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Alappuzha is one of the most important tourist centres in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the east". This large network of canals provides Alleppey its lifeline. Alappuzha was one of the busiest centres of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the Malabar coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for coir carpet industries and prawn farming. The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alappuzha give one a first hand experience of the life style; toddy tapping, fishing , coir-making, prawn farming etc., which have remained the occupation of the people.
Alappuzha is also known for its spectacular snake – boat(chundan vallam) races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition - the Nehru Trophy boat race takes its name from Indias first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated it in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake - boats, each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The event is a tremendous success with tourists and the local population alike. The annual Vallam Kali is associated with the Onam festival.
Kuttanadu is an area of Alappuzha district, densely covered with waterways. Kuttanad is famous because of its paddy fields and farmers dedicated to the growth of paddy. It was once called "Keralathinte Nellara", which means "rice bowl of Kerala". Kuttanadu is also the birth place of literary legend Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai of ‘Chemmeen’ fame.The biggest college in Alappuzha is Sanathana Dharma College; popularly known as S.D College.
A grand annual festival is celebrated at the unique Nagaraja Temple here in October/November. Chirappu Mahotsavam is a big occasion at Mullackal Temple in December. Another festival celebrated by the temple is a one-day Thaipooyan kavadi. The famous Chandanakudam is celebrated at the Kidangam-Parampu Temple during December every year.
The churches here celebrate grand annual feasts, an occasion to regale and rejoice. The Arthunkal Perunnal is celebrated at the Arthunkal Church. The grand regatta forms part of many festivals celebrated here. Another important celebration in Alappuzha is the Beach Festival held from December 30th to January 2nd.
For further information on Alappuzha, alappuzha.com
For more details on village life in Alappuzha, click alappuzha villages
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