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Alleppey

Alleppey

Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha is often called as "Venice of east" because of its numerous waterways. These huge networks of lagoons, canals, and lakes are the lifeline of Alleppey. Founded in 1762 by Divan of Travanacore, Raja Keshawadasan, this pristine back water town with its numerous coconut palms lined waterways & tiny villages has a laid back & relaxed feel to it, as you experience all this while sailing on your house boat!

Alleppey was amongst the busiest trade centers and it had an excellent port along Malabar Coast. Traders from across the world came searching for souvenirs and black gold. All this was after the British established it as a trade port in the late 18th century to counteract one that was established by the Dutch. Today, Alleppey is still the center for prawn farming and Coir carpet industries.

This town was established on a narrow land spit between Arabian Sea and Vembanad Lake. Paddy fields are plentiful in the area thanks to the manmade islands created by the mud walls. One of the most popular drinks churned out of these fields is the delicious rice wine made here.

Numerous tourists come to Alleppey to enjoy the impressive natural beauty that can be seen there. It is a popular honeymoon destination, a perfect location to spot bird and animal life, and a place to see soak in the many religious historic sites. The mirror like lagoons, palm fringed waterways, sandy beaches, houseboat holidays & the popular boat races are the reasons why tourists flock to this tranquil town on the backwaters.

Attractions


Karumadi Only three kilometers east of Alleppey is the village of Karumadi. There is a large black granite statue there that is very famous. This sculpture is known as the Karumadi Kuttan. This statue is a left over remnant from the days that the Buddha religion was very popular in the region. Historians say that this black Buddha was carved in either the 9th or 10th century. Nowadays, Hindu is the more popular religion to belong to, but that does not change the beauty of this Buddha statue. The fact that it is made from black quartz makes it even more unusual, since quartz is normally associated with a gray color.


Krishnapuram Palace The Krishnapuram Palace was built during the reign of Marthanda Varma, a Travancore king. This 18th century building was built in two-stories & crafted with traditional Kerala architectural features which include gabled roofs, dormer windows and narrow corridors. This particular palace is especially famous for its mural paintings as well as its architecture. One of the biggest mural paintings in all of Kerala is located here. This mural is called Gajendra Moksham, which when translated means "The redemption of the elephant". This magnificent piece of architecture has been converted to a museum, housing antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes is also found there at the palace. It is now taken over by the archaeological department for maintenance.

Alleppey Beach Alleppey Beach is frequently referred to as Alappuzha Beach. There is an old character-filled pier located here that is over 137 years old. Alleppey Beach is one of the most popular beaches of the state of Kerala. One thing that draws people to this beach is the facilities at Vijaya Beach Park. With the Arabian Sea to the west as well as a large network of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers nearby, the beach makes for a picture perfect postcard. The beautiful sand contrasts beautifully with the color of the water, to make for a truly picturesque location & relaxing atmosphere. Picnicking at the beach is one of the best ways to spend the day here.


Backwaters, Kumarakom Various canals, lagoons, and waterways surround Kumarakom's small cluster of islands. These numerous water ways make up what is known as the Backwaters. Tourists love to rent a houseboat here. Each houseboat commonly contains a living room, one bedroom, a bathroom, and a deck too. A local oarsman will pole the houseboat for you as you explore the beautiful scenery in the region.

Numerous types of flora and fauna can be seen against the mirror like lagoons as you sail across the picture perfect backwaters.Large houseboat companies will even let you tether several houseboats together to house a larger tourist group.

Houseboats A boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey is one popular way to experience the entire area, after all, Kerala's network of navigable backwaters covers an amazing 900 kilometers. Honeymooners especially are drawn to the peaceful atmosphere of the waterways. A backwater cruise on a houseboat allows you to see the scenic manmade islands and beautiful sights of coconut fringed backwaters and paddy fields. You will want to book a houseboat in advance since they are always in high demand. These giant 80-foot long houseboats are altered traditional boats from the area. These houseboats are luxuriously equipped with all of the modern amenities you would need. There are single-bedroom & even four to five-bedroom houseboats available, with living rooms, bathrooms, an equipped kitchenette & air-conditioning too. A well trained crew of a cook and a bearer along with two oarsmen will be at your service all through.

Pathiramannal Pathiramannal is a small island found on the Vembanad Lake near Alleppey. This magnificent location can only be reached by boat. Its remote location adds to the intrigue for those that especially love to explore. Birdwatchers love to travel to this breathtaking location with hundreds of rare migratory birds that flock here every year. It is possible to see birds such as the golden-backed woodpeckers, night herons, kingfishers, paradise fly-catchers, egrets, bulbuls, shrikes, morning doves, crow pheasants, and drongos. A visit to this remarkable location is an experience not to miss.


St Andrew's Church, Arthunkal St. Andrew's church construction began in 1864 & was completed in 1866. This Scottish Presbyterian Church was originally built for the use of Scottish officers, their families and a few other laymen. This congregation has a long history as well as a well deserved reputation of serving the community. In1881, an impressive pipe organ was installed. The quality of the music that can be played using this instrument is remarkable. In 1891, a clock tower was added to the church.



Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race Punnamada Lake near Alleppey is host to the spectacular snake boat races that are annually held on the second Saturday of August. This competition is named after India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The story goes that when Nehru saw his first boat race, he got so into the competition that he jumped right into the boat that won the race, so the event was named after him. Each and every 50 meter long wooden snake boat that is in the race is manned by over a hundred oarsmen. The power of the men rowing & cheer leaders motivating the oarsmen on each boat is a sight to see. The event traditionally commemorates the carrying of idols to their abodes to the state's magnificent temples. The trophy is a silver snake boat mounted on a wooden pedestal.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary A birdwatcher's haven, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, covers an impressive expanse of 14 acres. A large variety of different birds can be found at the sanctuary at any given time. Numerous migratory birds even from places like Siberia visit the sanctuary. It is common to see golden-backed woodpeckers, night herons, kingfishers, paradise fly-catchers and egrets.

The entire area was established by the government of India in an effort to preserve the natural habitat of both native plants like mandrakes and coconut trees and various birds. Local people can be hired to canoe you through the entire sanctuary.