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How to Travel the Backwaters of Kerala
Alappuzha : The gateway to the Backwaters of Kerala
Tourists throng to Alappuzha to enjoy the fascinating boat ride and wonderful natural locus around the backwater. Alappuzha is situated in the middle of the Arabian Sea and backwaters. The astounding Alappuzha is also known as the “Venice of the east”. Countless coconut trees form a dark shelter on 65 slender canals and 12 villages which are dotted around the territories of Alappuzha. Numerous passengers along with goods are taken from one place to another through the wide spread backwater network.
The entire town is hidden in the shades of the forests. This is the homeland of plenty of occupants who build their homes in the gloominess of the towering coconut trees. Most of the inhabitants of Alappuzha are Christians but their cultures and cuisines are same as the people of Malayalee communities.
Alappuzha or the Granary of Kerala is one of the most riveting cities of Kerala. Farmlands of Alappuzha are situated below the sea level. City dwellers earn money by making coconut oil, coir and spices. Backwater and its adjoining cannels help to connect different corners of the city.
The Most Famous Backwaters, the Vembanad Lake (80 km), is also the largest Lake of Kerala. The Lake has started its journey from Alappuzha and goes through the three adjoining districts of Kerala before it meets the sea. Pathiramanal is a small island on the mesmerizing Lake. Plenty of migratory birds increase the charm of the island during winters. The Alappuzha sea beach and the ancient Hindu temple, located at a distance of 3 km from Alappuzha deserve a visit. Vijaya beach Park, situated at the congregation point of Alappuzha beach and Ashtamudi Lake, is an amusement park. Interested tourists can enjoy boating and toy train ride in the Park.
You can hire entire houseboats, and spend days languiding in the backwaters.
The second most The second most visited backwater region is Astamudi Lake located in Kollam, You can hire boats from Kollam that comes up to Alapunzi. Click here to visit the page.
The city of Alappuzha adorn itself and looks really different during the month of August on the second Saturday when it hosts the Chundam Valloms and Snakeboat race. One hundred well adorned Chundan Vallom boats carry poisonous snakes and participate in the race to win prestigious honor of Nehru trophy and 1 lakh rupees. All the sailors sing the traditional Vanchipattu together while travelling through the backwater. The speed of 30 meters tall boat is praiseworthy. The race was inaugurated in 1952 by Jawaharlal Nehru. Tourists and race lovers assemble on the banks of the backwater to witness the enthralling competition every year. The Snakeboat Race is also called Vallum Kalis. However, visitors have to buy tickets to watch the sight of the race. Don’t forget to carry foods and drinking water along with you. If possible then carry an umbrella with you as well.
The Krishnapuram palace in Kayamkulam, built in 1740, about 47 km away from Alappuzha, on the way to Kollam from Alappuzha, depicts an excellent and stylish architecture. Now, a museum is built in the rooms of the palace. The majestic museum houses the largest mural picture of Kerala. Sri Krishna temple (14 km) in Ambalapuzha, St. Andrews Church (22 km), Bhagawati temple in Chettikulangara and Nagraja temple in Mannarsalai (32 km) are the other sought after destinations in Alappuzha. The Nagraja temple of Mannarsalai is the largest of all the Nagraja temples of Kerala. 30,000 idols of snakes are built in and around the city. The very old deity, Karthika, is residing in Haripad.
Ride on a boat to access the St. Mary Forren Church in Champakulam, built in 1870, about 14 km away from the Alappuzha. The nearby idol of Jishu which is 2 meters tall fascinates the tourists as well. The Sri Krishna temple showcases the architectural excellence of Kerala. The boat race, held in Champakulam, during July is another attraction for the holiday makers.
How to reach: Alappuzha is well connected to Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur and Palakkad by bus. Interested holiday makers can hire a car to Alappuzha from any prime South Indian city. Alappuzha railway station can be accessed from Ernakulam and Kayankulam by railways as well. Alappuzha is also connected by railways from Chennai and Dhanbad.
Check Indian Railways site for more details.
Where to stay: Hotel Arcadia, Hotel Komala, Karthika Tourist Home, Alleppey Prince Hotel, Dhanalakshmi Lodge, Hotel Bonie, The Green Palace Holiday and Asitya Resort.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.