KERALA INFO: Travel and Tourism of Alapuzha District
Travel and Tourism of Alapuzha District
by by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author) (Feedback)
Aranmula is one of the important summer resorts of Kerala. The Sri Parthasarathi temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is located on the banks of the holy river Pamba. The famous Aranmula Boat Race is held on the last day of week long Onam festival. The snake boats assemble near Sri Parthasarathi temple before starting the grand procession. Each boat is 30 ft long and accommodates 4 helmsmen, 100 rowers and 25 singers. The snake boats move in pairs to the rhythm of full-throated singing and shouting, watched by excited crowd.
The Vijnana Kalavedi at Aranmula imparts training in the traditional arts like Kathakali, classical dances, classical music, as well as Kalaripayattu. The 18th century Muali paintings can be seen in the Vishnu Temple. Aranmula is also famous for its metal mirrors.
Pathiramanal meaning “sands of midnight” is an enchanting island. According to the mythology, a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanadu Lake to perform his evening ablutions. The water makes a way for the land to rise from below creating an island of Pathiramanal. This little island on the backwaters is a favorite place for hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma.
Kuttanad, also called as the rice bowl of Kerala is a place of palm fringed and picturesque backwaters. The scenic country-side beauty of Kuttanad is enriched with its shimmering inland waterways and a rich crop of bananas, cassavas and yams. It is perhaps the only land in the world where farming is done below the sea level. Here, the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race at Punnamada lake is held every year.
Ambalappuzha Pilgrim Centre
The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 kms from Alleppey has the Kerala's most famous typical temple architectural style. It is also famous all over Kerala for "Palpayasam", the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge to the deity. It is also in this temple that pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers), once in twelve years. The temple's main festival occurs in March/April. It was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his first Ottan Thullal, a solo dance performance with high social content.
Situated near Harippadu, Mannarasala is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a Brahmin family, headed by a priestess. Mythology says that the first priestess of Mannarasala gave birth to a five headed snake, and this snake is believed to reside in the ancestral houses to safeguard the family. Also, the place is popular for the belief that the barren women are blessed with children. The special turmeric paste available at the shrine is credited to have the powers of curing even the leprosy.
The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace was built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma. This palace is a double storied structure which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormar windows,and narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. The palace has a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
The Karumadi village is located close to the Ambalappuzha. It is famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black granite figure of Buddha which is said to belong to the 9th or 10th century.
Arthunkal (Pilgrim Centre)
Arthunkal is located near Sherthallai to the north of Alappuzha. It is known for the St. Andrews Church established by Portuguese missionaries. The feast of St. Sebastian is held here in the month of January every year.
Punnapra is located at a short distance from Alappuzha. This village is the place where a bitter and heroic fighting went on between the Communists and Travancore State Police in the Punnapra Vayalar Communist uprising in 1946.
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