Categories
Forts & Places

Anjengo Fort, Varkala

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Located about 36 km North of Thiruvananthapuram, near the famed beach of Varkala, and lying on the seacoast is Anjengo or Anjuthengu, meaning five coconut trees. A place of historic importance as well as beautiful natural setting, Anjengo is an ideal destination for those who don’t mind walking around and explore what is in store.

The historic significance tagged to Anjengo comes through foreign powers like the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the English East India Company. In the year 1684, the English East India Company chose Anjengo to establish their first trade settlement in Kerala. Following the English East India Company’s presence, the place came to be known as Anjengo, meaning five coconut trees. According to local folk, the name Anjengo owes its genesis to a small area of land with five coconut trees, which was given on lease to the English East India Company by the then Queen of Attingal for trade purposes.

At Anjengo, one can find the remnants of the old English Fort, which was targeted several times by other foreign powers, who were at that time fighting each other to get a firm footing in Kerala. The Fort is now under the protection of National Heritage Monuments. There is also a cemetery inside the fort, which most probably would be having the remains of the occupants of the fort, and the oldest among the burial sites dates to 1704.

The backwater stretch here at Anjengo, and the avenue of coconut trees that crisscross the water channels are indeed a sight to behold. Another attraction at Anjengo is the serene beach, which is very clean and ideal for picnickers. The fishing village adjoining the beach adds to the overall charm of Anjengo, with the fishermen and their routine activities adding to one’s interest.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Varkala, about 12 km and Thiruvananthapuram Central, about 37 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 35 km

Categories
South Kerala Beaches

Alappuzha Beach

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Alappuzha Beach

Referred to as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which is greatly fascinating to visitors.

Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is a houseboat cruise. The ones you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact reworked version of Kettuvallams of olden times. The original Kettuvallams or rice barges used to carry tons of rice and spices. The Kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’ was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only.

Of late, houseboats come with all creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. And one can always enjoy uninterrupted views of backwater life while staying in a houseboat.

DTPC House boat Pre-paid Counter
For booking houseboats, travelers can make use of the House Boat Pre-paid Counter ‘Trusted Service, Trusted Rates’ managed by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).

Contact details
Alappuzha – House boat pre-paid counter
Mobile: 09400051796, 09447483308, +91 477 2251796, +91 477 2253308

Tourist can make advance booking by transferring INR 2500/- to the account of the DTPC and send email to dtpcalpy@yahoo.com.

The account number of DTPC is A/c 10150100253203, Federal Bank, Mullackal Branch, Alappuzha. Bank code is FDRL 000001015.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Alappuzha
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha town.

Categories
Backwater

Alappuzha – Canal Cruise

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Alappuzha – Canal Cruise

If you are cherishing the idea of spending some good time amidst the sights and sounds of the hydrosphere, then step into a country boat and wind through the labyrinth of canals in Alappuzha. While cruising through these canals, one would come across the many interesting aspects of day-to-day life on land and water.

A wide range of cruise options are available here – from small country boats to luxury houseboats and small speedboats to big passenger motorboats. Small boats are preferred for cruise through the canals.

The canal networks linked to the Vembanad Lake offer an inspiring and interesting experience. Enjoy the sights of vast stretches of paddy fields, coconut lagoons and pied King Fishers hurtling down to catch the fish. You would also come across small islands, locals engaged in fishing activities on country boats, children being ferried to schools and kettuvallams, the majestic rice barges, gliding over the canals. Another interesting sight is that of large flocks of ducks being shepherded to newly-harvested paddy fields.

You could also drop in at villages on the banks to check out the techniques and procedures of coir making. It’s also a chance to try out the ethnic cuisine from local eateries. Tapioca and fish delicacies and coconut toddy, the natural beverage extracted from coconut trees, are the highlights of backwater cuisine.

If you are in Kerala, don’t miss a cruise through the canals of Alappuzha. Boats can be hired from the jetty, close to the KSRTC bus station.

Getting there

Nearest railway station: Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, a few kilometres away.
Nearest airport: Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km