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The reasons that made me love Kerala are as follows - 1. Backwaters & Kayals, 2. Lush Greenery, 3. Beautiful girls, 4. Malayalee's sense of pride about their state, community and assertiveness. I have experienced the last three aspects of Kerala but kept missing the foremost reason for a while. Atlast with the long weekend (Oct 2nd) around the corner, I decided to take a plunge to Alappuzha / Kuttanad - the rice bowl of Kerala. Fortunately for me I had my Alappuzha native friend Girish to help me in exploring their town. So I got my tickets booked long back in June courtesy IRCTC (http://www.irctc.co.in). The D Day arrived, boarded the Chennai-Alleppey Express on Oct 1st... I was clearly excited that I was going to interiors of Kerala. The trip didn't turn out much I expected but it was a welcome change. Against my plan of staying at hotel, I had a nice stay at Girish's house for 3 days. Had a nice / long boat travel in the 'Kaayal' of Kuttanad to Kottayam. Some of the photos are here.

Alappuzha is a small town, smallest when compared even to Trichy / Coimbatore. No need to brief about Kerala landscape, Alappuzha is replete with green vegetation and a long lagoon runs into the length of the city making it as "Venice of East". I loved the long stroll I had along the waterside parks while walking towards the beach. Also I had found it easy to travel there, so I started liking that place more.

1. Boat Trip to Kottayam - Alappuzha had a boat stand just like our bus stand, boats operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Authority. The boats are operated to Kottayam, Nedumudi and Krishnapuram at the frequency of 30 minutes. These travel through the Q,R,S,T blocks. A leisure travel through these blocks are soothing and a pleasure expreience for those caught in the mechanical lives of metroes. I went to Kottayam from Alappuzha. The travel was 2:30 hours, totalling  a 5.00 hrs for a round trip. The cost was Rs. 10/- per trip. I started by 9:45 a.m at Alappuzha and reached Kottayam by 12:15 noon. The return trip starts by 1:00 p.m, so I strolled the Kottayam Kodimatha locality, had a Briyani for lunch.

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2. Kuttanad - Known as rice bowl of Kerala, the speciality of this region is that the irrigation land lies much below the water levels highlighting the know-hows of the Kerala agriculturists. The walls resemble the dykes of Holland.

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3. The Alappuzha beach is one of the neat beaches I had seen. There is a Vijay Park near to the beach. Even though not much significant there, Alappuzha beach has an old pier, which is of 140 yrs old now. It is now totally dilipiated and stands as a symbol of Indian apathy towards the ancient monuments. We went there two evenings consequently.

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4. I wanted to go to Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple along with Girish's parents but it didn't materialise. Instead we went to another famous temple called "Kanichikulangara Bhagavathy" Temple. By the time I went, the Navarathri Mahotsavam was being held and as the part of it, a carnatic concert was given by an amateur singer. I and Girish sat down to hear her for a while and it was nice hearing them. The last time I had such experience was in PN Palayam (near Salem) when I was in my schools visiting my relatives. So the "Kanichikulanga Bhagavathy Temple" function is memorable for me.

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However the best part of this trip, I feel, was my interaction with Girish's parents. Since I could converse in good malayalam (fortunately) I had a very good time in chatting with Girish's parents without sign languages or a mediator. While returning back uncle was sweet enough to ask me whether I had any discomforts in staying there and I was touched when he said that I had become a member of their family. I took blessings from them as a token of my respect and love for them. I love to go to Alappuzha again and enjoy the kaayals, love of uncle and aunty.... Hope it materialises soon.

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{oshits} readers for this travelogue.

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About myself
Maheshwaran
Author: MaheshwaranWebsite: https://www.maheshwaran.com
I am a SAP Consultant in my late 30s, residing in the happeing IT City - Bangalore. My interests vary from reading to travelling to handicrafts to photography. My latest interest is on Body building. May be this vivid interest keeps me going in my life without getting bored.

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