Kuttanad is famous for several reasons, making it a unique and noteworthy destination. Here are some of the reasons why Kuttanad holds significance:
1. Rice Bowl of Kerala: Kuttanad is often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” due to its vast expanse of paddy fields. The region is known for its traditional rice cultivation practices, with picturesque green fields spread across the landscape. The fertile soil, combined with a unique farming method that involves cultivation below sea level, contributes to the abundant rice production in Kuttanad.
2. Backwaters and Houseboats: Kuttanad is renowned for its captivating backwaters, which are a network of canals, rivers, lakes, and lagoons. The backwaters offer breathtaking scenic beauty, serene environments, and the opportunity to explore the region’s unique waterways. Houseboats, also known as Kettuvallams, are a major attraction in Kuttanad, allowing visitors to experience the backwaters by staying on these traditional and luxurious floating accommodations.
3. Wetland Ecosystem: Kuttanad is home to a distinctive wetland ecosystem. The region’s low-lying geography, interconnected waterways, and abundance of vegetation support a diverse range of flora and fauna. It is an important habitat for various migratory birds, aquatic species, and other wildlife, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
4. Traditional Culture and Lifestyle: Kuttanad preserves a rich cultural heritage and traditional way of life. The locals’ lifestyle is deeply connected to the waterways, with fishing, farming, and traditional boat-building being significant aspects of their livelihoods. The region’s cultural practices, festivals, and folk arts showcase the vibrant traditions of the local communities.
5. Agrarian System and Land Reclamation: Kuttanad’s unique agrarian system, known as “Polder System,” involves reclaiming and protecting low-lying land from floods and saline water intrusion. This intricate network of embankments, canals, and sluice gates helps maintain the balance between the backwaters and the surrounding agricultural fields.
6. Ecotourism and Sustainable Practices: Kuttanad promotes ecotourism initiatives and sustainable practices to preserve its natural resources and cultural heritage. This includes organic farming methods, responsible tourism practices, and community-based initiatives that contribute to the region’s overall sustainable development.
7. Below Sea Level: Kuttanad is known as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala” and is a unique region as it lies below sea level. It is one of the few places in the world where farming is practiced below the water level.
Overall, Kuttanad’s fame lies in its natural beauty, agricultural practices, backwaters, and the unique cultural experiences it offers. It is a place where visitors can immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the landscape, witness the traditional way of life, and appreciate the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.