The time we spend away from work is the time we actually spend for ourselves. This is what differentiates a man from a machine. While machine can run incessantly, man cannot. Man needs some leisure so that his body and mind get relief from the stress and strain of the day to day life. Besides providing relaxation, taking a break from routine work brings forth new ideas and thoughts conjectured while spending leisure. Alappuzha in Kerala, also known as the Venice of the East is the best place for this.
This backwater region is home to some unique marine animals and migratory birds that are of special interest to tourists. It is caressed by the Arabian See in the east and a number of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it create the best ambience for spending maritime leisure. Known as the rice bowl of Kerala, Azapphu has the unique topographical feature of paddy farming below the sea level. At one time, it was famous for trading and fishing. It presently gets the global recognition of being the most visited backwater tourist destination.
Houseboat cruiseIs the reworked version of Kettuvallams of olden times. The original Ketuvallams or rice barges were used in carrying tons of rice and spices. Kettuvallam means ‘boat with knots’ the entire boat is held together with coir knots only. Hence is the name Kettuvallam. Tourists get more attracted towards the Vijaya Beach Park. An old light house fascinates the visitors.
Boathouses provide every facility and comfort of a luxurious hotel, such as furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, kitchen and a suitable balcony for angling while sitting on the house boat.
Unlike in other temples in Kerala, temples in Alappuzha do not restrict entrance of non-Hindus into the temples. The most attractive festive occasion is the Ambalapuzha temple festival. The idol of Krishna is carried by five elephants for quite a distance, followed by accompaniment of music. The temple, 14 km away from Alappazhu is very famous for its traditional sweet milk –based dish, palpaysam forofering to the deity.
The 9th century granite statue of Buddha, locally known as Karimadi Kuttan is protected by the Archeological Society of India.
Tourists are specifically attracts to witness the traditional Snake Boat Race when competing groups ina competition to win the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Rate. Every year, it is held on the second Saturday of August, the first such being inaugurated by Jwaharlal Nehru on 1952. Tourists can participate in the competition by hiring boats available on rentals. A snake boat has the capacity of carrying 100 competitors at a time.
Another attraction for tourists in Alappazhu is the Krishnendu Ayurveda Wellness Center, near Haripad, Alleppy. Those having chronic spine problems come here for treatment. There is a hospital and spa where the traditional Ayurveda treatment is provided by drawing medicines for the herbal gardens from nearby.
Just as thirsty gets instinctively attracted towards water a visitor, thirsty of witnessing the long stretched backwater and enjoy the marine ambience will find Alappszhu, theonlys location for making the best utilization of their ‘leisure’.