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Alappuzha District

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About the Alappuzha district

Click on the following link to download district statistics as per NITI Ayog website
http://niti.gov.in/file/340/download?token=V551gK8n

Alappuzha District Information
Alappuzha is a Land Mark between the broad Arabian sea and a net work of rivers flowing into it. In the early first decade of the 20th Century the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon made a visit in the State to Alleppey, now Alappuzha. Fascinated by the Scenic beauty of the place, in joy and amazement, he said, Here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties. In his exhilaration, it is said, he exclaimed, Alleppey, the Venice of the East. Thus the sobriquet found its place in the world Tourism Map. The presence of a port and a pier, criss -cross roads and numerous bridges across them, a long and unbroken sea coast might have motivated him to make this comparison.

Alleppey has a wonderful past. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Rajakesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classified Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms , was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in B.C and in the Middle Ages.

Carved out of erstwhile Kottayam and Kollam (Quilon) districts, Alleppey district was formed on 17th of August 1957.The name of the district Alleppey, the anglicized form was changed as ‘Alappuzha’ as per GO(P) No.133/90/RD dated 7.2.90. It is assumed that the name of Alappuzha was derived by the geographical position and physical features of the place which means ”the land between the sea and the network of rivers flowing into it". As per GO (MS) No.1026/82/(RD) dated 29.10.1982, Pathanamthitta district was newly constituted taking portions from the then Alappuzha, Kollam and Idukki districts. The area transferred from the erstwhile Alappuzha district to Pathanamthitta district is Thiruvalla taluk as a whole and part of Chengannur and Mavelikkara Taluks. Thus the present Alappuzha district comprises of six taluks namely Cherthala, Ambalapuzha, Kuttanad, Karthikappllly, Chengannur and Mavelikkara.

Palaeolithic Age
The history of the district in the palaeolithic age is obscure. It is presumed that the coastal taluks of Cherthala. Ambalapuzha and Karthikappally might have been under water and these areas were formed by the accumulation of silt and sand later than the other parts of the district. Kuttanad was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. The early Cheras had their home in Kuttanad and they were called 'Kuttuvans' named after this place. Some archeological antiques like stone inscriptions, historical monuments etc. found in the temples, churches, rock-out caves etc., and literacy works like "Unninili Sandesam" give some insight into the ancient period of this district. The famous travelers Pliny and Ptolemy of the first and second centuries had mentioned about places like Purakkad(Barace) in their classical works. Christianity had a strong foot-hold in this district even from the Ist century A.D. The church located at Kokkomangalam or Kokkothamangalam was one of the seven churches founded by St.Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. It is generally believed that he landed at Maliankara in Muziris Port, presently known as Cranganore or Kodungallur in 52 A.D and preached Christianity in South India. During 9th to 12th century AD the district flourished in the field of religion and culture under the second Chera Empire. The famous literary work of this period was ‘Ascharya Choodamani’ a Sanskrit drama written by Sakthibhadra who was a scholar of Chengannur gramam.

16th Century
During 16th century small principalities like Kayamkulam (presently Karthikappally and Mavelikkara taluks), Purakkad which was often called Ambalappuzha or Chempakasseri(present Ambalappuzha and Kuttanad taluk) and Karappuram comprising of two principalities called Moothedath and Iledath (present Cherthala Taluk) emerged into power. In the same period the Portugese came into prominence in the political scene of the district. Christianity became popular in all parts of the district and they built several churches of which Churches located at Purakkad and Arthungal are well known. The kingdom of Chempakasseri was at its zenith during the reign of Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayana, a great scholar and a poet who was the author of ‘Vedantha Retnamala’, a commentary on the first verse of Bhagavat Geetha. It is said that Sreekrishna Swami temple at Ambalappuzha was constructed and the idol of Lord Krishna installed during that time. It is believed that Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, Sri Neelakanta Deekshithar and Sri Kumaran Namboothiri were eminent scholars who patronized his court.

Boundaries
North – Kochi and Kanayannur Taluks of Ernakulam district
East –Vaikom, Kottayam and Changanassery Taluks of Kottayam district and
Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks of Pathanamthitta District
South – Kunnathur and Karunagappally of Kollam District
West – Lakshadweep ( Arabian ) sea

TOPOGRAPHY

The district is a sandy strip of land intercepted by lagoons, rivers and canals. There are neither mountains nor hills in the district except some scattered hillocks lying between Bharanikkavu and Chngannur blocks in the eastern portion of the district. Cherthala, Ambalappuzha, Kuttanad and Karthikappally fully lie in low land region. There is no forest area in this district.

CLIMATE
The climate is moist and hot in the coast and slightly cool and dry in the interior of the district. The average monthly temperature is 250 C. The district also gets the benefit of two outstanding monsoons as in the case of other parts of the state.

Hot season - March to May

South-west monsoon (Edavappathi) - June to September

North-east monsoon (Thulavarsham) - October to November

Dry weather - December to February

The district has 8 reporting rain gauge stations at Arookutty, Cherthala, Alappuzha, Ambalapuzha, Harippad, Kayamkulam, mavelikkara and Chengannur as recorded in 1989. The average rainfall in the district is 2763 mm.

GEOLOGY
The geological formations of the district are classified as :

belt of crystalline rocks of the archean group
belt of residual laterite
narrow belt of warkalli bed od tertiary group
western most coastal belt of recent deposits

The most relevant crystalline rock type is Charnokites. Residual laterite is the resultant product of the insitu alteration of the crystalline rocks. Warkalli beds consist of a succession of variegated clays and sand stone. The coastal belt consists of recent sediments like aluvium, marine and lacustrine.

MINERALS & MINING
The two most important minerals which occur in large quantities in the district are glass and foundry sand. Lime shell is exploited commercially. High quality sand deposits occur between Alappuzha and Cherthala which form a stretch of 35 Km in length along the western side of Vembanad lake. Large quantities of sand are being mined at Pallipuram for manufacturing sand lime bricks. Vast deposits of lime shell occur in Vembanad lake covering an area of 15 Sq.Km. upto depth of 8 metres between Pathiramanal and Vaikom. China clay and ordinary clay occur in various places are used as building materials. The raw material required for granite carving is obtained from Chengannur.

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