Alleppey Tourism - Explore nature at its best
Fondly called as the Venice of the East, for its maze of interconnecting waterways and channels, Alleppey or Alappuzha as it is known in local language truly lives up to its name! The waterways and channels are best explored in country boats as in Venice.
Alleppey is indeed famous for at least a million reasons. It is the only place in the world other than Holland where rice is cultivated well under the sea level. Thickly punctuated with coconut palms, Chinese nets and paddy fields, Aleppey is enchanting and receptive to tourists all round the year The enviably slow pace of the lives in the lagoons and the tranquility that is broken only by the echoing calls of the migratory birds, make it a different world altogether!
Today Alappuzha has emerged as a famous backwater tourist centre, which draws scores of tourists each year. Probably the boat races of Aleppey are the biggest crowd pullers of this destination. Scores of impressive snake boats that can accommodate as many as 120 oarsmen cut through the waters to race up to the finishing line in the Nehru boat race, which forms one of the red letters days in Alleppey tourist calendar.
No trip to this place will be complete without a house boat trip. These huge boats that are made from ecofriendly materials like wood and ropes were originally designed to carry farm produce like rice along the waterways. Now these have evolved as well equipped house boats that ensure a leisurely cruise for the tourists along the Punnamada Lake and Alleppey backwaters apart from ensuring a cozy stay amidst the waters. Be it a corporate holiday, honeymoon or a family trip, you would surely enjoy every bit of this memorable house boat trip!
The interconnected waterways of Alleppey form part of the 900km of navigable backwaters of Kerala. In Alleppey, life revolves around water where people own country boats in place of cars; where kids learn to swim before they walk and where the people are awakened by the hooting of the horns of the boats that ferry not only passengers across the backwaters but also vegetables, essential commodities and even posts!
While in this city, you won’t have any dearth of activities for sure. Take an up close view of the simple life of the people around, swim along the shallow waters, take a leisurely stroll along the village roads or explore the village markets that sell the local crafts and art forms among others. You can even try your mettle with the fishing rods and in case you fancy tasting the local beverage of coconut toddy , hop into a toddy shop and savour the tangy taste of this beverage to the accompaniment of a variety of spicy fish delicacies including the signature dish of karimeen ( Pearl spot).
There are many ancient religious places around including the fabled Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple and the St.Andrew church, founded way back in 1866 by Portuguese missionaries. Come, enjoy the best of nature on a platter and live in tandem with the rhythm of nature by soaking up the enchanting beauty of this coastal district of Alleppey in Kerala.
Kuttanad - The much acclaimed “Rice bowl of Kerala”, spread over 75 km, is famous for its vast green paddy fields with the scenic backwaters in the backdrop. This picture-postcard place is surrounded by a vast expanse of water. Enjoy the surreal beauty of the enchanting backwaters of Kerala with a houseboat cruise along the picturesque Vembanad backwaters. Kuttanad is also famous for its coir related industries with many households in the region tied to this sector directly or indirectly.
Pathiramanal - A safe sanctuary for indigenous and rare migratory birds, this island situated in Vembanad Lake is an Ornithologists delight. This beautiful island is located between Thannermukkam and Kumarakom.If you like, you can rent a speed boat to reach the island.
Karumadikkutan Temple - Kerala was once a Buddhist centre; though much has been lost a few remnants lie scattered throughout the state. Karumadi village, a small town near Ambalappuzha, is famous for Karimadikkuttan - a black granite statue of Lord Buddha dating back to the 10th century AD.
Mannarasala – The Sree Naga Raja Temple at Mannarasala is a famous pilgrim centre for worshippers of serpent gods. The temple is quite unique as the rituals are traditionally conducted by a high priestess. The temple is located near Harippad at a distance of about 32 km from Alappuzha town. The temple has more than 30,000 images of the serpent gods and is the largest of its kind in Kerala.
Mararikkulam - Located at a distance of 12 Km from Alleppey, Mararikkulam is famous for its palm fringed golden sand beach. The beach is ideal for indulging in swimming and other water-sports..
Punnapra - Punnapra has its name written on the chronicles of history, not with golden letters but with red. It is here during the 1946 revolt, the communist activists and Travancore state police confronted each other. The place is famous for the memorial monument erected to honor the valor and courage of these brave martyrs.
Ambalapuzha Temple - The Ambalapuzha Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is popularly known as the “Dwaraka” of South. The temple is famous for its exquisite mural paintings and the “Ambalapuzha Palpayasam” – sweet milk porridge. Kunjan Nambiar performed his satirical art form - “Ottan Thullal”, for the first time in the temple premises. The temple is built in the traditional Kerala architecture style. Ambalapuzha is located at a distance of about 10 km south of Alleppey town.
Krishnapuram Palace - The Krishnapuram Palace was built in the 18th century by the ruler of erstwhile Travancore kingdom Marthanda Varma Maharaja. The palace is famous for its exquisite mural paintings and architectural marvel. The huge “Gagendra Moksham” mural measuring 14 feet by 11 feet is the largest of its kind in Kerala. The palace is today an archeological museum housing many antique sculptures, bronzes, paintings etc.
Alleppey Beach - The beach, frequented by both local and international tourists, is famous for its natural beauty. The 137 year old pier that extends out into the sea is a remnant of Aleppey’s glorious past when it was a major port city. Dense palm grooves, a beautiful garden on the sea shore, an ancient light house all these further accentuate the beauty of this scenic beach. There are facilities for relaxing and unwinding at the nearby Vijay Sea Park and Sea View Park.
QST and R Block Kayal - This land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and is protected by dikes to prevent it from flooding. The place boasts of an uncanny resemblance with the famous dikes of Holland..
Arthunkal Church – This famous shrine dedicated to St. Sebastian was built by the Portuguese friars. The church is located at a distance of 22 km to the north of Alleppey near Cherthala. Christians and people from different faiths converge here during the annual feast of St. Sebastian held during the month of January.
House Boats - The best possible way to experience the alluring backwaters of Kerala in luxury and comfort. Watch the breath-taking beauty of the scenic countryside unfold before your eyes as you cruise along the emerald backwaters. These houseboats come equipped with all modern amenities and your own personal cook.
Front-seat Boatrace view - To get a real up-close experience of the boatrace we recommend you to rent a houseboat, canoe or any other boat to watch the race. .
Toddy shops - Try some of the mouthwatering delicacies and toddy (an alcoholic beverage made from coconut palms) from the local toddy shops. Do make it a point to try the mouthwatering combination of Kappa (Tapioca) & Meen curry (Fish curry).
Visit a Coir Factory – Coir and related industries form the lifeblood supporting a majority of households directly and indirectly in the region. Do make it a point to visit one of these factories or small industries where you can see how coir is made from coconut husk.
Try some of the mouthwatering seafood delights like ‘Karimeen Pollichathu’ (Pearl Spotted fish cooked in a banana leaf), ‘Konju Ulathiyathu’ (Tiger Prawns) and ‘Chemmeen Fry’ (Prawns). If you are in the mood to try something hot and spicy, try the food at ‘Toddy shops’. Try some indigenous snacks like jackfruit chips or banana chips which are available in almost all the shops.
Boats once used for war - The “snake boats” that cruise peacefully through the backwaters were once powerful fighting-vehicles carrying soldiers when wars were fought between the local kings. Each of these boats used to carry more than 100 soldiers.
Venice of the East - This popular cliché was first used by the Governor General and Viceroy of India - Lord Curzon, to describe the beauty of Alleppey.
Alleppey town is located at a distance of 64 km from Cochin International Airport and 159 km from Thiruvananthapuram airport.
Alleppey is well connected with the rest of Kerala through an extensive network of roads. The National Highway - NH 47, passes right through the town.
Alleppey is well connected by rail with all parts of India. The railway station is located at the heart of the town.
Regular boat services keep Alleppey well connected with Kollam, Kottayam, Kumarakam and Cochin. The boat jetty is located right in the centre of the town.