Thursday, 16 May 2013

We all know Alappuzha (Alleppey) for the backwaters... But it also offers a lot of other attractions... Take a look of morning shot at the beach

Photo: We all know Alappuzha (Alleppey) for the backwaters...  But it also offers a lot of other attractions... This surreal morning shot at the beach was taken by HIQ member Somak....

You can also check out the article on various attractions of the place by HIQ meber Arun Menon...

Alappuzha: The Venice of India
A cosy three hours ride in Kerala’s traditional houseboat through the backwaters of Alappuzha, leaving behind the lush greenery, coconut groves and endless paddy fields, the Venice of the East can take you to a state of mind, from where you wish you had never returned back. HolidayIQ member, Arun Menon from Bangalore, will tell us more about this heavenly terrain.
  Historical touch
Years back, when British ruled the land, the then Viceroy of Indian empire Lord Curzon was so fascinated by the beauty of Alappuzha that he named it ‘The Venice of the East’. Alappuzha is a mosaic of mirror-still lagoons, picturesque lakes, palms fringed canals and a long sandy beach - all brimming with glimpses of daily life in the Kerala country side. Alappuzha has been a significant place in Indian history and finds mention in the Mahabharata as well.

Globetrotters, like Pliny and Ptolemy, from the far west have also mentioned in their work about Alappuzha. The modern face of Alappuzha is attributed to Raja Keshavadas, the Diwan of Kingdom of Travancore, who designed this small town with a vision. Alappuzha was the main trade centre of the Portuguese, French and the English traders in the bygone years. Today more than trade, people visit this small town to experience the splendour of nature. Alappuzha is also a main centre for Coir industry.

  Sightseeing highlights
Alappuzha is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala. It can be called the “gateway of backwaters,” connecting Kumarakom and Cochin towards north and Quilon to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held around the Onam festival season.

Today, Alappuzha is a hub of Kerala tourism for its backwaters and house boats. The favoured water channel here is the Vembanad Lake. The Kayamkulam Lake and the interconnected canals are the other water bodies used for backwater cruises. 'Kettuvallams' or house boats are available on hire on a daily basis as well as for longer sails to take visitors along the old waterways.

The other attractions are Alleppey Beach, offering one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea; Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, built in typical Kerala style of architecture; Edathua Church, one of the oldest and famous churches in Kerala; and Krishnapuram Palace, built by the legendary ruler Marthanda Varma. Pathiramanal, an enchanted island in Vembanad Lake, is also worth a visit.