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ALAPPUZHA :Referred to as the‘Venice of the East’ by travellers from across the world. Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Caressed by the Arabian Sea in the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers criss-crossing it, this backwater country shelters some unique animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed an exclusive place in the maritime history of Kerala. famous for its boat races, beaches, marine products and coir industry, the singularity of this land is the region called Kuttanad-a land of lush paddy fields referred to as the ’Rice Bowl of Kerala’ and one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. This one-time prosperous trading and fishing centre is today a world renowned backwater tourist destination
IN AND AROUND ALAPPUZHA
ALAPPUZHA BACKWATER: With its labyrinth of waterways, Alappuzha, extolled by travellers as the ‘Venice of the East’ is one of Kerala’s most exotic backwater destinations. As the venue for the world renowned Nehru Trophy Boat Race, these backwaters come alive during the month of August every year. A houseboat journey is the ideal way to soak in the delights of rustic Alappuzha.
ALAPPUZHA BEACH:This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier here, which extends in to the sea, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse which is fascinating to visitors.
KUTTANAD: Kuttanad, called the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’ because of its wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. Set in the interiors of Alappuzha, Kuttanad is a vast area of reclaimed land separated by dikes from water that is actually a few feet higher. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich field of banana, cassava, and yam. This is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done 105 to 2m below sea level. Inland waterways, which flow above land level, are an amazing feature of this region.
KARUMADI KUTTAN: Many fascinating legends are associated with this 11th century statue of Lord Buddha, protected by the state Archaeological Department. The locals regard the Kuttan with affection and he is credited with many healing powers.
KRISHNAPURAM PALACE (47 km from Alappuzha): Built by Marthanda Varma, this palace at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam is famous for its three- metre high mural, depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. Dating back to the 18th century, this exquisite piece of art is one of the largest murals in Kerala. The palace, which is a museum now, houses antique sculptures, paintings and bronze artefacts.
PATHIRAMANAL:(1.5hrs by motor boat/30 min. by speedboat from Alappuzha) Spread over 10 acres, this little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. Lying between the backwaters of Thanneermukkam and Kumarakom, a boat ride through serene waters will take you to the island. According to mythology, a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanl (Sands of midnight).
SEA VIEW PARK:The park offers boating facilities and a swimming pool.
Boat rentals for 10 minutes
Round boat(4 seater):Rs.10
Pedal boat (2 seater): Rs. 15
Pedal boat(4 seater): Rs. 25
Video permit: Rs. 15
Camera permit: Rs. 100
THAKAZHI MUSEUM AND SMRITIMANDAPAM (22 km from Alappuzha):This museum-cum-memorial hall is dedicated to the memory of Late Thakazhi Sivasankaran Pillai (1912-1999), the famous writer who won the Jnanpeeth award in 1984, and whose writings include 35 novels and 600 short stories .Open 0930-1630hrs except on Mondays Ph: 0477-2274243
THE VIJAYA BEACH PARK:A picnic spot with children’s park and boating facilities. Entrance fee: Rs.2 per person; free entry for children below 5 years. Boating charges: Rs.10 for 10 minutes. Other facilities for children: Toy garden, bicycles. Video permit: Rs.25, camera permit: Rs.5. (open 1500-2000hrs)
ATTRACTION S OF ALAPPUZHA
ALAPPUZHA CANAL: The vast network of Canals and its promenades lined with eateries, shops selling ethnic artefacts and so on are a major tourist attraction.
Q,S,T AND R BLOCK KAYAL: These regions are wonders of the indigenous agricultural engineering know-how of Kerala and remind visitors of the famous dikes of Holland. Extensive areas of land have been reclaimed from the backwaters and are protected by dikes built all around, a process that started 100 years ago. Here, cultivation and habitation are made possible four to ten feet below sea level. R Block, nearly 850 acres, is the largest reclaimed area. A leisurely cruise along the canals that surround these Kayals is a memorable experience.
Telephone access code:+91-477
Nearest International Airports
RAIL: Railway enquiry ph:2253965
ROAD: KSRTC enquiry ph:2252501
FERRY SERVICES: Enquiries ph:2252015
SWTD(public boat service enquiry) ph:2252510
TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES
District Tourism Promotion Council
Tourist Information Office,
Dept. of Tourism ph:2260722
Alappuzha – House boat pre-paid counter
Mobile: 09400051796, 09447483308,
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