the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons
and water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense
natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the east by travellers
from across the world , this backwaters country is also home to
diverse animal and bird life.
By virtue of its proximity to the sea , the town has always enjoyed
a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, Alappuzha
has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, attracting
several thousands of foreign tourists each year.
Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays,
beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic
of this land is the region called kuttanad.
Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of
paddy crops is at the heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside
of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of
bananas, yams and casava which accompany the rice bowl as "side
dishes". This is one of the places in the world where farming
is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land
level is an amazing feature of this unique land.
(14 Kms from Alappuzha)
According to the mythology a young brahmin dived into the Vembanad
lake to perform his evening ablutions and water made way for land
to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal
(sand of midnight). This little island on the backwaters is a favourite
haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of
the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and kumarakom and
is accessible by boat.