Thiruvarppu offers tourists a ‘green carpet’ welcome


Kumarakom: Thiruvarppu in Kottayam is the latest destination added to the tourism map of Kerala. Local authorities have prepared a comprehensive project to attract tourists to the area, which is blessed with nature’s bounty – the scenic Vembanad Lake and endless green expanse of paddy fields.

Places like Thiruvarppu, Vetticaud, Malarickal, Erambam and Puzhukanila will soon find a place in the itinerary of tourists. The District Tourism Promotion Council officials expect the wide variety of birds seen in the paddy fields to attract nature lovers to the area.

The tourism project will take off with the launch of boating from Kanjiram to Vembanad Lake and Puzhukanila at 10am on January 10. K. Suresh Kurup MLA will inaugurate the boating. Following which, a fest to promote farm-lake shore tourism will be organized from January 11 to 15 covering Malarickal area also.

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As part of the fest, seminars on farm tourism will be held and stalls offering ethnic food will be set up. Sightseeing trips will also be arranged. The fest is being organized jointly by Thiruvarppu panchayat, Kottayam Cooperative Urban Bank, Service Cooperative Banks of Kanjiram and Thiruvarppu and paddy societies in the area.

To improve the tourism prospects of the area, local people have suggested that work on Sasthamkadavu-Vetticaud road should be completed which would enable tourists to enjoy the scenery of Sasthamkadavu also. Another suggestion is to improve the water transport facilities to take visitors to several picturesque locations in the backwaters.

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In the past, when farming activities were in full swing, Vetticaud used to be a hub. People used to travel to places like M N Block, Maran Lake, R Block and ‘14,000 Lake’ by boat from Vetticaud. Though the jetty still exists, only a few persons reach there to board the boats operated by State Water Transport Department to Alappuzha.

Tourists can reach Alappuzha with a ticket priced at Rs 14 and enjoy the beauty of Kuttanad. This is also the shortest route from Kottayam to Alappuzha.

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Another suggestion is to arrange pedal boating facilities at Puzhukanila to attract tourists to the area. A farm tourism project is envisaged at the 1,125-acre M N Block, the district’s most expansive paddy field. The Malarickal road passes along the paddy field.

The ancient Thiruvarppu Sree Krishna temple is yet another attraction of the area, which had also witnessed the historic ‘right of way’ agitation.