Alleppey is known as “Venice of the East”. The traders from across the seas came here in search of spices. It is the land of backwaters and so is famous for backwater tourism. Houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. Annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, is a word famous entertaining event. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is another attracting point where we can see many species of migratory birds. The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala, is a natural habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species. The people of here depend boat for transportation. It is a pleasant experience to ride through small canals with coconut trees and paddy fields on both sides. The picturesque skylines of Alleppey stays in one’s mind forever.
Alappuzha also known as Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. Alappuzha is considered to be the oldest planned city in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the city is the first of its kind along the Laccadive Sea coast.
Alappuzha is situated 28 km from Changanssery, 46 km from Kottayam and 53 from Kochi and 155 kilometres (96 mi) north of Trivandrum. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as the “Venice of the East” by Lord Curzon. Hence, it is known as the “Venetian Capital” of Kerala. Malayalam is the most spoken language.
Alappuzha is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters can be booked. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Quilon to the South.
Alappuzha is the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August every year. This is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India.The mullackal chirap is also one of the attractions of Allapuzha which is the festive season held for ten days every year in December.
Have you ever gone cruising in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala? If you haven’t, make sure you do. This is easily one amongst the most remarkable and unique experiences that our state has to offer.
Present day houseboats are huge, slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips, and are in fact reworked version of Kettuvallams of olden times. The original Kettuvallams were used to carry tons of rice and spices. A standard Kettuvallam can hold up to 30 tons of products from Kuttanad to the Kochi port.
Now these are a familiar sight on the backwaters and in Alappuzha alone, there are as many as 500 houseboats.
While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the areca nut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. Nowadays, Solar panels are preferred for lighting.
Today, the houseboats boast of the same comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views. While most boats are poled by local oarsmen, some are powered by a 40 HP engine. Boat-trains – formed by joining two or more houseboats together are also used by large groups of sightseers.
What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float in a relaxed way right through it
What To See And Do
ther attractions in Alappuzha are Alappuzha Beach, offering a views of the Laccadive Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, St. Andrew’s Basilica, Arthunkal, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Thakazhy Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Edathua Church, Alappuzha CSI Christ Church (oldest Anglican church in Central Kerala) and Champakulam Valia Palli.
Where To Stay
Many hotels and Resort are available in Alleppey.
How To Get Around
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha.