Canal country - A Visual delight
The Venice of the East, with the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers cris crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, this backwater country is also home to diverse animal and bird life.
By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today Alapphuza is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.
A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. The rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanadis perhaps the only place in the world where farming is done below sea level.
Krishnapuram Palace ( Kayamkulam (47 Km) )
Built by Marthanda Varma, this palace at Karthikaplly in Kayamkulam is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. Dating back to the 18th century, this exquisite piece of art is one of the larges murals in Kerala. The palace museum houses antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
Kuttanad lies sandwiched between the sea and the hills. The 75 kilometers long sparkling network of rivers, canals, lakes, lagoons and tiny streamlets between Kollam and Cochin and beyond to Thiruvananthapuram, of which the Kuttanad (Backwaters) comprises of, are akin to a tropical land of canals. Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops is at the heart of the backwaters.
The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of bananas, yams and cassava which accompany the rice bowl as "side dishes". This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.
Alappuzha Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada (2nd Saturday of August). Pulinkunnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race (last Saturday of August). Champakulam Moolam Boat Race. (Moolam day of Midhunam- July). Payippad Jalotsavam (4th Onam day - August/ September). Neerettupuram Boat Race (Onam - August/ September).
Located on the way to the Ponmudi hill station and the Courtallam waterfalls, this ancient palace dates back to the 15th century. Here you can see a double storeyed traditional Nalukettu building with slanting gabled roofs, an inner courtyard and museums of folklore and numismatics set up by the Department of Archeology.
Aranmula is fast emerging as an important summer resort. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors which make good souvenirs.
Q S T and R Block Kayal
These regions are wonders of the indigenous agricultural engineering know-how of Kerala and remind the visitor of the famous dikes of Holland.
Extensive areas of land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and are protected by dikes built all around. Here cultivation and habitation are made possible four to ten feet below sea level. A leisurely cruise along the canals that surround these kayals is a memorable experience.
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple
Built in the typical Kerala architectural style, this temple is famous for its Palpayasam or a sweet milk porridge. Paintings of the Dasavatharam(the ten incarnates of Lord Vishnu) are on display on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam
14 Kms from Alappuzha. According to the mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad lake to perform his evening ablutions and water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sand of midnight).
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and kumarakom and is accessible by boat.