Kuttand near Alappuzha

Kuttanad near AlappuzhaWhen you think of Kuttand you get the picture of huge paddy fields and vast green environment surrounding the area. It is truly blessed with numerous waterways which includes lakes, canals and rivers that make it an ideal place for cultivation. This stretch of land covers an area of 75 Km and extends from Kollam in the north to Kochi in the south. Alappuzha-Changnassery route is the best option to reach Kuttand as travelers can get to see traditional agriculture being carried by the farmers. During harvest you can spot both men and women tilling soil, sowing seeds and diverting the water sources to the fields.

Paddy Cultivation in Kuttanad

Paddy cultivation is done on a large scale and hence it gets its name the rice bowl of Kerala. The unique feature of this place is that its farming land is found to be below sea level which is rare. Earlier the task of removing water from the reclaimed land known as Padsekharams were done manually using water wheels. Later with the coming of kerosene engines farmers were able to move faster and gather more land for cultivation. Reclamation of land along the Vembanad Lake was done gradually and now you can see huge cultivations on a very large scale.

Apart from paddy you have coconut cultivation, palm trees, bananas and various other fruit trees. Various types of birds can be spotted in this habitat which includes flocks of parrots, ducks and darter bird. Fishing is also a primary means of livelihood for many people in this village. The lakes, rivers and waterways are rich in all aquatic life and fishing also includes water animals too. Here people work as full time fishermen or on part time basis and various gears as well tools are used for this craft. Some of the commonly used tools in Kuttand fishing include Gill nets, cast nets, hooks and lines and spears.
The four major waterways that flow here include Pamba, Achankovil ,Manimala and the Vembanad Lake.

Pamba River

It is third longest river in Kerala and is also known as Dakshina Bhageerathi. It covers a distance of 1987.17sq.km, beginning from the Peerumedu plateau in Idukki district moving through Chengannur, Alappuzha and passing Pandanad, Veeyepuram, Thakazhy and Champakulam. It finally enters the Vembanad Lake and later channels out as Pallathuruthi Aar, Nedumudi Aar and Muttar.

Manimala

The Manimala river covers a length of 91.73km and flows through villages of Manimala, Mallappally, Kaviyoor, Kalloppara, Thalavadi, Kozhimukku and Champakkulam. It starts from the Mothavara hills in Kottayamand finally ends its course at the Vembanad Lake.

Achankovil

This river begins its course from the Pasukida mettu, Ramakkal Theri and Rishimala which falls in the Kollam district.It passes through villages like Puliyoor, Chengannur , Mavelikkara and later merges with Pamba at Veeyapuram. There are many temples located near this riverside. It is also popular picnic spot for families and the habitat is ideal for animals as well birds.

Vembanad Lake

This is the biggest lake in Kerala with 84km length and breadth of, approximately 3.1 Km. Tourists come here just get a glimpse of this backwaters and this scenic beauty surrounding it. Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kottyam are the bordering districts of this lake which has a total area of 204sq.km. Toursim has greatly flourished and as such many resorts have also opened up on the shores of this river. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is another tourist attraction nearby. The Thanneermukkom salt water barrier is another major development intiated as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme. The idea was to prevent salt water from entering the agricultural area and thereby farmers to sow crops even in dry season.

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