“Home of the Moolam snake boat race”.
Where is Champakulam?
The village of Champakulam is part of Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala. It is resplendent in green paddy fields, coconut groves, and water fowl. An important tourist spot Champakulam is famous for the Moolam snake boat race. The river Pampa flows through the village, splitting it in two.
Our journey from Kochi to Champakulam was by local buses.
During our time in Champakulam, we chose to stay at the Triveny River Palace. Booked through Booking .com.
The accommodation has a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a garden. Every room has a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, and free WiFi throughout the property. A continental breakfast is provided.
Places of interest
As the district of Alleppey is in the Kerala backwaters, we wanted to take a boat along the river. Our budget didn’t allow us to stay on a houseboat.
Our day cruise
So a day cruise it was. Our accommodation had recommended a 1 hour day cruise at 1500 Rupees each. We had noticed that the state river ferry halt was on the opposite side of the river.
The following morning we went to get the river ferry from Champakulam up the river to Nedumudy. It turned around here, staying on board we took it all the way down to Edathua.
The total time for the journey was approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, for 16 Rupees each. Although it did have to make a short unscheduled stop to release weeds that got hooked up around the propeller.
The journey was very scenic and as it was on a river ferry was faster than the day trips but covered more of the backwaters. With a little more noise from the engine, a small price to pay if you are on a budget.
We alighted at Edathua for a visit to the massive shrine of St. George Forane Church. Built more than 200 years ago resembling the churches of medieval Europe.
A further hour long river ferry journey for 8 Rupees each got us back to Champakulam, this time without any unscheduled stops!
On alighting the river ferry we decided to cross the river via the local boatman in his traditional canoe. We called him over and while we waited Tania commented that he would probably try and rip us off.
Guy helped paddle the canoe across the river. On landing the boatman wanted 20 Rupees for the crossing. Guy thought £2 was a bit steep. Whilst walking away he realised that he had done the maths wrong and it was 20p not £2……… a bargain.
Kalloorkadu St. Mary’s Forane Church
On the other side of the river, it was a short walk to Kalloorkadu Marth Maryam Basilica also known as St Mary’s Forane Church. One of the oldest Christian churches in India. It is the mother church of almost all Catholic Syrian churches in the Alleppey district. Believed to have been established in AD 427, although the church has been rebuilt many times.