Alappuzha (Alleppy)

150 km from Thiruvananthapuram and 66 km from Cochin, often called 'the Venice of the East', Alappuzha is situated on the Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in India. The commercial center of Alappuzha lives in a maze of canals; set in the labyrinth of backwaters channels, the town is one of the best starting points to explore the virgin countryside of Kerala. Though ferries operate regular services in the backwaters, a country boat is the best mode for a real experience of Kerala. Also known as Alleppey, this is the center for the backwater cruises in Kerala. The Nehru Trophy boat race, the most colorful of races, is held here on the second Saturday of August every year

Sightseeing

Ambalapuzha: 14 km from Alappuzha, the Sree-krishna Temple here, is one of the most important in Kerala. Its main festival is celebrated during March/April.

Arthunkal: an important pilgrim center for Christians, Arthunkal is known for the famous St. Andrew's Church, established by the Portuguese missionaries in 1591 AD. The church is popularly known as St. Sebastin's Church.

Pathiramanal: in Vembanad Lake is a small island, which can be reached by boat. On Sundays there is a service from Kumarakom and Muhamma to the island.

Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple: The deity of Bhadrakali is supposed to possess miraculous powers. Kettukazhcha is the main festivity associated with the temple, and is held in February/March.

Krishnapuram Palace: is situated at Kayamkulam, 47 km from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam. This double-storeyed palace contains one of the largest mural panels in Kerala. A museum with antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes is also housed inside the building.

Karumadikkuttan: 3 km east of Ambalapuzha, at Karumadi, is a statue of Buddha called Karumadikkuttan.

Mannarsala: 32 km from Alleppey, near Harippad, the temple is one of the most important centers of serpent worship in Kerala. On the day of Ayilyam in September/October, thousands of people assemble to worship and propitiate the serpent God.

Kerala