Alappuzha (Alleppey) has grown in importance as a Backwater Tourist Centre,
attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is
also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products
and Coir Industry.
It is assumed that the name of Alappuzha (Alleppey) was derived by the
geographical position and physical features of the place which means the
land between the sea and the network of rivers flowing into it. It is
bounded on the north by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks of Ernakulam district,
on the east by Vaikom, Kottayam and Changanassery taluks of Kottayam
district and Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks of Pathanamthitta
district, on the South by Kunnathur and Karunagappally taluks of Kollam
district and on the west by Lakshadweep sea.
The present Alappuzha district comprises of six taluks namely Cherthala,
Ambalappuzha, Kuttanad, Karthikappally, chengannur and Mavelikkaara. total
area of this district is 1414 sq. kms. The district head quarters is located
Unique Attractions of Alappuzha (Alleppey)
When you've had enough of lazing in the sun and are ready for some action
and fun, you can participate in any of the numerous beach activities offered
on the beautiful Indian beaches! For instance, you could indulge in any of
the exciting water sports such as surfing or parasailing, or go swimming in
the clear blue sea, or even try your hand at building a sand castle or
playing a game of beach volleyball!
Water sports are one of the most thrilling beach activities, and Alappuzha
beach have the best of aqua-sport equipment such as water-scooters and
high-speed boats. In fact, India is fast emerging as an Asian adventure
sports destination with immense scope in various kinds of water sports.
Water loving speed freaks will not be able to resist getting into a
speedboat. Sleek with a growling, throaty engine, these thoroughbred
speedboats are compelling machines that make the sea your road.
It is in the months of August and September that the moist, rain-drenched
earth and the glorious everflowing backwaters burst into song together, as
over hundred thousand men and women gather on the banks to witness a
spectacular water regatta - the SNAKE BOAT RACES. Boat race crews begin to
practice for the race months before the great day. They live together, eat
together, toil together to work themselves into a smooth, co-ordinated team.
A splendid procession unfolds with all types of 'Kali-Vallangal' or RACING
BOATS, led by the largest and the most majestic of them, the 'Chundan'. Its
rowers sing songs known as ' vanchi pattu ' to the rhythm of the oars - a
feast for the eyes and the ears. The largest of the 'Chundan' boats the
length of which varies between a hundred and a hundred and thirty feet can
seat a hundred and twenty rowers, sixty on each side. Like the neck of an
angry snake it curves to a height of fifteen to twenty feet. The prow is
pointed and stands four feet above the water with its glistening brass
embellishments. The main steerman of the boat stands on the amaram with
specially made long oars. The efficiency with which they handles the oar is
what establishes the speed of the boat and its balance. They claim that a
single strong plunge of the oar into the water can take the boat three leaps
forward to a distance of thirsty feet.
The most famous of these is the "Nehru Trophy Boat Race"
On the Second Saturday of every August There are a dozen other Snake Boat
Races. The latest addition is the one in connection with the GREAT ELEPHANT
MARCH held on 19th of January every year.Champakulam, Kavalam, Karichal,
Jawahar Thayangari, Kallooparamban, Pacha, Pulincunnu, Nedubhagam,
Cheruthana, Kandangari and Paippad are the chief competitors for the
trophies. Large and spectacular chundans glide towards the finishing line
like meteors in the sky with water splashing violently on both sides like
streaks of lightning. An unforgettable and truly special scene. The fund of
energy, spirit of competition and unerring co-ordination makes this sport
one of the most dynamic.
Other Boat Races are
- Tourism Boat Race, 11th January connected with Great Elephant
- Pulimkunnu, Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race, August Last Saturday
- Champakulam Boat Race, June-July Connected with the Asterism "Moolam"
of Midhunam, a malayalam month.
- Neerattupuram Boat Race, August-Sep. conducted during Onam days.
- Chettikulangara, Kettukazhcha, February-March
- 'Kettukazhcha' is very famous and it is a procession of tall
decorated tructures in chariots in which effigies of horses,
bullocks are displayed.
- Thiruvalla, Pamba Boat Race
- Haripad, Karuvatta Boat Race
- Mannar Boat Race
Travel Attractions of Allappuzha
called the rice bowl of Kerala, because of her wealth of paddy crops is at
the very 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.
The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the
Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which
displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormar
windows, narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in
Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. It measures14 feet by 11 feet and is at
the western end of the ground floor, a walking distance from the Palace
Pool. Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
Situated 47 kms from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, Krishnapuram is easily
accessible by bus from either town.
Ambalappuzha ( Pilgrim Centre)
The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 kms from Alleppey is among
Kerala's more famous ones boasting of the typical temple architectural style
of the state. It is equally famed for its palpayasam - a sweet milk porridge
offered to the diety. The temple's main festival occurs in March/April. It
was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his
first Ottan Thullal, a solo dance performance with high social content.
Pathiramanal (14 kilometers from Alappuzha)
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of
rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is
accessible only by boat.