembanad, Alappuzha lies sandwiched between the lake and the Arabian Sea – a sliver of land barely 4 km wide. It attracts tourists throughout the year for that singular experience of backwater cruiseing, especially in the Kuttanad region, a vast area of partly reclaimed land, covered in emerald green paddy fields and separated by dikes from waters that are actually a few feet higher.

For details of Alappuzha District and Kerala tourism, see the web page http://halokerala.com/picnic-spots/alappuzha/

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple

The reigning deity of Ambalapuzha Sri Krishan temple is the infant Krishna. Painting of the 10 incarnation of Lord Vishnu adorn the inner walls of the Chuttambalam or circumambulatory. The annual festival in April draws thousands of devotees, who also gather here for feast.

Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathi Temple

Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathy Temple ,sandwiched between the two rivers,Pamba and Manimals,and located on the border of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, this shrine is open to people of all religion. Goddess Vanadurga’s affinity for women and children has made the temple particularly popular with women devotees

St Mary’s Church,Champakulam

Located on the site at Which St Thomas is believed to have built one of this seven churches, the shrine draws hundred of devotees, especially during the annual feast in October. The feast of St Joseph in March is also an important event.

Chavara Bhavan

Chavara Bhavan,6 km from Alappuzha and accessible only by boat, is situated in Kainakary,a small village in the backwaters of Alappuzha. It is the ancestral home of Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara,one among the three Malayali candidates under consideration for sainthood by Rome.

Foreigners take fancy to cycling in Kuttanad

Cycling in Kuttanad,AlappuzhaCycling expeditions are gaining momentum in Kuttanad with many foreign tourists flocking to the region to enjoy its natural beauty as well as experience its unique village life. Tour operators’ offers special packages to the tourists and tae them for trips through narrow roads along the banks of backwaters, bedside lagoons and areas covered with coconut Palms.

It was in 2013, a small cycling facility was introduced of coconut trees. Tourists cycled their way to the interiors of Kuttanad for the first time and rested under the cool shade of coconut trees.Kuttanad is an unexplored place where one can go swimming, cycling and cruising.

The 11 hour package through through the villages of Pallathuruthy, Kidangara, Chakulathukavu, Edathva and Kavalam cost Rs.3, 000-Rs.5000 per couple. The tourists will have lunch at hygienic toddy shops. Cycling to Kuttanad is one of the most enjoyable experiences and an ideal way to spend a holiday as the entire area is tranquil and filled with greenery.

Bhagavathi Temple

Lcated in Chettikulangara,it houses the largest stone lamp in the country -11 feet high,with 13 tiers.The deity,an incarnation of Bhadakali,is suppose to posses miraculous powers and legend abound about favours conferred on devotees.

St George Orthodox Syrian Church

This Syrian church has been constructed partially with portions of an old 13th century church locates at Haripad, 44 km north of Kollam.

Subrahmanya Temple

This temple dedicated to Sree Murugan is renowned for its architectural splendor – the tall flag mast, the large temple tank and the koothambalam, or theatre, with its exquisite wooden carving on the ceiling.

Karumadi Kuttan

The deity of Karumadi Kuttan, which stands by the side of the public canal to the west of the Kamapuram temple, is a black granite Buddha, said to belong to the ninth or 10th century. The idol has now been installed in a smaller shrine to protect it.

Krishnapuram Palace Museum

Krishnapuram Palace was built during the reign of Maharaja Marthanda Varma.It is a miniature model of the Padmanabhapuram Palace, near Thiruvananthapuram. The spectacular 16 block building sprawls over an area of 1.87 acres. Now an archaeological museum, the restored two story palace houses painting, antique furniture and sculpture. Burial urns, bronze artefacts, swords, ancient vessels, weights, cannon balls, models of umbrellas and even a Sanskrit Bible, are some of the exhibits. Situated around 45 km south of Alappuzha.

Mannarassala Snake Temple

Traditinally,Hindu naga (serpent) worshippers have always built their temple in serpent groves. Of these Mannarassala Sree Nagaraja Temple are the largest with 30,000 images of snake gods, and hundreds of snake living around the temple. Childless women come here for blessings and return for a thanksgiving ceremony when they beget a child.

R Block

R Block is one of the best managed private farms situated on one of the reclaimed lands in the Kuttanad region about 100 years ago. At nearly 850 acres, the farm constitutes the largest reclaimed region in the area and is almost entirely covered in coconut, areca and banana plantations.

Pathiramanal Island

The Raja of Travancore offered this palm covered island I the Vembanad Lake on lease to the family of a man named Andrew Pereira, a Portuguese national and naval officer, who married a local Catholic women and settle here. When the lease expired in 7979, Pathiramanal was taken over by the government.Subsequently, families residing there were rehabilitated and the island was handed over to the Tourism Department. It is a one hour boat ride away from Alappuzha.

Mararikulam

North of Alappuzha,the wedge of densely populated coconut plantation dividing Vembanad from the sea comes to an abrupt end at Mararikulam,on whose fringes a string of small resorts hotels has sprung up, nestled under the palm trees behind an endless golden sand beach strewn with fishing boats. For the time being, villagers far outnumber tourists along this peaceful stretch of coast, and if you can afford the high tariff, these places offer idyllic stopovers on the journey between Alapppuzha and Thiruvananthapuram.

The one noteworthy sight is St Andrew’s Forane Church (popularly known as St.Sebastian’s) at Arthunkal,4 km north of Mararikulam.

Getting There

By Air : The nearest is Kochi International Airport,100 km

By Rail : Alappuzha railway station is well connected to Ernakulam in the north and Thiruvananthapuram in the south.

By Road : Alappuzha is on NH 47.Good road connectivity to all towns and cities by KSRTC and private buses.The KSRTC bus stand is 5 km from the railway station.

Where to stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Alappuzha,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/alappuzha/.

For details for the houseboat and luxury cruises in Alappuzha,visist our page http://halokerala.com/tours/cruise/ .

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