Alappuzha: The picturesque coastal town of Alappuzha in Central Kerala is globally renowned for its backwater tourism, thanks to its enchanting backwaters, a labyrinthine network of lakes, canals, and rivers, and the iconic houseboats. Now the Tourism department is all set to give the once-overlooked coastline of the region a stunning makeover, transforming it into a beachfront haven that captures the imagination of travelers from far and wide. Among the scheme of things planned are the introduction of an array of thrilling water sports, the setting up of a floating sea bridge, the development of Purakkad beach into the state’s first beach eco-tourism destination, and the holding of a Beach Fest at Marari Beach (Mararikulam).
“The first to come is a floating bridge at the Alappuzha Beach, which is buzzing with visitors on weekends and holidays. The bridge will protrude 100 meters into the sea and can be boarded at low and high tide. We’re aiming to ready the structure by Christmas,” Anoop Kumar K, Secretary of the District Tourism Promotion Council. The tenders have been floated. The project is being implemented on a PPP model. While the contractor has to develop the facility, the government will provide the land, the official added. This will be the seventh floating bridge to come up across the state after those in Beypore, Muzhappilangad, Bekal, Tanur, Chavakkad, and Kuzhipilly.
An exciting array of water sports activities, including surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, and even snorkeling, will be gradually introduced at Alappuzha Beach for adventure tourists. The Tourism Department, in coordination with the district administration and other players, will also host a vibrant beach festival at Marari Beach, tentatively from December 26 to December 31. “We’ve formed a committee which will finalize the event and the activities soon. There are though plans to include music shows, dance and culinary delights,” the official said. The tourism department has also undertaken a project to develop Purakkad Beach as the first beach ecotourism site in the state. A one-km stretch of the beach will be converted into an ecotourism site with facilities such as pathways, eco shops, and toilets. Authorities also plan to introduce caravan tourism, camping, and other activities gradually.
“The project will be implemented in coordination with the Social Forestry wing of the Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department. It also includes conserving the Casuarina grove adjacent to the beach. It will result in job creation for the local populace,” said Anoop. One of the unique features of Alappuzha’s coastline is the harmonious convergence of the tranquil backwaters with the vastness of the sea. With innovative initiatives, community engagement, and ecosystem conservation measures, the Tourism department hopes to nurture the coastal paradise into a global sensation over the next couple of years.