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About Alleppey

With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, this backwater countryside is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today Alappuzha has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. The rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad is perhaps the only place in the world where farming is done below sea level. The Alleppey Beach which is right in Alappuzha town is another major attraction.

Major Attractions

Pathiramanal

This little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island is accessible only by boat.

Boat races

Alappuzha Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada (2nd Saturday of August), Alappuzha Tourism Boat Race (9th January), Pulinkunnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race (last Saturday of August), Champakulam Moolam Boat Race (Moolam day of Midhunam /July), Payippad Jalotsavam (4th Onam day which falls in August/September), Neerettupuram Boat Race (Onam season which falls in August/ September).

Backwater

With the Kuttanad region and the Vembanad Kayal nearby, Alappuzha attracts tourists throughout the year. The criss-crossing canals in the area evoke comparisons withVenice, but the differences are also substantial. Each has an identity of its own. Amongst the notable sights is the palm covered Pathiramanal Island in Vembanad Kayal, one hour by boat from Alappuzha. The place is famous for the snake boat races and also has a number of historic colonial buildings and a beach. Kollam and Alappuzha connected to a beautiful lake named Kayamkulam Lake. Now newly started a major snake boat race in Kayamkulam basis.Kayamkulam town and National Thermal Power Plant are located in the banks of Kayamkulam Lake.

Kuttanad

Kuttanad bears a strong resemblance to Holland in terms of geographical features. Three rivers- Pamba, Manimala and Achankovil - criss-cross this region popularly called 'The Rice Bowl' of Kerala, before flowing into the Vembanad Lake.

Until a few years ago, water was the main mode of transport. Today, buses and trains ply in the region. However, the landscape is so unique that a boat trip through Kuttanad is an unforgettable experience, with bustling rural life on the banks of the rivers, green expanses of paddy fields and shady coconut groves.

Ambalapuzha Temple

This famous Sri Krishna temple at Ambalapuzha, is known for its traditional Kerala architecture and delicious palpayasam (sweet porridge made with milk). About 3 kms from Ambalapuzha is the 10th century Karumadikuttan statue, a black granite statue of Buddha.

Aruthunkal

Situated 22 km north of Alleppey is the ancient St.Sebastian Church, which was erected by the Portuguese and is a popular centre of pilgrimage for the Christians of Kerala.The feast of St.Sebastian is held every January.

Mullackal Temple

Dedicated to goddess Rajarajeswari, is also a place worth visiting. The Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple This temple is believed to have miraculous powers and hence visited by number of pilgrims every year.

St. Mary's Church

One of the oldest churches in India, the St. Mary's Church is believed to have been set up by St. Thomas. Situated in Champakulam, the church is known for its annual fest which falls on the 3rd Sunday of October every year.

How to reach there

Nearest airports: Cochin which is 90 kms and Thriruvanathapuram which is 150 kms from Alleppey.

Nearest railway station: Alleppey which is near to the beach.

Nearest bus station: Alappuzha

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Alleppey is from August to September when you can see the boat races that happen during Onam season. The weather is pleasant till February. Beaches can be visited year round.

Travel tips

Alleppey is a coastal town and humid throughout the year. So dress accordingly.

No trip to Alleppey is complete without trying local seafood cuisine and toddy, if you don’t mind getting tipsy and backwater cruises.

Houseboat stays are great for those with deeper pockets.