beach is popular with the locals. The beach is good and quite clean, on the southern side
there is a park for children. On northern side the seaview park with boating facilities is
also there. The railway station is not very far from here.
Nehru Cup Snake Boat
Race: Held on the second Saturday of August every year this boat race is
"must see" for the tourist. Boats of all sizes compete in different events, but
the most prestigious and interesting is that of the "Chundan Vallam". This
boat with 100 rowers, 4 helmsmen and has 25 cheer leaders is decorated with colorful
umbrellas. The race is held in massive Vembanand lake, east of the town. Tickets are
available at various stalls on the pay. Packing food and an umbrella to the venue is a
Alleppey-Kollam Backwater trip: This trip is organised by the ATDC and
starts at 10.30 am near the ATDC tourist information centre and reaches Kollam at around
6.00pm. The charge is Rs. 150. The boat passes through palm fringed the backwaters. A
close view of the country side and fishing activity in the lake are interesting sights.
The boat stops for lunch in between.
Kuttanad: Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of kerala, because of
her wealth of paddy crops is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic
countryside of Kuttanand with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of bananas,
casava and yams, which accompany the rice bowl as "side dishes". This is perhaps
the only land in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways, which
flow above land level, are an amazing feature of the unique land.
Pathiramanal: According to mythology of young brahaman dived into the
Vembanand Lake to perform his evening ablutions, and water made way for land to rise from
below. Thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight). This
little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds
from different parts of the world.
Ambalappuzha(14 Km south of Alappuzha): The Sree Krishna Temple here,
built in the typical Kerala architectural style, is famous all over Kerala for Palpayasam,
the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge, which tastes like rice pudding. It
is also in this temple that Pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers) once in twelve
years Human sacrifice was conducted in ancient times. However cocks have now replaced
humans on the sacrificial altar.
Arthunkal(22 Km north of Alappuzha): The St.
Sebastianís Church here is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual
festival Arthunkal Perunnal-the feast of the patron saint (January).
Mannarasala: (32 Km south of Alappuzha): Situated near Harippad, it is
a serpent shrine under the patronage of a brahman family, headed by a priestess. Legend
has it that the first priestess of Mannarasala gave birth to a five-headed snake, which is
believed to reside in the ancestral house to safeguard the family. At Mannarasala barren
women are believed to be blessed with children, and a specific turmeric paste available at
the shrine is credited with powers to cure even leprosy.
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Mavelikkara: The kettukazhcha
festival at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Processions of tall-decorated
structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural
performances make a spectacular pageant. (Festival-February/March)
Krishnapuram Palace: Built by Marathanda Varma, this palace at
Karthikapally is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. Dating back
to the 18th Century, this exquisite piece of art is one of the largest murals
in Kerala. The palace museum houses antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
Karumadikuttan: Many fascinating legends are associated with this 11th
century statue of Lord Buddha.