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Alleppey Tourist Places

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AlleppeyAlleppey Tourist Places

Alappuzha, or the erstwhile Alleppey, is a very visible landmark on the tourism map of Kerala, thanks to its popularity as the hub of Kerala’s houseboat cruises. A labyrinth of canals that criss-cross the city, has won Alappuzha the eponym, the Venice of the East. The canals that once buzzed with commercial vibrance and hosted an unending traffic of canopied boats that carried cargo of yore, have become lacklustre, flowing by unhurriedly, a mute witness to the dilapidation of the city that happened when its status as the premier port deserted it. These canals are still a great way to embark on a ride in the simple canoes that ply them, for a quiet trip down the nostalgic trails of history, along palm fringed waterways to do some soul-searching and to discover the rustic ethnicity of its countryside.

 Most of Alappuzha was reclaimed from the sea and black sands of the beaches are a dead giveaway of its existence under water about a millennium ago. Kuttanad, in Alappuzha district, the home of the great agricultural phenomenon where paddy is grown nearly ten feet below sea level is truly a wonder of the world. The endless stretch of palm fringed bunds and causeways that keep the sea at bay and flank the entire route of the famous house boat cruises, set up an idyllic setting for the traveller. Though of late, the sheer brilliance and popularity of the backwater cruises seem to have blocked out everything else from the tourist itinerary of Alappuzha, the place has a few other delights on offer for the tourist. Alappuzha is home to water fiestas and boat races that fire the senses in their magnificent splendor. There are very few events in the world that match these annual pageants in the spectacle or the adrenalin rush that accompanies them. There are many big and small races, the most historic being the Nehu Trophy Boat Race that commemorates the visit of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The clean beach in the city, with its 137 year old pier that juts into the sea and an equally old lighthouse, offers a great setting for an evening picnic. Pathiramanal which translates into ‘Sands of Midnight,’ is a charming island on the Vembanad Lake, home to a great variety of avian population including migratory ones. The more spiritually inclined can take a trip to Ambalappuzha to visit the Sree Krishna Temple and feast on the famously delicious paalpayasam, the milk and rice porridge desert, the main offering to the deity. The rustic soul of the land comes alive in the coir making hubs of Alappuzha, the iconic symbol of the land as much as is the sickle in this cradle of communism. The many delightful resorts and hotels that capture the soul of this backwater country, are themselves a great tourism experience.

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