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Places to see in Alleppey

Discussion in 'Kerala' started by Chairath7, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Chairath7

    Chairath7 New Member

    This year's holiday has been planned for Alleppey. This has been a long-awaited destination, especially because of the backwaters.

    We will have our backwater ride organised, but apart from that we would also like to see places in Alleppey, it would be great to get some idea of places to see there, so we can probably put an itinerary together if there are a lot of places to see.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Alleppey is also known as Alappuzha. You can find the city about 62 kilometres to the south of Cochin. Alleppey is the 7th largest city in Kerala and is also known as the oldest planned city in the region. Some refer to the city as the Venice of the East, or the Venetian Capital of Kerala, due to the canals, backwaters and lagoons in it. Here are some of the best attractions to see in Alleppey:

    Religious
    • Ambalapuzha Shri Krishna Temple - This is located in the Ambalapuzha in the district of Alappuzha. The temple is believed to have been built in the 790 AD by Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran. When Tipu Sultan was raiding the region of Guruvayoor, the idol of Shri Krishna from the temple there was taken to Ambalapuzha Shri Krishna Temple for safekeeping. The story goes that once, Lord Krishna appeared as a form of a sage and challenged a king to a game of chess. The prize was chosen before the game which was a grain of rice for the first square, two grains for the second square, four grains for the fourth square and so on. Of course, Lord Krishna won the game and so came the time to collect his prize. However, the king noticed the true nature of the sage's request. He cannot fulfil the wish as by the 40th square, the grains have amounted to the millions. The Lord Krishna appeared in his true form and told the king that he doesn't need to pay him immediately. He can pay the Lord over time, in the form of the paal-payasam, which is served until now to the devotees of the temple.
    • Mannarasala Shri Nagaraja Temple - This is the largest Nagaraja Temple in Kerala. The temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along its paths and trees. According to legends, Lord Parashurama reclaimed a land from the sea, as a form of penance for killing Kshatriyas and gave it to the Brahmins. However, due to the salinity of the land, which is Kerala, it became uninhabitable and people begun leaving the region. And so Parashurama, with his disciples, set out to find a land where he can worship Nagaraja. He found a suitable land and did his thirthasthala there. Nagaraja was pleased and appeared before the Lord and granted his request. The Kalakuda poison spread throughout the land and desalinated it. Parashurama then installed an idol of Nagaraja in the hall filled with Mandara trees, which is now known as Mannarasala. As generations passed by, a childless couple, Vasudeva and Sreedevi, lived within the forest and took care of the serpents when a fire broke out. Nagaraja was pleased with their devotion and thus said that he would be incarnated as their son. Thus, women seeking fertility come to the temple and once their wish was granted, they come back to pay respect to Nagaraja. For those wanting to have children, they usually bring a vessel named Uruli which is made of brass or bronze and perform the Nurum Palum.
    • Shri Subramanya Swami Temple - The present temple was built in the 20th century but it is believed to have been established even before the reign of the Kaliyuga. The presiding deity of the temple is Murugan, with a Vel in one hand, Vajrayduha in another hand, one hand bestowing blessings and the last hand holding its thighs. The idol was found in Kandanalloor in Govindamuttom Backwaters, after the same visions of the different landlords of Haripad. The temple also holds other shrines for Lord Ganesha, Dakshina Moorthy and Shasta.
    • Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple - This is also known as the Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple. It is believed that the temple is over 500 years old already. The idol of Mullakkal Devi is believed to have been brought here by soldiers from Thekkumkur. Originally, the idol was just in a jasmine garden but later, under the leadership of King Devanarayana of Chembagasery, a temple was constructed in the premises. Others believe that some Brahmins escaped from Malabar and installed the idol of Mata Annapurneswari here. In 1961 though, a mentally unstable person hugged the idol and it caused the idol to be destroyed. Thus, a newer idol was installed in 1962 along with the other idols of Krishna and Nagaraja.
    • Chavara Bhavan Shrine - This was the residence of the Kuriakose Elias Chavara, a Catholic saint. The shrine is located in Kainakary and is only reachable by boat. It has been converted into a shrine and it sees many devotees annually. There's also a 250-year old beacon of light here, preserved, maintained and still intact despite its age. The home is very small and is made of local materials like coconut leaves, giving devotees a glimpse of the simple life of the saint. You can also find the chair and the wooden confessional stand which was used by the saint in his lifetime.
    • St. Andrew's Basilica - This is located in Arthunkal in Alleppey. The church was rebuilt in 1584 under the leadership of Father Jacoma Fenicio. He is sometimes referred to as Arthunkal Veluthachan, which means Fair-Skinned Father. Father Jacoma died in 1632 and 8 years after his death, the church was renovated again. In 1647, a statue of St. Sebastian was installed in the church. In 2010, the church was declared a basilica, making it the first basilica in the district and the seventh in Kerala.
    • Karumadi Kuttan - This is a Buddha statue found in Karumady in Alleppey. The Buddha statue is believed to be as old as the 9th to the 14th centuries. The statue was found in a stream named Karumady Thodu and was named Karumadi Kattun, meaning the Boy from Karumady. The statue was found in the 1930s by Sir Robert Bristow. The statue is about three feet tall, made of granite and has the left half of its body missing.
    Historical
    • Alappuzha Lighthouse - The construction for this lighthouse began during the rule of Marthanda Varma-II Maharaja and was only completed during the rule of Rama Varma Maharaja. The lighthouse was first lit in the year 1862. The equipment for the lighthouse served until 1952, when it was replaced by a more modern equipment. In 1999, the incandescent lamp was changed into a metal halide lamp. Originally, the lighthouse was painted a plain white but later in 2000, this was changed into red and white. The lighthouse was officially opened to visitors in 2007.
    • Pandavan Rock - This is located in Urukunnu, near Alleppey. It is also known as the Rock of Pandavas, as a reference to the Pandava brothers who stayed here during their exile. Over time, the cave has changed into a tiny hillock which is a good spot for a picnic. The climb to reach the rock is quite easy and suitable even for those who are not physically strong.
    • Krishnapuram Palace - This is located in Kayamkulam, near Alleppey. It was built by Anizam Thirunal Marthanda Varma in the 18th century. Originally though, there was an earlier palace here built by King Veera Ravi Varma, which was destroyed by Anizam to make way for his palace. The present structure was built using a Pathinerakettu style of architecture. It has gabled roofs, narrow corridors and dormer windows. The palace fell into disuse and was abandoned. It was only in the 1950s when the Archeological Department of Kerala renovated it and they also displayed the important artefacts and documents found in the palace. Thus, the palace is now a museum showcasing paintings, coins, megalithic remains and sculptures.
    Beaches
    • Alappuzha Beach - This is one of the most famous attractions of Alleppey. The Alappuzha Lighthouse stands near the beach. It also has an old pier which is about 150 years old already. The beach also hosts the annual Alappuzha Beach Festival and also the international festival called the Sand Art Festival. Water activities like surfing and parasailing can also be done here. The palm groves located amidst the shores add a sense of tranquility to the area.
    • Marari Beach - This beach is located in the village of Mararikulam. It's a more secluded and isolated beach, which doesn't have as many tourists unlike the Alappuzha Beach. It's mainly a beach where fishermen set sail to go fishing so it's best visited during the morning. There are some resorts within the beach that you can stay in. A cheaper option would be the guest houses which are also quite many within the beach.
    • Andhakaranazhi Beach - This is about 8 kilometres away from the village of Cherthalla in Alleppey. The beach is not that known by many tourists so it's a good place to have some isolation. The water in the beach is very clean and also suitable for swimming. There are also some beach shacks within the shores where you can buy drinks and snacks. Apart from that, you cannot do much here as there are no water sports available.
    • Thottappally Beach - This is an underdeveloped beach in Alleppey. It is located in the west of Thottappally Spillway & in the south of Thottappally Fishing Harbor. The sands of the beach are black in colour and the waves are quite big. There are not much activities nor food stalls here though. But it's an isolated place, perfect for just enjoying the views.
    Parks
    • Vijay Beach Park - This is just a few metres away from the Alappuzha Beach. The park is a good option for families with little children. It has some toy trains which guests can ride. There are also some bicycles for rent within the park. The park also has a small play area for children, where there are slides and swings. The whole family or even couples can enjoy boating here too.
    • Sea View Park - This is also located nearby the Alappuzha Beach. The park has some boating facilities like a round boat and a pedal boat. You can also spot a diverse number of birds here as the water draws them in.
    Bodies of Water
    • Vembanad Lake - This is the longest lake in the country. The lake occupies different regions in the different districts of Kerala. In fact, it goes by many names, such as Kochi Lake in Kochi and Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad. The lake has boating facilities which tourists can enjoy. The lake is also the form of livelihood for many of the residents of Kerala.
    Museums
    • Revi Karunakaran Museum - Mr. Revi Karuna Karan was a major part for the development of the coir industry in Kerala. But little did people know that he also liked collecting art pieces during his lifetime. This museum was established by his family in memory of Mr. Revi and his collections are displayed here. One of the most prized exhibits here is the Crystal Ware Section, where there are items specially from the brand Swarovski. The museum also has a rare collection of Tanjore paintings.
    • International Coir Museum - This is in Kalavoor, on the way to Alleppey. This museum showcases the process of of coir making and also the history behind it. You can see items made of coir as well. The process of making coir through a machine is also showcased here. You can see some of the trainees manually making the items from coir which can be quite educational. You can also buy souvenirs made from coir although the selection is not that extensive.
    I hope this helps!
     

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