Alappuzha, a district of Kerala, India sharing its borders with Kollam, Kottayam and Ernakulam is full of surprises and beauty. This was an unofficial unplanned trip that happened on 14th June. As we know Alappuzha is land of Karimeen (Perl spot fish), kallu (Toddy) and mesmerizing beauty. I started my voyage from Trivandrum in my Yamaha FZS FI around 9’o clock.
The road was more busy than usual which made almost one hour delay in reaching destination than planned I reached Thaneermukkam by almost 1’o clock. Thanneermukkom is on the banks of Lake Vembanad. There is a salt water barrier at Thanneermukkom, built across the lake, which connects it to Vechoor in Kottayam district. This barrier essentially divides the lake into two parts – one with brackish water perennially and the other half with fresh water fed by the rivers draining into the lake.Bus services connect Thanneermukkom to Kottayam town, Alappuzha town and Cherthala. There are a few bus services to Ernakulam also. You can take a ferry from Thaneermukkom to Vaikom, which is an awesome ride.
I took my lunch from a near by shaap (toddy shop) which served meals and podimeen fry. Podimeen was excellent as meals was ordinary but tasty. After that I met Airesh, who took to various country sides of Alappuzha.
There I got original Coconut wine (Toddy) which was tapped that morning. Toddy is used in leavening (as a substitute for yeast) a local form of hopper called the “Vellayappam”. Toddy is mixed with rice dough and left over night to aid in fermentation and expansion of the dough causing the dough to rise overnight, making the bread soft when prepared.
In Kerala, toddy is sold under a licence issued by the excise department and it is an industry having more than 50,000 employees with a welfare board under the labour department. It is also used in the preparation of a soft variety of Sanna, which is famous in the parts of Karnataka and Goa in India.After all the expeditions through country side and backwaters I commenced the return voyage around 12’o clock midnight.
Alappuzha is the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, 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 attractions of Allapuzha which is the festive season held for ten days every year in December.
Other attractions in Alappuzha are Alappuzha Beach, offering a views of the Laccadive Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, St. Andrew’s Basilica, Arthunkal, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Thakazhy Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Mullakkal Temple,
Padanilam Parabrahma Temple, Edathua Church, Alappuzha CSI Christ Church (oldest Anglican church in Central Kerala) and Champakulam Valia Palli.
Alappuzha is home to the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising against the
British and also the revolt against the Feudal raj. Communist Party members were killed by the army of the diwan, 200 people at Punnapra on 24 October and more than 150 at Vayalar on 27 October. The total loss of life
is allegedly estimated to be more than a thousand.Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha.
The Coir Board was established by the Central Government under the provisions of the Coir Industry Act, 1955. A Central Coir Research Institute is located at Kalavoor.
Alappuzha is linked by Ernakulam–Kayamkulam coastal railway line and connects to cities like Trivandrum, Quilon (Kollam), Coch
in, Coimbatore, Chennai, Delhi, Bokaro and Mumbai.The railway station is about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the heart of the city.Since Alappuzha is a prime destination, trains from important cities like Banglore, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Amritsar pass through this station.
Cochin International Airport, which is 78 kilometres (48 mi) to the North, is the closest airport. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 159 kilometres (99 mi) to the South, is the other airport that links the district with other countries. International tourists use these airports to reach Alappuzha. The other nearest airports are located at Kozhikode (236 kilometres (147 mi)) and Coimbatore (254 kilometres (158 mi))