Alapuzha – The “Venice of the East”
Alappuzha is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state which is famous for its back waters and nature beauty and better known to the world as the “Venice of the East” .The district was formed on the 17th of August 1957, The district comprises of six taluks, namely Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, Kuttanad, Karthikappally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara, The Total area of this district is 1414sq.km. Alappuzha is situated 62 kms towards the south of Kochi and 155 kilometres to the north of Trivandrum. Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English and Tamil are also widely spoken in the town. Alappuzha is gifted with immense natural beauty, with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, It is an important tourist destination in India. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy snake Boat Race, which is held on the Punnamada Lake, on the second Saturday of August every year. This is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India. The mullackal chirap is also one of the main attractions of Alapuzha.
Other attractions in Alappuzha includes Alappuzha Beach, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple,which is famous for its pal payasam, Arthunkal Basilica, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Edathua Church, Alappuzha CSI Christ Church,Krishnapuram Palace and Champakulam Valia Palli. Kerala is blessed with coconut trees and coir is the important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. The name Alappuzha is derived from the geographical position and physical features of the place. It means the land between the sea and network of rivers flowing into it. Alappuzha covers an area of 1,414 square kilometres and is flanked by 2,195 square kilometres of Vembanad Lake, where one can witness the magnificent union of six major rivers which spread out extensively before joining the 80 km coast line of the district. The town of Alappuzha is crisscrossed by a system of canals, which is a part of the National Waterway 3. The backwaters and wetlands host thousands of migrant common teal, ducks and cormorants, another major feature of this land is the region called Kuttanad, famously known as the ‘granary of Kerala’. Kuttanad is also known 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.
Owing to its proximity to the sea, the climate of Alappuzha is humid and hot during the summer, although it remains fairly cool and pleasant during the months of October and November. The average monthly temperature is 27C. The district also gets the benefit of two seasonal monsoons, as in other parts of the state. The city experiences a long monsoon season with heavy showers as both the Southwest monsoon and Northeast monsoon influences the weather of Alappuzha. The South-west monsoon affects the climate in the months from June to September. On the other hand, the North-east monsoon brings rain from October to November. The average rainfall received by the region is 2763 mm.