Goddess of Light - Vilakkamma
Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a city and administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. This town is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the town is the first of its kind along the Arabian coast. Alappuzha is situated 62 kilometres (39 mi) to the south of Kochi and 155 kilometres (96 mi) north of Trivandrum. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as "Venice of the East". Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English and Tamil are also widely spoken in the town.
Alappuzha is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin towards north and Quilon to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, held on the second Saturday of August every year, is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India. The mullackal chirap is also one of the attractions of Allapuzha which is the festive season held ten colourful days every year in the month of December.
Other attractions in Alappuzha are Alappuzha Beach, offering one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Edathua Church, and Champakulam Valia Palli. Krishnapuram Palace also attracts many tourists. The tasty ambalappuzha payasam is a popular dessert.
Lagoons, Rivers and Canals
The district is a sandy strip of land intercepted by lagoons, rivers and canals. There are no mountains or hills in the district except some scattered hillocks lying between Bharanikkavu and Chengannur blocks in the eastern portion of the district. There are no forest area in this district.
Alappuzha is gifted with immense natural beauty with the Arabian sea on its west. The city has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers. Due to their closeness to the sea it has developed an unparalleled destination in the maritime map of India.
A traditional event conducted here is the snake boat race and the famous Nehru Trophy boat race is attracted by all the tourists. It is an important tourist destination and the tourists come here mainly to conduct a backwater cruise in houseboats. Alappuzha is connected with other places through roadways and railways. Alappuzha is also connected with parts of Kerala through waterways as there are many canals and water bodies here.
One of the major feature of this land is the region called Kuttanad, the 'granary of Kerala'. The paddy field here at Kuttanad is famous and is popularly called as the 'Rice bowl of Kerala' and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. The paddy fields lie about 0.6 to 2 m below mean sea level.
Some other crops grown here include arecanut, cardamom, sugar, pepper, tapioca etc.
Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. Almost all of Kerala's coir industries are located in Alappuzha. It is the main center for the coir and its articles. There is also a Coir Research Institute functioning at Kalavoor.