Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha

Tripoto
24th Jan 2010

A houseboat in the backwaters..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Welcome to God's Own Country !

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

District Tourism Promotion Council Office,Alleppey

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

On the streets of Alleppey..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

@Boarding point at Alleppey

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

En route to our House Boat

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

The first glimpse of houseboats..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Our houseboat @ Alleppey

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

The narrow alleys at houseboat

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Onboard kitchen..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

The backwaters of Alleppey..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Localites in a boat..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A localite kayaking in the backwaters..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A flock of ducks...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Our boatman on the steering...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A scenic view of the backwaters...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Another houseboat..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A houseboat anchored on the backwaters...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Time for a short afternoon nap...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Coconut trees and greenery along the banks...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Green paddy fields besides the backwaters...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Ellaborate lunch aboard the houseboat...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Fried pamphlet with onion salad......

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

It is lunchtime on the houseboat...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Time to catch fish....

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Busy fishing...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A houseboat on the backwaters...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Evening supper-fried bananas & tea...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Fried ripe bananas aboard houseboat..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A church on the banks of

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Twilight....

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A houseboat anchored during evening..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Paddy field in a nearby village....

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Night starter -Fried Tiger Prawns..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Time for Sunset...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Good Morning aboard the houseboat..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A water taxi on the backwaters...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Houseboats.....

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Breakfast @ houseboat..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A boat stand .....

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

People who made trip memorable (three at centre)

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A temple elephant @ Ambalapuzzha...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Sri Krishna Temple compound @Ambalappuzha

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Statue of a temple elephant@Sri Krishna Temple

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

10th century AD Buddha Statue @Karumadikuttan..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple @Ambalappuzha

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A lonely beach while en-route back to Alleppey,,

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Sunset @ Alleppey beach..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Playtime at the beach..

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

A broken, half built bridge on the shores...

Photo of Cruising on the backwaters of Alleppey & trip to Ambalappuzha by Subhrajyoti Parida

Alleppey and its backwaters are true gifts of the Mother Nature and is unique in many ways. The landcapes and the sceneries all along the house boat ride are mostly of coutryside and thus free from any city based chaos and pollution. Time appears to be coming to a standstill there. Hence, I highly recommend Alleppey if you are in need of some time for relaxation and spend with your family & loved ones.

I am personally of opinion that now time has come for Venice to be called as " Alleppey of West" rather than calling Alleppey as " Venice of East". 

Dear readers, please do let me know your opinion on my above thought.....

One of the best things about Bangalore according to me is it's favourable geographical location, which makes it almost equidistant from the Western, Eastern and Southern end-points in South India.As a result, most of the tourist spots are within affordable reach from Bangalore whether via. road or rail. One doesn't need to cough up much for a descent trip anywhere in South if planned from Bangalore. This is strictly based on my experience of travelling from this great city in last 9 years. Well coming to my trip, it is all about one of my memorable experiences of the popular houseboat ride in the romantic backwaters of Alleppey with three of my colleague cum friends and our visit to two of the famous temples in Kerala, one at Ambalappuzha (a small town 14 kms from Alleppey), and secondly to Mannarsala (21 kms further South from Karumadikkuttan) besides visiting a rare archaeological site at Karumadikkuttan just 5 kms West from Ambalapupuzha. Our trip started from the KSRTC Bus Stand at Shanthinagar at about 5 pm on 23/01/2010. The A/C Volvo bus of KSRTC took about 12 hours to reach Alleppey the next day at about 5 am.
Photo of Shanthi Nagar Bus Stand, Double Road, NGO Colony, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Upon reaching Alleppey early morning at 5 o'clock, we checked into a nearby lodge for freshening up and within 2 hours , we were ready for the breakfast which we had in the lobby. We checked out soon after the food and headed straight to the boarding point of the famour Alleppey Houseboats, located some 3-5 kms from the Alleppey bus stand. The autorickshaw charges was suprisingly (at least for us who hail from Bangalore where the auto fare sky rockets beyond control !) cheap and didn't need any bargaining. Although there were several agents along the streets of Alleppey trying to lure us with attaractive offers for a houseboat ride, we preferred to book it through the Office of State Govt. Toursim Dept., called as District Tourism Promotion Council Office. After analyzing different sizes of Houseboats (like 1BHK, 2BHK and even 3BHK types), considering the amenties required, the duration of the ride (which varied from few hours to a maximum of 20 hours) and ofcourse our overall budget, we booked a 1BHK based House Boat with A/C facility. TV anyways was not needed. The houseboat ride cost us about Rs.22,000/- i.e, Rs.5,500/- per head for roughly 20 hours starting at about 12 noon till 8 am of next day. Once the booking was confirmed, we were taken in a small boat some 2 kms into the back waters where our house boat was waiting for us. We four guys boarded into our floating house at about 12 noon, right on time. Fresh coconut water and pineapple juice were served as Welcome Drink and after loading the necessary food ingredients and other essential provisions needed for the 20 hours ride, the house boat set off on its voyage and soon we started crusing through the very scenic backwaters of Kerala both the banks of which were mostly covered with lush green paddy fields, coconut plantations, human settlements etc. The green landscapes were truly breathtaking and we really enjoyed the tranquil surroundings of the countryside. Localites were busy in their daily chores all along the back waters with the men engaged in their livelihood works and womenfolk managing their household activities. Based on our feedback, our on-board cook started cooking our lunch which included fried pamphlet salad. The houseboat stopped by a village where we handpicked fresh pamphlets and tiger prawns for lunch and dinner respectively. First few hours flew away very fast. We spent most of our time in personal photoshoots at different corners of the houseboat such as in the dining area, deck area, in the narrow alleys of the house boat, in the terrace area, rear side and even in the kitchen & the bedroom. I took hundreds of snaps of the surrounding landcapes which was nothing less than scenic, sublime and serene, dotted by several other house boats (simple ones to some of the most luxurious & expensive houseboats equipped with TVs, CD players, refrigerators, barbeque and even bars !). We realized that this land is truly God's Own Country where nature has remained untouched and is duly respected. Soon lunch was ready and we relished every bit of the variety of dishes prepared by our on-board cook. The fried pamphlet salad was exceptionally mouth watering. After a hefty lunch, some of us started dozzing off and started preparing for a short afternoon nap. But our hosts had some other plans in stock. Soon one of our hosts handed over a fishing rod to each of us with lots of fish baits, encouraging us to pass time fishing rather than sleep at that time. We bought the idea and soon found it to be more funfilled than doze off on a pleasant afternoon in those beautiful backwaters. Just before sun set, we were served ripe banana fries and tea, which had an interesting taste. As Sun was nearing the Western horizon the skies turned red. We captured a lot of sceneries such as silhouetted Church, schools, buildings, trees etc on the shores, with sun set at the backdrop. Just when it went dark, the house boat was anchored at a village and we went on a short walk through the paddy fields, narrow lanes and the village market with the promise of an unique type of local drink. But when we discovered it to be some kind of alcohlic in nature, we politely refused. However, the short walk was nevertheless in vain as we enjoyed the country side ambience a lot and this enriched our travel experience further. By the time we returned to our houseboat, our delicious dinner was ready which was served to us hot along with the fried tiger prawns. After hours of gossipping among us and with our hosts, we hit our beds at about 11 in the night. We woke up early morning next day. We didn't miss a single chance to capture the flawless beauty of the backwaters when the Sun was on the Eastern horizon and also, when the villages around us were waking up for the morning chores, like the school boats ferrying children to schools and people waiting for the boats to reach their workplace etc. After a hour or so, breakfast was served which consisted of hot puri, potato curry and boiled eggs, exactly as per our choice. Soon time came for the houseboad ride to end. It was about 8 am when the houseboat toched the banks and before dismebarking from it, we had some snaps taken with our hosts as a part of our travelogue.
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey boathouse, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
After getting off from the houseboat, we set off on the road to the famous Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalapuuzha, a small town located 14 kms south of Alleppey. After spending couple of hours in the temple complex with the supreme deity, and few minutes having a photoshoot with the temple elephant which irritated the jumbo towards the end, we bought some Kerala sarees and dress material for our loved ones. Then, resumed our journey 5 kms west of Ambalappuzha to a lesser known place called as Karumadikkuttan.
Photo of Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, State Highway 12, Ambalapuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, State Highway 12, Ambalapuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, State Highway 12, Ambalapuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Karumadikkuttan has one of the rarest archaeological artifacts as ancient as 10th Century AD which is a half broken Buddha statue in meditation pose, carved out of black stone. Though the notice board erected by Archaeological Survey of India at the site warns of severe punishment by law against man made damage to the sculpture or any theft from the site, it was quite evident that the local smugglers have least bothered about it and have indulged in trafficking of several other historical artifacts nearby and have caused serere damage to the Buddha statute itself to meet their vested business interests. Anyways, we continued on our trip 21 kms furthre south of Karumadikkuttan, to a place called as Mannarasala famous for its temple dedicated to serpents.
Photo of Karumadikkuttan, State Highway 12, Karumadi, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Sree Nagaraja Temple at Mannarasala attracts devotees of serpents (called as Nagaraja in devotion) in hundreds from every corner of the state and also from several parts of the country. We learned from the temple priests that usually women seeking fertility come to worship here, and upon the birth of their child they again come to hold thanksgiving ceremonies, often bringing new snake images as offerings. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes along the paths and among the trees, and is the largest such temple in Kerala. Finally, we headed back to Alleppey which was then around 35 kms up north from Mannarasala
Photo of Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Haripad, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
From Mannarasala, it took us about 45 mins to 1 hour to reach back in Alleppey. Enroute we spent some time in a lonely 'unknown' beach located some half an hour before Alleppey. Alleppey beach was somewhat crowded with people from all walks of life gathered to spend the evening time with family & friends, as the Sun was setting behind the vast limitless expanse of the Arabian Sea. We spent some joyful time with each of us taking turns for our personal photoshoots and playing with the sea waves. Before wrapping up the trip to Alleppey, last one thing attracted my attention which was a broken, dilapidated iron bridge that stretched only by few hundred metres into the sea. I took some snaps of the bridge as addition to my travelogue. From the beach, we stratight away headed to the Alleppey bus stand to reach our next destination in Kerala , 60 kms north of Alleppey. ... Guess which one ?????
Photo of Alleppey Beach, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey Beach, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey Beach, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey Beach, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
Photo of Alleppey Beach, Civil Station Ward, Alappuzha, Kerala, India by Subhrajyoti Parida
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