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Kuttanad region is called the rice bowl of Kerala. Huge paddy fields, situated below sea level, on the borders of the biggest Indian lake-the Vembanad, provide matta rice for insatiable consumption.Matta rice is a unique cereal having high content of nutrients.Kuttanad marries the landscape of lakes and lagoons with the tropical sea coast.Apart from rice farming, it is known for its coir produced from the coconut fiber and a large variety of sweet and salt water fisheries.

ALLEPPEY (ALAPPUZHA):

Seating between the sea line and the lake side at a stretch of just 4 kms, Alleppey is a provincial town with charm and a perfect gateway for the most famous backwaters. The main Mullakal street is a bustling place full of shops, markets and two big temples. There are more quiet old suburbs, fish markets and a lovely greenish residential area along the Punnamada Lake.

Alleppey Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists. While it lacks of palm trees and shade, it will be a pleasant afternoon walk and dining out, a chance to interact with fishermen or see the dolphins.
 
BACKWATERS:
 
Backwaters are the number one destination in Kerala. They represent a vast area of lakes, rice fields, tropical islands thick with palms, cashew nut trees or pineapples, surrounded by narrow and large canals. They are home to beautiful varieties of birds like the white heron or the kingfisher. A very romantic spot, unique in the world. Backwaters can only be visited by boat, as most islands are even not accessible by land. There are many ways to sail the waters (please see the section Backwater tours).
 
MARARI BEACH:
 
An endless stretch of beautiful sand with a palm oasis, world away from the crowded tourist sea side. Probably the most pristine beach in Kerala. Best to visit on a day tour by rikshaw or taxi from Alleppey,
as accommodation and eating there can be a problem.
14 km from Alleppey.
 
KOTTAYAM AND ETTUMANUR:
 
A pleasant 2 h cruise by a public ferry will take you to the city of Kottayam- the commercial hub of the region known for garments and rubber plantations. In this predominantly Christian land stands the magnifiscent Mahadeva Temple of Ettumanur with the most celebrated mural paintings in Kerala, opened to foreign visitors..
During its February- March festival the temple stages a procession of seven elephants dressed in 95 kilos of gold ornaments each.
Easily done on a day escapade from Alleppey.
 
AMBALAPPUZHA SRI KRISHNA TEMPLE:
 
Believed to have been built in 790 A.D, it is the most important Krishna sanctuary in the region. Settled by the holy lake, the temple is famous also for its tasty dessert distributed to devotees- payasam.
The main festival is a 10 days event Ambalappuzha Arattu (March –April). An important feature of the temple festival is the Velakali - a unique martial dance form.

 

MANNARASALA SRI NAGARAJA TEMPLE:

Nestled in a forest, is a very ancient and internationally-known centre of pilgrimage for the devotees of serpent gods called Nagaraja. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along the paths and among the trees, and is the largest such temple in the state. Women worship here to have children, and as mothers return for thanksgiving ceremonies, gifting the shrine with new snake images.A special turmeric paste available at the temple is believed to have healing powers.
32 km south of Alleppey.
 
EDATHUA CHURCH:
 
Situated on the banks of a branch of the Pamba river, the massive shrine at Edathua - 23 km South-East of Alleppey, , built more than 200 years ago resembles the churches of medieval Europe. It is owned by the Orthodox Church, believed to be established by the disciple of Jesus himself, St Thomas.The Church celebrates its major feast during the month of May. It is an important destination for the Christian and non Christian Pilgrims from South India.
27 kms south east of Alleppey.
 
CHAMPAKULAM CHURCH:
 
It is one of the oldest Christian churches in India and the mother church of almost all Catholic Syrian churches in Alleppey District. Believed to be established in 5c. AD, it is a stylish structure with many archeological artifacts, like the holy cross from 12th century.
It is 15 km from Alleppey on the road to Changanassery.
 
COUNTRYSIDE:
 
Sometimes the journey can be as much interesting as the destination. It is true about Kuttanad region.Venture along the winding side roads and you will find tiny villages, fishermen at work, local festivals and family functions, elders relaxing on patios, women collecting flowers for the shrines. An opportunity for you to discover the gentle way, the lightness, the common feeling of happiness and well being, that makes Kerala so much enjoyable.
Possible on a day tour by bike or rikshaw from Alleppey.