Alappuzha (or Alleppey) is a city on the Laccadive Sea in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The name Alappuzha means "the land between the sea and network of rivers flowing into it". It is a fitting name: there are a significant number of canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons in and around the city. Alappuzha is well connected by road as well as rail. The nearest airport(85 km) is Cochin International Airport. Alappuzha, and Kerala in general, has excellent weather due to its proximity to the ocean. The best time to visit is from September to March.
Alappuzha is also called Venice of the east and is best known for houseboat cruises along the rustic Kerala backwaters, a network of tranquil canals and lagoons. The cruise is through Vembanad lake which is India’s longest lake. Enroute there is a bird reserve where you get to watch beautiful local birds like waterfowl, egret, heron as well as migratory Siberian crane, teal and lark. The houseboats or Kettuvallams were used as grain barges alongside the backwaters. At some time, the houseboats were used as living quarters by the royalty.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali (boat race) event held in the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. Vallam Kali is a well-known annual event and is held on the second Saturday of August. The race of snake boat is the major event. Chundan Vallam or snake boat is about 30meter long with about 100 paddlers aboard. Hence Vallam Kali is also known as the snake boat race and is a major tourist attraction.
Place to Visit in Alleppey
The hub of Kerala backwaters, Alleppey has numerous backwater routes to offer. Every route has something unique and captivates you more than the other. One of the most well-known backwaters of Kerala and a major contributor to the tourism of this south Indian state, is the backwaters of Alleppey. Cruising along the serene backwaters is an absolutely divine experience and you actually feel like being ‘one with nature’. Located around 62 km southward of Kochi, the backwaters of Alappuzha connect to those of Kochi and Kumarakom.
The mesmerizing beaches of Alappuzha attract tourists from all over the world. Alappuzha Beach is the site of the 19th-century Alappuzha Lighthouse and also has an 150 years old pier. The beach hosts many events annually like Alappuzha beach festival, Sand art festival and many more
Marari beach is one of the few well kept secrets of Kerala. Very close to Alleppey, this small town is perfectly hidden away, ensuring clean and pristine beaches. If you are looking for serenity on the deserted sandy beaches, then do visit here. Along with this, you can take a short trip all around the area that includes traditional coir-making units, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kerala backwater canals, and many more.
Kuttanad is a region covering the Alappuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta Districts, in the state of Kerala. It is well known for its vast paddy fields and geographical peculiarities and is known as rice bowl of Kerala. is one of the few places in the world where farming is carried on around 1.2 to 3.0 metres (4 to 10 ft) below sea level.
Pathiramanal is a tranquil island offering views of wildlife & migratory birds in a remote, heavily forested setting. The name Pathiramanal means 'midnight sand'. The scenic beauty of both sides of the lake as well as that of the island is mind blowing.
Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple
Alappuzha is renowned for temples and it is one of the few places in Kerala where non-Hindus are allowed to enter temple premises. Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalapuzha was built in the 15th century. Of interest here is an extremely distinctive Paal-Payasam (a sweet milk dessert made out of rice, with jaggery, in milk). Its recipe is a well guarded secret.
St. Andrew's Basilica, Arthunkal is one of the famous pilgrim centres in South India. It is the largest shrine of St Sebastian in the world and was constructed by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century.
How to reach Alleppey
Air –The nearest airport to Alleppey is the Cochin International Airport, which is located at a distance of 75 km. The major cities of India and abroad are connected to Alleppey through this airport.
Train – Alleppey railway station is one of the biggest railway stations in India. It is the nearest railhead that connects with major cities like Cochin, Trivandrum and many more.
Road – Alleppey is connected by road via Bangalore, Chennai and Cochin. Regular buses run between these destinations on a regular basis.