Aluva (Malayalam: ആലുവ, formerly Alwaye), is a suburb of Kochi in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. Located on the River Periyar, Aluva is the industrial epicenter of the state. A major transportation hub, with easy access to all major forms of transportation, Aluva acts as a corridor which links the highland districts to the rest of the state. Aluva, home to the summer residency of the Travancore royal family – the Alwaye Palace is also famous for the Sivarathri festival celebrated annually at the sandbanks of Periyar.
The Advaita Ashrams in Aluva founded in 1913 by Sree Narayana Guru, one of India’s greatest social reformers adds to the cultural significance of the town. Today, whilst part of the Kochi urban agglomeration, Aluva is an autonomous municipality, its civic administration conducted by Aluva Municipal Council. The town also serves as the administrative centre of the Aluva taluk. It is the starting point of Kochi metro rail under construction.
Archaeologists have found evidence of settlements in Aluva as far back as 250 BC. The place used to be a continuous area of land spread across Kakkanad and Alangad; historians have recorded that it was so up to AD 1341. The town, by then thickly populated, became a holiday resort and a centre of commerce. Mangalappuzha, a branch of Periyar which bifurcates at Aluva was known to be the nerve centre of trade and commerce in this part of South India. Before Indian independence, Aluva was part of the Kingdom of Travancore and was the official summer residence of the royal family.
The etymology of the name of the town of Aluva has been the subject of speculation for centuries. One of the more accepted version relates to the mythological story of Hindu god Shiva drinking the Kalakootam poison to save the world. It is said that Shiva with the poison -Alam- in his mouth -Vaa- was made into a deity which was then rested in a temple in Aluva. The Sivarathri festival for which the town is famous for is celebrated in the honor of Shiva.
Aluva is a constituency in the Kerala Legislative Assembly. The Aluva assembly constituency is part of the Chalakudy (Lok Sabha constituency). ANWAR SADATH is the MLA of Aluva. It is a minority community constituency and only Christian or Muslim candidates are elected. It was part of Ernakulam (Lok Sabha constituency) till 2009.
Administratively, Aluva is a municipality. The current municipal council is ruled by Indian National Congress Party, led by M. T. Jacob
Servant of God Mar Varghese Payyappilly Palakkappilly had served as the manager of St. Mary’s High School (1913–20, 1922–29) and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute (S.D.) in Chunangamvely on 19 March 1927.Union Christian College of Alwaye, founded in 1921 is one of the oldest and prominent institutions in the field of education. SCMS Group of institutions, Nirmala higher secondary school EM (bad), Shivagiri Vidyniketan, St Xavier’s college, Al-Ameen College Edathala, KMEA Engineering College, MES College Aluva, Holy Crescent College of Architecture, Kendriya Vidyalaya N.A.D etc. are some of the other premier institutions in Aluva. CUSAT, Kochi, a prominent university in the state, has its main campus at a distance of 10 km from Aluva.
Popular tourist spots include:
- Sivarathri manappuram
- Aluva Palace
- Periyar banks
- Municipal Park
- Adwaitha Ashram
- ST:Dominic Church
- Aluva Masjid
- Sree Krishna Temple
- Pottachira Sree Krishna Temple
Tourists would find the Manappuram on the left as a long stretch of sand bank followed by a plain. In the festive weeks of Sivarathri lakhs gather here.
By going downtown from the NH bypass after the bridge, you will be heading the Bank Jn. Following the road ahead would take you to the Palace Road. This road runs the Periyar parallelly intervened by The Municipal Park, Aluva Palace(now the Guest House), and Sivagiri Ashram. They planted the trees in their compounds for the sake of providing relief for others. Sivagiri Ashram has a small temple which worships Sree Narayana Guru. The SIVAGIRI kindergarten is situated there.