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Alappuzha

 

Alappuzha
Area: - 1414 sq.km
Population: 2,105,349 (2001 census)
Altitude: Sea level
 
Telephone access code: + 91-477
 
Air: Nearest International airports: Thiruvanathapuram (150 km), Nedumbassery, Kochi (85 km)
 
Rail: Alappuzha is an important rail head of Southern railway.
 
Road: KSRTC
 
Referred as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. Alleppey has a wonderful past. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in B.C and in the middle Ages, as well as with other parts of India. Alappuzha has a lighthouse, which is a major tourist attraction.
 
Kuttanadu
Kuttanadu, called as the Rice Bowl of Kerala because of its wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. Kuttanad is crisscrossed with waterways that run alongside fields of cassava, banana and yam, as well as emerald green fields of paddy. A unique feature of Kuttanad is that many of these fields are below sea level. The fields are surrounded by earthen bunds and crops are grown on the low-lying ground. This is similar to the polder regions of the Netherlands where land is reclaimed from the sea and crops are grown. You can see the amazing below-sea level fields of Kuttanad, while on Kerala tours with Kerala Backwater. Kuttanad is a backwater paradise and an ideal destination for a backwater cruise in Kerala.
 
Alappuzha Beach
This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The lighthouse and the 1000-ft long pier, built by Captain Hugh Crawford in 1862, which once helped the boats ferry across and augmented trade in their own way, now stand as a mere skeleton of the past. But a visit to these relics surely adds some special effects to a holiday tour, for they breathe an unavoidable colonial air. The bricks have mostly fallen apart or been imbibed by the sea, and an entry to the lighthouse is restricted by the tourism department.
 
Pathiramanal: (1 ½ hrs by motor boat/ 30 minutes by speed boat from Alappuzha).Pathiramanal is a small island located on the border of Kottayam - Alapuzha Districts in Kerala, India. The name 'Pathiramanal' means 'Sands of night'. The scenic beauty of both sides of the lake as well as that of the island is mind blowing. It is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world.
 
Champakulam Church:
Champakulam Church is one of the oldest churches in Kerala. Champakulam St. Mary's Church is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas in AD 427. The annual feast at this church falls on the 3rd Sunday of October every year.
 
Q S T and R Block Kayal
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. A striking example of the indigenous agricultural engineering know-how, 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.
 
Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple
Situated very near Alappuzha, the Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple is believed to be one of the seven great Vaishnava shrines in the former Travancore state. Very
In the temple of Sri Krishna at Ambalapuzha, the milk porridge, known as ‘Palpayasam' is the sacred offering made to the deity. It is then distributed to all the devotees as ‘Prasadam'. Even here, there is a local story connected with this milk offering. A local chieftain who had borrowed paddy from a land owner could not return the loan in time. But when the required quantity of paddy was provided with great difficulty, the creditor could not clear the same in time and as such he donated the entire stock of paddy to the temple with a request that milk porridge be made out of the rice and distributed to the poor and other devotees. Thus the templeof Krishnais full of very interesting legends.

Ambalapuzha is situated about 20 kms. South of Alappuzha and is connected by a good road and railway system with many important cities of the country. Convenient buses, taxis and vans are available from Alappuzha to reach this temple.

There are excellent hotels, tourist rest houses and lodging places at Alappuzha to suit the convenience and purse of every visitor.
 
Arthunkal Church
22 km south from Alappuzha.The St.Sebastian’s church here is an important Christian pilgrimage center.
 
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple:
32 km south of Alappuzha.This temple is a serpant shrine under the patronage of a Brahmin family, headed by a Priestess. This very old temple is an internationally famous pilgrim center. Dedicated to God Nagaraja.Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi are beloved consorts of Nagaraja.It is believed that Nagaraja, the installed deity, is endowed with the form of Lord Vishnu and the spirit of Lord Shiva. At Mannarasala, barren women are believed to be blessed with children and a special turmeric paste available at the shrine credited with power to cure leprosy..
  
Chettikulangara Bhagavathi Temple
The Kettukazhcha Festival at this temple draws crowds of devotees. Processions of all decorated structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pagent (Festival-February/March).
 
Krishnapuram Palace:
Built by Marthanda Varma, this place at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam is famous for its Mural painting the story of Gajendramoksham, which is 47 km south of Alappuzha.
 
Karumadi Kuttan
This is an 11th century statue of Lord Buddha, protected by Archaeological Department. The local peoples regard kuttan with affection and he is credited with many healing powers.
Boat Races
Nehru Trophy Boat Race: At Punnamada 2nd Saturday of August every Year.
Pulinkunnnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race: Last Saturday of August
Payippad Jalotsavam: Month of September
Neerettupuram Boat Race: Month of August/September
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race: Month of June
Uthrattadi Vallamkali Aranmula: Month of September

 
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