Alleppey 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 large networks of canals with spectacular Backwaters, Beaches, Marine products & Coir industry 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.
Places of Interest
Kuttanad: The place 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.
Sea View Park: The Sea View Park offers both boating and a swimming pool facilities.
Alappuzha Beach: 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: Pathiramanal is an island and accessible only by motor boat only. It is a 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.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple: This 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.
Champakulam Church: One of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary's Church 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.
Chavara Bhavan: 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: 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. It is also 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
Krishnapuram Palace: The palace was built by Marthanda Varma, this palace 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.
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)
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.
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.
Clothing: Light cottons during summer and light woolens are sufficient for winters
Cuisines: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.
How to Reach Alleppey?
By Air: Aleppey is just 150 kms away from Trivandrum and 90 kms from Kochi International Airport.
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.