Houseboat experience remains on top of the list of ‘Things to do in Alleppey and Kerala”. Your Kerala is incomplete without a trip of the houseboat. Stay for a minimum of one night in houseboat is recommended so that you can relax and rejuvenate yourself in the serene calmness of nature.
Kakkathuruthu- the World’s New Tourism Hot Spot
The small island of Kakkathuruthu, meaning ‘Island of Crows’, has been listed as one of the best places for photographic tour of travel-worthy spots across the world in National Geographic. The honour has flung the secluded quiet island on to the world stage. Surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, Kakkathuruthu is a small village with a population of around 1000 people. Spread over four kilometers, the place offers activities like fishing, toddy tapping, farming, boat ride. The world famous backwaters of Kerala surrounded by lush coconut groves and country roads are a photographer’s delight. Situated close to Alleppey and Kochi, Kakkathuruthu can be reached only by traditional boats. Eramalloor is the nearest spot (2 km) on the National Highway from where you can take a boat jetty to reach the island.
A part of Vembanad backwaters, Punnamada Lake is the longest lake in India, passing through various districts of Kerala. One of the biggest and most exciting water sport events in the world, Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race is held at Punnamada Lake during Onam. The event attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, Nehru Trophy Boat Race is an annual event held on second Saturday of August. A fiercely fought boat race, the lake front gets transformed into a sea of humanity with around two lakh people attending the event.
Karumadi, a village, about 3 kms of Ambalapuzha, close to Alleppey, is famous for ‘Karumadi Kuttan’ (meaning Boy from Karumadi), the black granite figure of Lord Buddha. The figure is said to be from 9th or 10th century. The place attracts travellers and archeologists from world over. The place was even visited by Dalai Lama during his trip to Kerala in 1965.
Alappuzha Beach is one of the most popular places in Alleppey. The beach has a 150 years old pier of extending to the sea. The beach hosts many events including the famous Sand Art Festival and Alappuzha beach festival. The beach is easily accessible.
Kuttanad is known for huge paddy fields. It is one of the few places in the world where farming is carried about 4 to 10 ft. above sea level. It is the most rice producer area of Kerala. With four of Kerala’s major rivers, Pamba, Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala flowing into Kuttanad, the place is also famous for boat race in the backwaters of Punnamada.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy temple and Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha are famous temples around Alleppey.
Arthunkal, situated towards 22 kms. north of Alleppey, St. Sebastian’s Church is an important Christian pilgrim center. Around 24 kms. away from Alappuzha, Edathua church, dedicated to St. George is also a famous spot of Alleppey. The annual fest held from 5th to 7th May sees pilgrims visiting the Church from all South India.
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