Alappuzha, being one among the sought after tourist destinations in Kerala attracts a huge number of tourists as well as travelers every year. Popularly known as Venice of the East, Alappuzha holds a unique scenic beauty by sprawling parallel canals (part of the National Waterway 3, India) – all leading to the famous Punnamada Backwaters. Alappuzha’s beach has an ancient (now ruined) pier which acted as a link between the land and the sea to trade commodities in the gone era. The lighthouse nearby is the first of its kind along the Laccadive Sea coast and gives a wide view of the milieu.
Alappuzha hosts the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race which is held on the second Saturday of August, every year.
Seeing Kuttanadu in SWTD’s See Kuttanadu.
Known as the rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanadu has the lowest altitude in India and is famous for its widespread paddy fields. Spanning over hectares, Kuttanadu covers Kottayam district apart from its homeland, Alappuzha.
The State Water Transport Department (SWTD) at Alappuzha has regular boat services to various localities in and around Alappuzha. The same also connects to the neighboring districts – Kottayam and Kollam. Apart from the regular ones, SWTD operates a regular passenger cum tourist service to Kuttanadu named See Kuttanadu since 2012. This is cheap, yet a very good option to explore Alappuzha and Kuttanad through water bodies.
The timings of See Kuttanadu are as below.
- 05:05 – Kainakary Road (via Punchiri, Kuppappuram, Pandicherry)
- 08:20 – Kainakary Road (via Punchiri, Kuppappuram, Pandicherry)
- 10:45 – Kainakary Road (via Soman Jetty, Kuppappuram, Pandicherry)
- 13:35 – Kainakary Road (via Soman Jetty, Kuppappuram, Pandicherry)
- 16:15 – Kainakary Road (via Soman Jetty, Kuppappuram, Pandicherry)
The regular commuters can opt for the normal seating at the lower deck (Rs. 15/- one side), while the upper deck has cushioned seats (Rs. 40/- one side) and is preferred mostly by tourists.
We took seats at the upper deck for the 10:45 service. After cruising through the narrow canal, we entered the vastness of Punnamada Lake. As monsoon marks off-season for the tourism industry, majority of the houseboats could be seen parked in their respective yards.
The conductor issued tickets for the one hour onward journey as we entered comparatively narrow lanes which has houses on both sides. People were seen doing their daily chores, relaxing alongside while kids were diving, or rather jumping into the lake. It was Sunny, yet the breeze was cool and relaxing enough. Monsoon had given the paddy fields its green color and it looked like a big carpet.
Past 12:00, we reached the last stop of See Kuttanad’s onward journey – Kainakary Road Jetty. Someone working in SWTD (not the conductor) came and told us that the halt is for 5-10 minutes and we will be returning soon.
By 12:20, we resumed our journey and the conductor came around to issue return tickets. The sky began to become darker as we resumed Punnamada Lake through another route.
Passing through Pallathuruthy, we got back to Alappuzha Boat Jetty by 13:15, thus marking an end to a refreshing trip through the scenic backwaters of Alappuzha.
Seeing Chethy Beach, an unexplored coastal area in Alappuzha.
Lying 20 kilometers towards the north of Alappuzha, Chethy is a small coastal village lying in the 44km long State Highway (SH 66) that connects Alappuzha to Thoppumpady. Considering its proximity to the coast, the route is also locally known as the coastal road. Lying away from the hustle and bustle of Alappuzha, Chethy Beach is still unknown to many. Unlike the beach at Alappuzha, Chethy is often calm and the waves are generally mild.
One can also visit the famous Marari Beach, which lies at a distance of 2 kilometers from Chethy.
So if you are planning for a day’s trip to Alappuzha and want to experience something that’s unexplored or unique, you know what to include in your itinerary, right?