Situated between the Western Ghats on the East and the Arabian Sea on the West, Kerala is one of the most beautiful states in India. Alleppey is locally known by its traditional name Allappuzha. The name of this town is synonymous with beautiful backwaters, houseboats and the boat race. The backwaters are crisscrossed by a system of interconnected canals. While tourism remains a major draw, coir making and paddy cultivation are also an important source of income for locals.
Coir Making: One of the most common tropical trees is the coconut tree. The present name Kerala owes its Kerlam” in Malayalam which is derived from two Malayalam words Kera and Alam. Kera in Malayalam means coconut and Alam means land. Coconut is an integral part from Kerala’s culture and its cuisine. Although coir making is a centuries old art, it received prominence in the 19th century after the Alleppey was developed as a trading centre. Alleppey’s coir makers are known for their craftsmanship and intricate weaving methods. Whilst on a houseboat tour, guests can witness firsthand the different processes involved in making coir. Different and unique coir products manufactured here include coir mattresses, coir mats, etc. In fact, Alleppey is a major exporter of coir and coir products.
Paddy: Besides coir, paddy cultivation is a major industry here. Kuttanad in Alleppey is famously called The Rice Bowl of India. The place is resplendent with acres of unending paddy fields. What makes cultivation unique here is that the place is actually below sea level. While modern agricultural methods are practiced, farmers here also practice an ancient practice that has been carried out since the Sangam Ages.