With the Arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and waterways 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 backwater town famous for houseboat cruising is also home to diverse animal and bird life.
By virtue of its proximity to the sea , the houseboat destination of Alappuzha 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 to its houseboat cruises.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 Alappuzha 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 the land level is an amazing feature of this unique place in Alappuzha.
The enchanting little island of Pathiramanal (sand of midnight) situated on the backwaters, located 14 km from Alappuzha, 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.
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