“Venice Of The East” beckons you. Get ready for Boat Races, Houseboat Holidays and marine life !!
The city of canals and lagoons, alleppey also known as Alappuzha is popularly known as the hub of backwater tourism. Though alleppey is the only city in Kerala without forests, yet it has a unique blend of scenic beauty, lush paddy fields and charming waterways. It has a wide network of lakes, canals, lagoons, backwa ters and beaches. Alappuzha itself is a district in Kerala which covers an area of 1414 sq. km. and lies 95 km. from Cochin. Life in this district revolves only around water. Small man-made islands also comprise a part of alleppey's unique beauty. These islands are a paradise for migratory birds. Apart from being a big player in backwaters and boats, alleppey is a renowned industrial area too.
R-Block is the most famous spot for backwaters. You can witness the greenery, marine life and scenic beauty of alleppey very closely by taking a journey through these backwaters. R- Block is also among those rarest places in the world where farming is done below sea level.
Pathiramanal is a renowned island situated on these backwaters between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom. It is a hub for migratory birds. Most of the distinctive birds from all over the world visit this place in winters.
Boat Races are the identity of alleppey/Alappuzha. The backwaters here are world famous for the Snake Boat Race. These races generally take place in the harvest season (July-August-September). It is the major centre of attraction in Onam Festival. Watching long, thin boats powered by up to 100-120 people is great fun.
Alleppey has a unique and traditional identity among tourists in context of Houseboats. One can hire a Kettuvellam (houseboat) for a day and enjoy a trip into the inland waterways, lakes and canals. alleppey's backwaters is a combination of river water and the Arabian Sea water.
Alleppey Beach is another most popular location in alleppey. This beach has an old lighthouse. It is a centre of attraction for tourists seeking peaceful vacations. You can relax here and enjoying several water-sports. The pier is around 140 years old and of immense beauty.
During a trip to alleppey, you can visit Krishnapuram Palace, which was built by King Marthanda Varma in 18th century. This palace is famous for its murals (painting on wall) revealing the story of Gajendramoksham. The palace is a museum today, consisting of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
It is often said that in ancient times, alleppey had direct business links with Greece and Rome and the trade network was very big. Today alleppey is a commercial place for cashew nuts. Apart from being a major dealer in cashew nuts, it has a major share in coir and carpet market.
Climate And Best Time To Go
Alleppey enjoys a typical coastal climate like most of the cities in Kerala. The temperature varies from 18-39 degrees. But it is very pleasant in winter. Avoid planning a trip to alleppey in summer, as it is very humid and hot and traveling becomes uncomfortable. August-March is considered good for vacations.
Flora And Fauna
Aquatic life is exquisite and consists of several rare species like mudskippers, water birds such as cormorants, ducks, darters and kingfishers; and animals such as turtles and otters. Marine life also includes fishes, prawns and crabs. It also attracts plenty of migratory birds. While traveling through the backwaters, you can also see beautiful small flowers, coconut trees and thick greenery alongside the waterways.
The city is a renowned industrial area for coir products and carpets. You can visit several factories and retail outlets and choose from a variety of options at cheap prices. You can visit different shops selling coir matting and carpets. Coconut husk is the main source of coir manufacturing here. Besides, alleppey is a big dealer in pepper, coconut oil, areca nut, cardamom, and sugar. You can also shop for alleppey's special Handicrafts and jewellery.
How To Reach
Since alleppey is a big industrial area, it has proper facilities for transport. The nearest airport is at Cochin (95 km. North) and Trivandrum airport is situated 159 km from alleppey. It has its own railway station which is well connected to Cochin, Kovalam, Kottayam, Changanassery and Chengannur.
Alleppey is located at NH-47, so road transport is also smooth from all nearby areas. Besides, it is also accessible via boats from all parts of Kerala.