Photo Credit : Arun Sinha
Photo Credit : Guru Charan
Alappuzha or Alleppey, the Venetian capital of Kerala, acknowledged as the “Venice of East” by Lord Curzon is a blessed city of Kerala with vast backwaters, scenic canals, beaches and lagoons. It is the sixth largest city in Kerala by urban population and it is considered as the oldest planned city of Kerala. The lighthouse built on the coast of Alleppey is an archetype along the Laccadive Sea.
Today it’s a significant tourist destination in the tourism map. Despite of a delightful houseboat cruise in the backwaters of Alleppey, the city has put aside many marvels for its guests. Some of them are enlisted below:
- Alappuzha Beach
It’s a very famous beach and popular picnic spot. Lighthouse sited near the beach and the Vijaya Beach Park is the favourite spots of tourists. The remnant of 137 year old Sea Bridge, recalls the good old days of Alappuzha port.
- Krishnapuram Palace
A palace museum maintained by the Archaeological Department of Kerala is located in Kayamkulam near Alappuzha. Palace was built in the 18th century near the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, a king of Travancore Kingdom.
The Kerala architectural style of the palace with gabled roof, narrow corridor, dormer windows, large pond and the secretive tunnel attracts the tourists. Palace holds exhibits that belonged to Krishnapuram Palace and its former occupant, the Travancore Maharaja Marthanda Varma.
Kerala’s largest mural painting [154 sq.ft] entitled as Gajendra Moksham, the double edged Kayamkulam Vaal and one of the four statues of Buddha are to be found in this palace.
- Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple
The temple is believed to have been built between 15th and 17th AD by the local ruler Chembakassery Pooradam Thirunal – Devanarayanan Thampuran. The temple is directly associated to the Guruvayoor Sri Krishna Temple.
It is said that during the raids of Tipu Sultan in 1789, the idol of Sri Krishna from the Guruvayoor Temple has brought to Ambalappuzha temple for safe keeping.
The sweet pudding made of rice and milk, known as Ambalappuzha Palpayasam is a famous treat to devotees as it is believed, Guruvayoorappan himself reaches here to have it at the time of Palpayasam Nedyam.
It’s an uninhabited Small Island in the rural vicinity of mainland Alappuzha which has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers.
The name Pathiramanal is derived from the meaning sands of night as the scenic beauty of both sides of the lake as well as that of the island is mind blowing. This green islet which is accessible only by boat, is an apt place for a break in the journey while on backwater cruise
Pathiramanal surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, is a shelter to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world and thus makes it a haven for bird enthusiasts to get lost in the world of birds with the murmur of waves and treat of gentle breeze.
Kerala Backwater Tourism promotes Pathiramanal Island, as a favourite stop-by location for backwater cruise.
- Nehru Trophy Boat Race
A popular native snake boat race, renowned as VallamKali held in Punnamada Lake, events the competition of Chundan Vallams [snake boats].
Apart from Chundan Vallam, Vallams like Churulan, Iruttukuthy, Odi, Vaipu, Vadakkanody and Kochu also participate in diverse events of the race.
It’s really wonderful to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, and wedge their way through the waters according to the fast rhythm of their own singing.
The race that usually takes place on the second Saturday of August every year is a major tourist attraction.
- Vembanad Lake
It is the longest lake in India and the largest lake in the state of Kerala. It is known in other names such as Punnamada Lake, Kochi Lake etc, as it passes through the other districts of Kerala.
The lake itself is an enthralling picnic spot and a famous backwater tourism destination which provide house boat cruise, fishing and scenic sights, which are just thrilling!
The famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place in a portion of this lake. Government of India has listed the Vembanad wetland under National Wetlands Conservation Programme.
You can read more about Kerala Houseboats(Alleppey Houseboats) here.