Shopping in AlappuzhaRenowned for its coir products, carpets and spices, Alappuzha offers a different taste of shopping experience to any tourist. Albeit this beautiful land of backwaters is not marked with big fancy malls, but the small peculiar markets provide you with much more than any mall could.
Shopping in Alappuzha can be a paradise moment for you, no matter if you are a shopaholic or not. The rich and joyous experience offers you much more than the materialistic significance of shopping. Carrying a backpack with some few rupees in your wallet, be ready to go on an exciting expedition on the streets of Alappuzha.
Handicrafts Market in ChampakulamSituated some 15 kilometers from Alleppey, one can reach Champakulam by hiring an auto-rickshaw or via a local bus. This place is the home of a 100-year-old magnificent church, the St. Mary’s Church. Right behind the Church is the whimsical Champakulam Handicraft Market. The market is a village township. It has everything – from elegant coir products, to refreshing spices, to famous silk products, a Post Office and also an office of State Bank of Travancore.
The market comprises of some ten odd retail shops. All the shopkeepers converse in English so there will be no language problem. You can avail some very pretty coir products like baskets, mugs, rags and carpets from this market at rock – bottom prices. Make sure you know bargaining!
The two main attractions of this market are:
St. Thomas’ Fine ArtsThis place is a must visit when you are on a shopping spree in Champakulam, Allepey. The shop owner, Mr. Jacob is a pro sculptor, painter and a craftsman. He is continuing his family business of statuary (the art of making statues). He will greet you with a very warm smile and will take you around the shop to show some of his brilliant work. The shop caters to the need of all the statues required by churches, not only in India but across the globe. Mr. Jacob builds the statues of Jesus, Virgin Mary, the cross and similar items and sells it across the world.
The shop also has a section of some splendid wood and stone carved handicrafts made up of rosewood, teakwood, bamboo and coconut tree wood. Seeing such outstanding hand work will boggle your mind. Although a bit harsh on the pocket, this place will give fill your with positive thoughts.
Address: Champakulam Post Office, Allapuzha, Kerala
Phone: 0477- 2736414
GJ EnterprisesRight adjacent to St. Thomas Fine Arts is another impressive store offering some of the best artefacts you would have ever seen. The shop is owned by Mr. George Jacob, the great grandson of Sir Chacko, a craftsmen, philanthropist and a freedom fighter. Carrying his family lineage forward Mr. George has set up this store right in the heart of the Champakulam Market. The store showcases some gorgeous handicrafts and artefacts. You can get leather bags, leather pouches, Hindu God idols, the symbolic house boats and snake boats, elegant neck pieces, coasters and wooden crockery. The art is unique and of high quality. Just close your eyes and pick something – you will love it.
The store follows a very unique way of marking the MRPs. You pick any artifact and it will be marked as “F” followed by some number, say F50. This F stands for “50”, Making F50 count as 50 X 50 = INR 2500. Interesting, isn’t it?
Other Shopping Markets in Alappuzha are:
Mullakal MarketMullakal Market is located in the centre of Alappuzha. Known for its silver and gold stores, this place will also give you a taste of non-commercialized shopping. The ornaments on sale are classy and very trendy. All the store owners are very cordial people and will never cheat you by charging exorbitant prices.
You can also get very fine and gorgeous coir products like carpets, rugs, hammocks, cushion covers, bags etc. at pocket-friendly prices at this market.
The National Book StallIf you love reading and can’t live without books then this place is for you. This place has a very limited yet refined collection of books. The books pivot around the history and making of Kerala. Again, the stall owners are very amiable people. Make sure you bargain and avail some books at extremely nominal prices.
Canal BazaarVisit to the serene land of backwaters is incomplete if you don’t shop for spices. The Canal Bazaar is a market for fresh and colorful spices. These spices are known for its purity and originality. Make sure you buy some to add some “Alappuzha – flavor” to your food.
Chandra Babu Shopping ComplexAs suggested by the name, the Chandra Babu Shopping Complex is more or less like a super market where you get all your needs under one roof. You can get food, vegetables, clothes, toiletries etc. It also hosts a bakery which has some really good vanilla pastries.
With the upgradation and development facilities for future projects in transport, electronics, communication and Information Technology planned in and around Alappuzha, more and more shopping centres catering to the demands of a migrant population living and working in these areas are bound to come up.
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 & textiles, electronic appliances, household goods, jewellery, seafood items, spices, tea, wooden furniture etc.