Alleppey at a Glance

AlleppeyIts criss-crossing canals and once busy waterways inevitably evoke comparisons with Venice. A prosperous trading town of yesteryear’s, which exported coir products to different parts of the world, Alappuzha relinquished its commercial position to other towns, notably Kochi, in later years. Today, tourism has appeared as its new saviour. Old settlers have left behind architectural treasures – numerous old mansions and trading houses built in a unique style. These buildings, along with the quiet streets and winding canals, lend this quaint town its distinctive allure. Situated at the south-western tip of India’s longest lake, the Vembanad, Alappuzha lies sandwiched between the lake and the Arabian Sea a sliver of land barely 4 km wide. It attracts tourists throughout the year for that singular experience of backwater cruising, especially in the Kuttanad region, a vast area of partly reclaimed land, covered in emerald green paddy fields and separated by dikes from waters that are actually a few feet higher.
 
Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple:
Ambalappuzha TempleThe reigning deity of this temple is the infant Krishna. Paintings of the 10 incarnations of Lord ViHoodendorn the inner walls of the chuttambalam or circumambulatory. The annual festival in April draws thousands of devotees, who also gather here for a feast. The Pallipana ritual, held once in 12 years, witnesses performances by sorcerers. The temple is also renowned for its offering of palpayasam, a milk and rice pudding. Kunjan Nambiar’s ottan thullal, a satirical art form, was first performed here.
 
Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathi Temple:
Chakkulathukavu Bhagavathi TempleSandwiched between the two rivers, Pamba and Manimala, and located on the border of Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha districts, this shrine is open to people of all religions. Goddess Vanadurga’s (the presiding deity) affinity for women and children has made the temple particularly popular with women devotees.
 
St Mary’s Church,Champakulam:
St Mary's Church ChampakkulamLocated on the site at which St Thomas is believed to have built one of his seven churches, the shrine draws hundreds of devotees, especially during the annual feast in October. The feast of St Joseph in March is also an important event. Wooden statues of Christ, made nearby, are exported to various countries.
 
St George Orthodox Syrian Church:
This Syrian church has been constructed partially with portions of an old 13th century church located at Haripad, 44 km north of Kollam. Its porches and porticos follow typical temple architecture. Biblical frescoes showing the art forms of the early medieval period adorn its walls.
 
Subrahmanya Temple:
This temple dedicated to Sree Murugan (Subrahmanya) is renowned for its architectural splendor the tall flag mast, the large temple tank, and the koothambalam, or theatre, with its exquisite wooden carvings on the ceiling.
 
Karumadi Kuttan:
Karumadi kuttanThe deity of Karumadi Kuttan, which stands by the side of the public canal to the west of the Kamapuram temple, is a black granite Buddha, said to belong to the ninth or 10th century. The idol has now been installed in a smaller shrine to protect it. Kerala’s Ay kings were patrons of Buddhism, which, however, is known to have declined in the State by the eighth century.
 
Krishnapuram Palace Museum:
Krishnapuram palaceThis palace was built during the reign of of Maharaja Marthanda Varma. It is a miniature model of architectural bhapuram Palace, near Thiruvananthapuram. The spectacular 16-block building sprawls over an area of acres. Now an archaeological museum, the restored two-storey palace houses paintings, antique furniture and sculpture. Burials, bronze artefacts swords, ancient vessels, weights, cannon balls, models of umbrellas, and even a Sanskrit Bible, are some of the exhibits.
 
Mannarassala SnakeTemple:
Mannarassala Snake TempleTraditionally, Hindu naga (serpent) worshipers always built their temples in serpent groves. Of these, Mannarassala is the largest with 30,000 images of snake gods, and hundreds of snakes living around the temple. Chilldless women come here for blessings and return for a ‘thanksgiving’ ceremony when they beget a child.
 
R Block:
R Block is one of the best managed private farms situated on one of the reclaimed lands in the Kuttanad region. This process of land reclamatiot 100 years ago. At nearly 850 acres, the farm constitutes the largest reclaimed region in the area and is almost entirely covered in coconut, areca and banana plantations. Note. A return boat trip from Alappuzha takes one and a halt hours one way and would cost Rs 450.
 
Chavara Bhavan:
Chavara Bhavan, 6 km from town and accessible only by boat, is situated in Kainakary, a small village in the backwaters of Alappuzha. It is the ancestral home of Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara, oneHhenng the three Malayali candidates under consideration for sainthood by Rome.
 
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple:
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy TempleChettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi temple is one of the most renowned temples in Kerala. The temple is located at Chettikulangara in Alappuzha district in the south Indian state of Kerala. The temple is situated about 5 km west of Mavelikkara, 6 km north of Kayamkulam on SH6 (Kayamkulam – Thiruvalla Highway). One important aspect of the temple is that the deity appears as Maha Saraswathi in the morning, as Maha Lakshmi at noon and Sri Durga or Bhadrakali in the evening. The 1200-year-old temple has 13 Karas (territories). The temple is at the centre of the oldest four Karas–Erezha South, Erezha North, Kaitha South and Kaitha North and the rest of the Karas Kannamangalam South, Kannamangalam North, Pela, Kadavoor, Anjilipra, Mattam North, Mattam South, Menampally and Nadakkavu surround this temple. The deity, an incarnation of Bhadrakali, is supposed to possess miraculous powers and legends abound about favours conferred on devotees. The annual Kettukazhcha festival witnesses spectacular processions with bright effigies on decorated chariots. An all-night Kathakali performance marks the conclusion of the cultural events.
 
Parumala Church:
Parumala ChurchParumala is a small town in Pathanamthitta district, bordering Alappuzha district. This is an island in Pampa River. The parumala church is dedicated in the names of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. The saintly Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Gregorios is buried in the northern corner of the church were the octagonal altar and the rectangular ‘Haikla’ of the church join together (the saintly Metropolitan was taken to his heavenly abode on 2 November 1902. The Holy Episcopal Synod Canonized him as a saint in 1947).
 
Geevarghese Mar Gregorios is the first declared saint of The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is entombed. The commemoration ormapperunnal celebrated on the first and second of every November, a large number of people flock to this place for worship. People prefer to get here at that time by walking from all over the Nation. The government recognised Parumala Church is known as the International Pilgrim Center.
 
Kettuvallam Cruise ( House boat )
Kerala HouseboatThe cruise on the Vembanad lake of Alappuzha can be the most delightful experience. Besides the feast to the eyes the cruise can also help you feast on the famed karimeen dishes prepared by the chef at the house boat.
 
Must do: Learn all about duck farming from villagers living by the backwaters.
 
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