ALAPPUZHA – Venice of the East
Alappuzha is a world of beauty and holiness! Attractions and things to do in Alappuzha are endless. The unspoiled exoticness of Alappuzha is comforting as well as energizing. The ayurvedic resorts and Alappuzha houseboats provide a unique experience for its visitors. The sight of Alappuzha boat houses cruising through the backwaters looks like a painting that caresses your soul. The houseboats of Alappuzha backwaters are an upgraded version of the old age Kettuvallams. Malayalam Kettuvallam means living structures of boats. Earlier, when transportation was not advanced, a boat with a roof used to carry food grains from one place to place.
The Alappuzha houseboats were inspired by these Kettuvallams and are well-equipped with all the luxuries of a good hotel room like air conditioners, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, etc. The eye-pleasing view of the lush green paddy fields, water, and the houses makes cruising through the backwaters zestful. And that makes Alappuzha tourism extra special. Besides houseboats, there are plenty of other attractions in Alappuzha that travelers are fascinated about. These attractions include glimpses of choir making processes, green paddy fields, attractive migratory birds and pristine beaches. Undoubtedly this beautiful seashore town situated in the center of Kerala is also known for its cuisines. An interesting specialty of Alappuzha tourism is its toddy shops that provide authentic Kerala cuisines, especially a variety of seafood.
“Vallamkali” or the “snake boat race” is another attraction of Alappuzha that gains visitors from far and near. Aranmula Sadya and Vallamkali is an experience that is unique and soulful. Photographers will enjoy this festive mode of Alappuzha and will be lucky to get attractive stills. The town is also famous for its architectural wonders and holy sites like the Krishnapuram Palace, 17th century built Alappuzha Lighthouse, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Ayurvedic resorts, basilicas, house of Chavara Elias and Chettikulangara Devi Temple and more. Other attractions that add charm to this blissful Kerala tourist destination include Alappuzha beach, Marari beach, etc.
When looking into the details of Alappuzha sightseeing, all of them are close to nature and are therapeutic. Hence, a vacation to Alappuzha helps you to immerse yourself with the wonders of nature.
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Top attractions in Alappuzha
Alappuzha is a nature blessed land. The specialty of this landscape is its waterways that intersect with the lagoons, lake, and sea. Cruising through the Vembanad Lake is going to be a special experience because one feels closer to nature. There are plenty of houseboats available, smaller ones to bigger ones. So depending upon the number, the size of the boat can be fixed. All the houseboats are luxurious and cozy, giving the sightseers a royal experience. Travelers have the freedom to choose the timing of the cruising- Day or night. Spending a whole night in the houseboat is an exceptional experience. The houseboats look like a hotel suite. Holidayers will feel excited about the way they enjoy sightseeing, which is different from the usual Alappuzha sightseeing experience. During the cruising, the boat will stop for sightseeing and photo sessions as well. Authentic Kerala cuisines served for breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner is another add-on in a houseboat cruising.
Alappuzha beach famously known as Alappuzha beach is a favorite getaway of tourists and locals. The main attraction of the beach is the pier which leads to the sea. The pier was constructed 150 years back and watching the evening sky from here is an experience beyond words could explain. The beach is known for various festivals including the Sand Art festival, Alappuzha Beach Festival and more. Also, the beach attracts people with local stores, parks, and other beach activities. All these attractions make Alappuzha beach the most sought after tourist getaway for families and sightseers. Alappuzha beach resorts are plenty in numbers and are a major attraction of the city. A stroll through the beach is relaxing and rejuvenating. It is going to be one of the best holiday experiences.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The Nehru Trophy boat race famous as "Vallamkali" is an exhilarating event held every year as part of the Onam Celebration. It has also taken Alappuzha tourism to the next level. The boat race is famous on an international level and people float to Alappuzha during this period. During the festival, a boat similar to a canoe which is 100-120 feet long exhibits movements like serpentine in the water. Based on this name, the boat race has gained the name of the snake boat race. It is said that once Nehru came for the boat race and the boat he got into won first prize, and since then the race is named Nehru Trophy boat race!
There are other types of boats too that participate in the boat race and they are the Churulan Vallam, Vadakkanody Vallam, Odi Vallam, Veppu Vallam (Vaipu Vallam), Iruttu Kuthi Vallam, and Kochu Vallam. The boat race is an exciting event to witness where various teams compete excitingly. The water splashes will send a chill in the spine, it is a great event to be a part of!
In and around, Alappuzha tour places have many interesting places to visit. Krishnapuram Palace in Kayamkulam is a fine example of art, architecture, and glamour. The palace is 47 km away from Alappuzha and should be included in Alappuzha sightseeing. The palace is a true beauty built by the renowned Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, the Travancore King. The palace is built in the Kerala style and is decorated with mural paintings. The roof, corridors, and windows display the style of Kerala's traditional construction style. Presently the palace is looked after by the Archaeological Department of Kerala and it has plenty of attractions maintained from the past. Kayamkulam Vaal, Gajendra Moksha-a mural painting that spreads over 53 square feet is also another historically prominent attraction of the palace.
The palace set on the backdrop of a hill is adorned with a beautiful garden, fountains, ponds, and lawns. This unique architectural beauty is a worth visiting destination that lies closer to Alappuzha.
Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala is bliss. This beautiful landscape is one of the most attractive among Alappuzha tour places. The extensively spread green paddy fields are beautiful and are spellbinding to watch during sunrise and sunset. The sun kisses the paddy crops and reflects offering the photographers a magical frame. Kuttanad is set on the backdrop of backwaters, lagoons, and scenic outskirts. The main attraction of this place is the farming which is carried on 2mts below sea level also the waterways lies above land level, a rare feature to watch. Animal farming is another attraction of Kuttanad and there are plenty of ducks swimming through the water, a wonderful experience for photographers. This romantic landscape enriches travelers' souls with natural beauty and takes Alappuzha tourism to greater heights.
The house of blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara is a major attraction among Alappuzha Sightseeing. One can reach this blessed shrine only by boat. The ancestral home of blessed Kuriakose Chavara and a chapel are the attractions of this place.
Tourists from around the world visit Chavara Bhavan to offer prayers and seek blessings. This well-maintained house and chapel are surrounded by water and greenery. The construction of the house resembles the houses built in olden days. A 250-year-old “Beacon of Light” is still preserved here. A walk to the shrine through the narrow pathways that are surrounded by waterways is a memorable experience.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple
Alappuzha sightseeing is not all about tourist locations but divine sites as well. Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is one of the blessed shrines renowned internationally. The temple located 32km away from Alappuzha is dedicated to Nagaraja, the serpent God. The head of the temple is a priestess who belongs to the Brahmin family. Devotees also seek blessings from Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi, who serve the Nagaraja. The belief is that the Nagaraja is blessed with the presence of Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Adherent followers visit the temple to seek blessings to overcome infertility and other health diseases including leprosy. According to mythology, the first-ever priestess of the shrine delivered five-headed-snake. It is believed that since then the ancestral house is blessed and is looked after by this snake.
Pathiramanal or the ‘Sands of Night' is a pretty little island in Alappuzha district. The island also recognized as the Anantha Padmanabhan Thoppu can be reached only by boat. The island accessible from Kumarakom as well as Muhamma offers a captivating view of nature. A houseboat cruise sighting the mesmerizing beauty of Pathiramanal is a rare experience. The island is blessed with the presence of a wide range of species including migratory birds, animals, and plants. Pathiramanal visit takes Alappuzha sightseeing, an unforgettable experience. During an overnight stay, most of the houseboats anchor at the lee of the island and the sightseers get a splendid view of the moon-kissed water!
Karumadi is a beautiful village located near Ambalapuzha. This village is named after the black granite idol of Lord Buddha- KarumadiKuttan. This 9th-century statue is in a sitting position and is almost 3ft tall. A major attraction of the idol is that the left hand is missing. When the Dalai Lama came to Kerala in 1965, he visited Karumadi. This place known for its serenity attracts tourists and history- buffs. A village named after the idol, Karumadi is equally blessed by nature. A walk through the village provides an insight into the local life and culture of people.
Among Alappuzha tour places, Karumadi is a true beauty that should not be missed out!
Ambalappuzha is famous for its temple and PaalPayasam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the offering, the yummy sweet milk porridge otherwise- Paal Payasam. The temple is 14kms away from Alappuzha and is renowned for its fascinating paintings that display Dasavatharam, ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. The temple is also famous for Ottanthullal performed by Kunjan Nambiar who criticized the socio-political situations of Kerala. The architectural style of the temple is renowned by art lovers around the globe.