India: Alappuzha – The Exquisite Destination

Alappuzha, the ‘Venice of the East’ is one of the fabulous tourist destinations of Kerala. Renowned as the oldest city in Kerala with the first lighthouse constructed along the Lakshadweep Sea coast, the district is famous for its tranquil backwaters, lake resorts, sun-bathed beaches fringed with palms, captivating canals, lagoons, boat races and coir industry. Towards the North, Alappuzha connects Kumarakom and Cochin, and Kollam to the South.

The city has its rich heritage and masterpieces of the bygone era; Mullakkal Temple, Edathua Church, Arthunkal Church, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Champakulam Valia Pali, Krishnapuram Palace, Mannarasala Temple, Sri Krishna Temple and Haripad Subrahmanya Swamy Temple. Coir is the common and essential product manufactured in Alappuzha. Kalavoor, prominent village located 10km North of Alappuzha has private institutions, including National Institute of Coir Research and Training.

Alappuzha or Alleppy, is the gateway for the serene backwaters – beckons tourists from across the nations to enjoy the attraction. Houseboat cruise along the mirror-still backwaters is a delightful experience anyone desires. Punnamadakayal (backwater) in Alappuzha attracts tourists to the most exciting and popular boat race (vallamkali), Nehru Trophy Boat Race, every year during the harvest season (second Saturday of August). It is a wonderful experience to witness the competitive boat race, named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who himself got fascinated by the boat race when he visited Alapuzha and constituted the prized trophy. Kerala’s anticipated event invites around 2 lakh people to the district, including masses of tourists from abroad. The victory at the race is celebrated for months.

The month of December is yet another exciting time for Alappuzha district, as it celebrates the ten-day colour festival, which attracts large crowd. Let’s see some of the places of interest.

Pathiramanal

The word Pathiramanal means ‘Sands of Night’. The place is located in Muhamma panchayat of Alappuzha district. The mesmerising island on the banks of backwaters is a favourite haunt for odd flocks of migratory birds. The picturesque landscape is sandwiched between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom. The scenic excellence of Pathiramanal is beyond words to express.

Alappuzha Beach

The famous Alappuzha beach is one popular spot to enjoy a relaxing vacation. The pier which stretches to the Arabian Sea is 140 years old and the unique landmark of the location. The lighthouse located along the coastal line is a fascinating scene for tourists. Near to the beach is the Vijaya Beach Park, a wonderful hangout for entertainment and fun.

Alappuzha Backwaters

Backwaters of Alappuzha draw masses of tourists irrespective of the season. It is a paradise for newlyweds – heavenly honeymoon destination. The soothing backwaters, serene atmosphere, lush greenery, panoramic views, enshrining nature, pour more glory to the heaven on earth. No wonder, Kerala is known as ‘God’s Own Country’. Backwaters are famous for its attractive serenity. Houseboat cruises in the backwaters is one lifetime experience to cherish. Relaxing on the luxurious houseboats by the peaceful backwaters, one gets to taste the appetizing Kerala cuisine.

Krishnapuram Temple

The magnificent palace and museum was built by Marthandavarma, located in Kayamkulam, near Alappuzha district. The palace is maintained by the Archaeological Department of Kerala and houses exquisite pieces of mural paintings, artworks, sculptures and bronzes. The palace is also known for a large pond within the premises and an underground escape way beneath the pond as a route to hide out and escape from enemies.

Kumarakodi

The final resting place of Kumaranasan (well-known poet of Kerala), Kumarakodi, is located 20km South of Alappuzha. Kumaranasan has brought serious and essential changes to Malayalam literature and for the society. The historic landscape sprawls along the banks of Pallana River, near to Haripad town. To reach the memorial tomb of Mahakavi (great poet), the shortest route is via Pattanichira bridge which connects Thrikunnapuzha and Karuvatta.

About the author:

This article is authored by Ajith Thomas who is one of the authors of the blog GreatBackwaters, you can find him at Google+

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