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A glimpse of the lifestyle of people in Alappuzha can be gauged by the occupation the people continue to carry on to this day like coir making, fish and prawn farming, mat weaving, matchstick manufacture, toddy tapping, wooden furniture making etc.
However, side by side, modernization has taken place transforming towns and lifestyles significantly. In earlier days, almost all the families living along the canals had boats which were used as family transport. The bigger boats, kettuvallams (boats with knots), so called because they are made entirely of jack-wood planks held by coir without the presence of any metal like nails or wires, were like transport boats used to ferry rice, coconuts and other goods to various parts of the state. Life moved on at its own pace.
A lot has changed from those days; while the canals and backwaters still exist today, developmental activities now connect towns and cities via over-bridges and flyovers and much of the transport network is done through land. Kettuvallams are now used as houseboats to ferry tourists and as part of tourism packages to give visitors a glimpse of life along the backwaters of Alappuzha.
As a result of the increasing affluence created by NRI incomes and the projection of tourism as an income earner for Alappuzha, many changes have appeared on the shopping, entertainment, personal hygiene and beauty, jewelry, clothing and textile segments in the city.
Herbal Treatment in Alappuzha
Alappuzha is one of the in-demand herbal treatment and health centres in Kerala catering to local and tourist demands. There are beauty treatment and massage parlours offering personal care for men and women. Some of the well known parlours in Alappuzha are Blossom Shahnaz Beauty Parlour, Ushas Beauty Parlour, Revathi Ladies Herbal Clinic, Diana Beauty Parlour, Jancy Beauty Parlour etc. Some of these parlours also provide ayurvedic treatment packages, wellness and weight loss programmes.
Boutiques in Alappuzha
The face of Alappuzha is slowly changing with the appearance of shops and shopping malls selling branded goods and products besides local produce. It may not be a shopper’s delight but the products available are of good quality – carpets, coir and coir products, clothing and textiles, electronic appliances, household goods, jewellery, seafood items, spices, tea, wooden furniture etc. There are a range of shopping centres, boutiques and malls like Bismi Boutique, Hit the Best Boutique, Navya Boutique and Designer Wear, Zisu Boutique and many others that sell branded readymade textiles and garments and the local cotton fabrics.
Fitness Centres and Gyms in Alappuzha
The people of Alappuzha are fitness conscious and indulge in sports and games like athletics, badminton, body-building, cricket, football, kabaddi, swimming, etc. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is an annual feature in Punnamada and is popular with locals as well as foreigners. Many established gymnasiums and training centres teach those interested in the ancient ritualized arts like Kalaripayattu and Theyyam. Fitness centres, health clubs and gyms are equipped with modern equipment and infrastructure for training. Some of these also conduct classes and training in Yoga. To mention a few, Alleppey Gym, Brahma Health Club, Evolve Fitness Centre, Jaishankar Kalari Centre, Galaxy Yoga Centre, Raja Kesavadass Swimming Pool, Alleppey United Club are well known places. A fully modernized fitness centre being built by the Sports Authority of India is coming up shortly in Alappuzha.