Culture of Alappuzha

Alappuzha is a place with ever-enchanting natural beauty ornamented by several rivers, lakes, canals, backwaters, lagoon and a long stretch of coastal line. Located at the south-western part of Kerala Alappuzha not only is popular as a naturally scenic tourist place but the port-town is famous for its diverse culture and traditions which is deep rooted in its Malayalam soil.

Alappuzha cultural heritage

Festivals in Alappuzha

Among numerous festivals in Alappuzha and the whole state of Kerala the most significant one is the Chettikulangara Bharani. The festival takes place in each year either in February or in March during the Bharani Nakshathram of Malayalam month of ‘Kumbham’ at a Bhagavathi temple called Chettikulangara Bhagavath which is some four kilometer far from Mavelikkara taluk. Duing these days the young boys perform some rigorous abstinence and on the main day they do a procession which is called in the local language the ‘Kuthiyottam’. Another important feature of this festival is the ‘Kettukazcaha’ which is a spectacular display of six temple cars, five chariots and several icons of Bhima and Hanuman all in the glittering, ornamented and in mammoth sizes.

Another major religious festival of Alappuzha is the Padanilam Sivaratrhi which is held each year in temple of Padanilam Parabramha. The temple is situated at a place called Padanilam around 15-16 kilometers away from Mavelikkara. This village is the Festival Village of the Alappuzha district as it observes several numbers of festivals and religious celebrations besides the Padanilam Sivrathri.
The annual celebration of Shri Krishna Temple in Amalapuzzha during the March-April is also celebrated with due regards and frolics. The Shri Krishna Temple is located around 14 killometer from the main town of Alappuzha.

The unique Nagaraja Temple is another attraction of the city at where every year a grand festival takes place.

One another important festival of Alappuzha is the Chakkulathukavu Pongala which is held in the Chakkulathukavu Temple near Neerattupuram during November-December, the Malayalam month of ‘Vrischikam’. Thousands of women of various ages crowd at the temple of offer Pongala during the festival.

Alappuzha is home to several ancient churches of Portuguese and Dutch origin. So the city wears a strong catholic influence on it and hence there are still several Catholic Christian religious celebrations take place. Some important Christian festivals in Alappuzha are Annual Feasts at the Edathwa Church, Arthunakal Chuch and the Champakulam Church.

Apart from the religious festivals Alappuzha also observes some famous social celebrations. The most popular one is the Annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race which is a yearly performed Vallam Kali race takes place in the backwaters. The race is associated with the Onam festival held in the month of September. The most sought after part of the race is the Chundan Vallam or the Snake Boat race.

Alappuzha also performs an Annual Beach Fest which is held during the end of the December to the Starting of January.

Alappuzha belongs to the South-Western part of Kerala and this tiny district has a population of a modest number of tribes. But culturally their lifestyle is quite similar to the other western and central parts of the state surrounding the district. The district of Alappuzha has a major role in shaping up the today’s Malayalam language and literature and even the cinematic scenario. Renowned Sahithya Panchanan PK Narayana Pillai and Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai both were from Alappuzha and two of the brightest stars in the Malayalam Literature’s sky. The legendary linguist I. C. Chacko was also from the place. The district also witnessed the journey of Malayalam cinema as the first ever Film studio in the state of Kerala was inaugurated in Alappuzha only.

Alappuzha is a popular place among the global tourist for the most famous south Indian classical dance form: the Kathakali and the Mohiniattam. Kathakali is the traditional dance form in which the the life and activities of the Lord Krishna are displayed in animated body language and vibrant and dramatic masks and makeup. Mohiniattam has its root in the land of Travancore and is as famous as the Kathakali. Mohini or 'one who enchants' was the legendary female form of lord Vishnu who lured the demons 'Asuras' from grasping on the divine liqueur 'Amrita' to gain immorality and become as invincible as the Gods. Thus, Mohiniattam literally means the 'dance of the enchantress' and is popularly knows as the dance form once used by Lord Vishnu himself during his Mohini avatar. Various hotels and resorts in Alappuzha offer the shows of both Kathakali and Mohiniattam.

Alappuzha is one of the most culturally thrived districts in Kerala and it still carries its old and golden legacies proudly.

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