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Alleppey - Alappuzha

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Also known as: The Venice of the East
Shopping: -
History of: Mentioned below
Population: 21 Lac

Washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea, Alleppey, the Venice of the East welcomes you to the backwaters of kerala. The Palm fringed canals and shores bustling with glimpses from the day to day life in the country side, the mirror still lagoons, picture book lakesides and its long sandy beach has blessed Alappuzha, the water locked district, to become one of the best Backwater tourism destinations in God's Own Country.

The large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Water carnivals using the gigantic snake boats and the country canoes of varying sizes have an important role in the community life of the people of the district.

The name Alappuzha (Alleppey) is derived from the geographical position and physical features of the place. It means the land between the sea and network of rivers flowing into it. The district is bounded on the north by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks of Ernakulam district, on the east by Vaikom, Kottayam and Changanassery taluks of Kottayam district and Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks of Pathanamthitta district, on the South by Kunnathur and Karunagappally taluks of Kollam district and on the west by Lakshadweep sea.

The present Alappuzha district comprises of six taluks namely Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, Kuttanad, Karthikappally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara. Total area of this district is 1414 sq. kms. The district head quarters is located at Alappuzha.

History

The history of the district in the palaeolithic age is obscure. It is presumed that the coastal taluks of Cherthala. Ambalapuzha and Karthikappally might have been under water and these areas were formed by the accumulation of silt and sand later than the other parts of the district. Kuttanad was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. The early Cheras had their home in Kuttanad and they were called 'Kuttuvans' named after this place. Some archeological antiques like stone inscriptions, historical monuments etc. found in the temples, churches, rock-out caves etc., and literacy works like "Unninili Sandesam" give some insight into the ancient period of this district. The famous travelers Pliny and Ptolemy of the first and second centuries had mentioned about places like Purakkad (Barace) in their classical works. Christianity had a strong foot-hold in this district even from the Ist century A.D. The church located at Kokkomangalam or Kokkothamangalam was one of the seven churches founded by St.Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. It is generally believed that he landed at Maliankara in Muziris Port, presently known as Cranganore or Kodungallur in 52 A.D and preached Christianity in South India. During 9th to 12th century AD the district flourished in the field of religion and culture under the second Chera Empire. The famous literary work of this period was "Ascharya Choodamani" a Sanskrit drama written by Sakthibhadra who was a scholar of Chengannur gramam.

 

Major Attractions

 

Backwater Cruise
View the landscape beauty , monuments, temples, churches and industries of Alappuzha by cruising through its rivers, canals and backwaters. The starting point is from Alleppey and the finishing point is at Jetty.

Boat Races
Alappuzha district is proud of being the cradle of boat races. All the important boat races, namely the Nehru Trophy boat Race at Punnamada, the Payippad near Haripad, the Thiruvandoor, Neerettupuram, Karuvatta and Thaikkoottam boat races are held at different parts of the district during August-September. Thousands of people from all parts of the world come and witness these races.

Krishnapuram Palace
Located at a distance of 47 km from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, this palace was built in the 18th century during the reign of Marthanda Varma. This palace is noted for its typical Kerala architecture, with gabled roof, dormer windows and narrow corridors. Here you will find the famous mural kept in the western end of the ground floor, called ‘Gajendra Moksham’ which is the largest mural in Kerala. There is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronze articles in the palace.

Kuttanad Region
The region is known as the 'Rice Bowl of Kerala'. It is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done below sea level. The boat trip to Changanacherry passes through this beautiful and fertile region.

Mullakkal Rajeswari Temple
It is dedicated to the Goddess Rajarajeswari. The nine day 'Navarathri' festival is celebrated twice a year and is of special significance to the people of Alappuzha. Another important festival of the temple is 'Thaipooyakavadi'.

Ambalapuzha Temple
Constructed in the typical Kerala architectural style, this temple is famous all over India, and is renowned for the Palpayasam, the daily offering of sweet milk porridge. This temple witnesses the performance of Pallipana by Velans (sorcerers) once every twelve years. Paintings of the Dasavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are displayed on the inner walls of the temple. The ‘ Ottanthullal’, a satiric art form based on social themes was the brain child of the poet Kunchan Nambiar who performed it for the first time in the premises of this temple.

Arthunkal Church
This christian Pilgrim centre near Sherthalai is 22 km. north of alappuzha. The St. Andrews Church here was built by Portuguese missionaries. The annual feast of St. Sebastian is held here in the month of January.

Champakulam Church
The St. Mary's Church is one of the oldest church in Kerala. It is said to be one of the seven churches established by St.Thomas. Tha annual feast is held on the 3rd Sunday of October. The feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19th.

Chavara Bhavan
The ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, lies 6 km. from Alappuzha. Thousands of devotees gather at this shrine. It can be reached only by boat from Alappuzha.

Mararikulam
Situated on the coast south of Alappuzha,12 Kms. from Alappuzha, it houses a quiet beach and has an adjoining fishing village. Pool, tennis, water sports and Ayurvedic treatments are the leisure time activities one can avail of.

 

Distance from major cities
Cochin 64 Kms
Thiruvananthapuram 159 Kms
Kovalam 161 Kms

 

How to reach there

by Air Nearest domestic airport is Cochin (64kms) and Thiruvananthapuram International airport is 159kms away.
by Rail Alleppey Railway Station is well connected to all major cities in South India.
by Road NH-47 is well connected to all important towns in South India.

Recommended Restaurants

  • Indian Coffee House, Alappuzha

  • Ayraas, Alappuzha

  • Annapoorna Restaurant, Alappuzha

Hotels in Alleppey / Alappuzha

Luxury

Medium

Budget

Alleppey House Boat Grandeur

Kayaloram Heritage Lake Resort

Marari Beach Resort

Pagoda Resorts

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hh - heritage hotel ; ph - palace hotel ; bh - boutique hotel ; gh - guest house ; hs - home stay

 
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