This place is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet "Venice of the East". These are has a large networks of canals with spectacular Backwaters, Beaches, Marine products & Coir industry that provide Alleppey its lifeline. A glide in a "Kettuvallam" (a traditionally decorated Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either side of the canals are panoramic pictures reflecting the charm of this unique land.
Alleppey sightseeing Places
Kuttanad: Kuttanad is called the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of banana, cassava and yam. This is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done 1.5 to 2 m below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region.
R and QST Block Islands: Alappuzha’s glamour and beauty stretch beyond backwaters and beaches. Their men made hedged islands uncover hilarious views. They are heaven for migratory birds. The surrounding water inundated paddy fields vouch for the serenity. R Block Island greets the visitors with fresh toddy; the toddy shop here serves finger-biting local dishes made of prawns, crabs, clams etc. Kerala State Water Transport Department at Boat Jetty offers passenger boat service.
Alappuzha Beach: Alleppey beach is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya beach park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse which is greatly fascinating to visitors.
Pathiramanal: This Island is accessible only by motor boat only. It is just 30 min. drive from Alappuzha by speedboat. According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight). This little island on the backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world.
Sea View Park: The Sea View Park offers both boating and a swimming pool facilities.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple: The Temple is 32 km south of Alappuzha and is situated near Harippad; this is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a Brahmin family, headed by a priestess. The ancient shrine is an internationally renowned pilgrim centre dedicated to the Serpent God Nagaraja. Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi are the beloved consorts of Nagaraja. It is believed that Nagaraja as the installed diety is endowed with the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and the spirit of Lord Shiva. This is a renowned pilgrim centre where on the day of Ayilyam in the month of Kanni (September/October) all the serpent idols of the groves here are carried in a procession. During this festival thousands throng and propitiate serpent gods. It is particularly popular with childless couples and the popular offerings include turmeric and salt apart from over tuning the traditional brass urn of uruli.
Champakulam Church: This is one of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary's Church and is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas. The annual feast at this church falls on the 3rd Sunday of October every year. The feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19th.
Edathua Church: The Church is Situated 24 kms. away from Alappuzha. This church is established in 1810, the church is dedicated to St George. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments. During the annual feast (5th, 6th, and 7th of May) pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed, visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint.
Chavara Bhavan: This Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of devotees gather for prayer, receive favours and feel amply gratified. Here, a 250 year old historically important beacon of light is preserved intact in its original and primitive form. The Place is 6 km from Alappuzha. Accessible only by boat.
Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple: This temple is built in the typical Kerala architectural style; this temple is famous all over India for the Palpayasam, the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge. In this temple that Pallipana is performed by Velans (sorcerers) once every twelve years. Ottanthullal, a satiric art form originated by the poet Kunchan Nambiar, was first performed on the premises of this temple. This famous temple is just 15 km from the south of Alappuzha.
Arthunkal: This place is just 22 km north of Alappuzha. The St. Sebastian's Church here is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual festival: Arthunkal Perunnal - the feast of the patron saint (January)
Edathua Church: The Church is established in 1810, the church is dedicated to St. George. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments. During the annual feast (5th, 6th and 7th of May) pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed, visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint. This Church is 24 km from Alappuzha, on the Alappuzha - Thiruvalla Road.
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Mavelikkara: The Kettukazhcha festival at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Processions of tall decorated structures on chariots are brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant. (Festival - February/March)
Krishnapuram Palace: This palace was built by Marthanda Varma at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. Dating back to the 18th century, this exquisite piece of art is one of the largest murals in Kerala. The palace museum houses antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
Karumadikuttan: Situated 3 km east of Ambalapuzha, this village is known for its 10th century Karumadikkuttan statue, a black granite figure of the great Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Many fascinating legends are associated with this 11th century statue of Lord Buddha.
Thakazhi: This village is located 6 km from Karumadi. Thazhi was shot into fame due to its celebrated son, Thakazhi Shivasankaran Pillai, the late novelist. His novel Chemmeen, narrating the life of fishermen and centering on a romance and tragedy won him Sahitaya Academi Award. He was a Padma Bhushan award winner. His residence, Sankaramangalam House, acquired from his living widow Kamalakshiamma by the Kerala government has transformed into a museum where his several awards, personal effects, pen, spectacles and a typewriter are put on display.
Chakkulathukavu: The place Chakkulathukavu is located 20 km from Ambalapuzha. Chakkalathukavu shot into fame because of the Bhagawathi temple here. Here, a peculiar system prevails. The feet of all the females get washed by priests on the first Friday of the month of Dhanu (December/January). On this day all female devotees visiting the temple are considered as the incarnation of the deity, Devi (Bhagawathi). It is believed that the deity has power to enthuse a force in the drunkards to discard drinking. The wives of drunkards bring their husbands here. They are directed to swear by touching Devi’s sword not to drink thence. Once sworn, he will have no urge to drink anymore, the experienced testify. This swearing holds good for the gamblers and drug addicts too. The priests here predict future by looking at betel leaves. For future telling a devotee is required to bring 7 betel leaves plus two areca nuts.
Location: Alappuzha is situated between Kollam (85 km south) and Kochi (64 km north) on the Malabar Coast.
Climate: The weather of Alleppey is pleasant throughout the year making it the ideal destination for tourists.
Best Time to Visit: August & October - February.
Cusines: Masala dosas, Appams, South Indian vegetarian varieties etc. are the Specialties. The restaurants provide all kinds of eatables starting from country-specific to local South Indian delicacies. Seafood is also one of the special attractions of the beach side eateries.
Shopping: The numerous shops in Alleppey that sell coir matting and carpets are frequented by a regular number of tourists. The wide variety, fine quality and reasonable price make these a much sought after products while shopping in Alleppey. Alleppey is also famous for coconut oil, areca nut and sugar available here. One can find hoards of fresh fruit and vegetables, which you will be more than delighted to buy.
How to Reach Alleppey?
By Air: Aleppey is just 90 kms from Kochi and 150 kms from Trivandrum.
By Rail/Train: Alappuzha has its own railway station and trains from many places connect this city with the rest of Kerala and India.
By Road: There is a wide network of roads that connect this place to the rest of Kerala and also India. There are a number of national highways that pass through Alappuzha and connect it to the rest of Kerala and neighboring states.