Alappuzha District

Alappuzha is a veritable maze of bridges and canals, the presence of which has given it the appellation the "Venice of the East". The entire area of the district lies in the low land and the midland divisions, and is the only district in Kerala having no area under the high lands. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala is in Alappuzha district and this is the only region in the state, lying below the sea level. Alappuzha is the most important centre in the State for coir industry.

Alappuzha, came into being as a district, in the political map of Kerala on the 27th of August, 1957. Before the formation of the district, a major part of this area was of Kollam district and the rest, of Kottayam district. Though Alappuzha, with its past glory has a historic tradition of its own, with its abundant trade activity. Alappuzha is famous for the first labour upsurge against autocratic regime which is known as Punnapra-Vayalar agitation.

Alappuzha town has earned for itself the fame of being styled as the Venice of the East. The port at this place owes its origin to the ingenuity and imagination of a great administrator of the erstwhile Travancore, Raja Kesavadas, the Dewan of His Highness the Maharaja Rama Varma. He constructed the two main canals, running parallel to each other through the heart of the town, linking the backwaters with the seashore. He brought here the Gujaratis, Kutchimemons and Parsis to start trade in hill-produce, copra and coconut oil.

The port was open for foreign trade in 1792 and it remained the commercial metropolis of Travancore for over a century. The lighthouse in the western coast was put up in 1862 under the supervision of a European engineer, Mr.Crawford. Alappuzha market was once the solitary supplier of coir yarn, mats and matting, coconuts, coconut oil, pepper, ginger, tea, rubber, cashew and cardamom to the world markets before the establishment of the Cochin Port.

The development of Cochin harbour during the second quarter of the century marks the beginning of the decline of Alappuzha market and port. The business community found better prospects in Kochi and a large number of them moved to Kochi. But in the last two decades of the last century Alappuzha has reinvented herself as the hub of backwater tourism in the state. The district is lying upfront to the vast streches of Vembanad lake, marked by moving house boats and pleasure cruisers. Corporates like the Tata have now come around the place with flourishing tourism projects. But the challenge before Alappuzha district is to keep its environment clean to further improve prospects of tourism and other economic activities.

 The name Alappuzha is derived from the geographical position and physical features of the place. It means the land between the sea and network of rivers flowing into it. The district is bounded on the north by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks of Ernakulam district, on the east by Vaikom, Kottayam and Changanassery taluks of Kottayam district and Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks of Pathanamthitta district, on the South by Kunnathur and Karunagappally taluks of Kollam district and on the west by Lakshadweep sea.
Alappuzha District Alappuzha District Reviewed by Zainul on 13:52 Rating: 5

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