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Alappuzha Holidays

Alappuzha or Alleppey is an entrancing region of awe-inspiring natural beauty with the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast tangle of cerulean lakes, serene backwaters and freshwater rivers, is usually referred as the Venice of the East. Alappuzha has a large network of canals and is a centre for backwater cruises in Kerala. Alappuzha has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's chief supplier of coir. The temples of Alappuzha represent the Kerala style of architecture.

Ambalappuzha is a small town in Alappuzha district of Kerala state, The temple of Sree Krishna is located 1.5 kms east of the town junction. In the olden days the headquarters of the Ambalapuzha rajahs were near the temple. There was a time when the Ambalapuzha territory had been under the rule of Chempakasseri rajahs. But when Marthanda Varma, the valorous ruler of Travancore conquered Chempakasseri territory in 925 M.E., there occurred a gradual declension of the royal family of Chempakasseri.Some people worship the presiding deity of the Ambalapuzha temple as ‘Parathasarthy’ while others as Gopalakrishna but both the names of course, are the two sides of the same coin.

The Arthunkal Feast refers to the annual grand celebrations held at the St. Andrew's Forane Church at Arthunkal that culminates into a big feast. Also known as St. Sebastian's Feast, this church festival of Kerala sees both Christians as well as people of other religious belies thronging to the Church. The Arthunkal Feast is celebrated over eleven days in Kerala. The highlights of the concluding day of the festival include a special ritual in which the devotees crawl on their knees all the way from the nearby beach to the church. Afterwards there is a ceremonial procession to the beach.

Alappuzha beach:

Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, this Backwater Country is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, Alappuzha has grown in importance as a Backwater Tourist Centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. Alappuzha beach also known as Alleppey beach is one of the most popular spots in the district of Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is around 140 years old. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the Alappuzha beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby that is of immense interest for the visitors.

Krishnapuram Palace:

The Krishnapuram Palace is an archaeological museum, and the most fascinating exhibit here is the 49 sq.m - Gajendra Moksham - the largest single band of mural painting so far discovered in Kerala. Literally, the salvation ( Moksha) of the elephant king ( Gajendra), the theme of the mural is mythological and depicts an elephant saluting Lord Vishnu in devotion while the other gods, goddesses and saints look on. It is said that Lord Vishnu was the family deity of the Kayamkulam rajas. This mural was placed at the entrance to the palace from the pond to enable the rajas to worship the deity after their bath. The Krishnapuram Palace is a rare specimen of the Kerala style of architecture complete with gabled roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows. Residence of the rulers of Kayamkulam kingdom, the age of the palace is unknown. Renovated some time in the 18th century, the palace is today a protected monument under the Archaeology department.

Other attractions here are the beautifully landscaped garden in the palace compound where you have a variety of flora typical of Kerala, and a newly erected Buddha mandapam, where a recently recovered statue of the Buddha is housed. Other collections at the museum include rare antique bronze sculptures and paintings.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race:
Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of the most important boat races in Kerala. It is an annual event conducted on the second Saturday of August every year, in the afternoon. The main event consists of a stiff competition between the magnificent snake boats known as 'chundanvallams' for the coveted trophy. These boats stretch about 100 feet in length, with a raised prow, resembling the raised hood of a snake. These snake boats are usually rowed by men numbering around 100; rowing in unison and in an aggressive manner. The race commences with a ceremonial water procession comprising of floats and a variety of craft. One can also witness races comprising other varieties of boats.

Kerala is fast gaining momentum as a hotspot tourist destination and looks like is all set to dislodge the most popular tourist haunts. Kuttanad, popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala falls under the Alappuzha District. Honeycombed by numerous canals, lakes, rivers and rivulets, Kuttanad is pretty much the face of the Kerala Backwaters. Also notably, Kuttanad is one of the few places all over the world and the only place in India where rice cultivation takes place below sea level, somewhat like in Holland. A tour to Kuttanad unfolds before you the lush beauty and bounty of the Kerala Backwaters like never before. With 500 square kilometres of the region below sea level, Kuttanad is the lowest region of India. Its elevation ranges from 0.6 m above to 2.2 metres below sea level.

Pathiramanal (14 kilometers from Alappuzha):
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is accessible only by boat.

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