Alappuzha or Alleppey is one of the popular backwater tourist destinations of Kerala. More often referred to as the 'Venice of the East', Alleppey is a place of immense natural beauty.
Tourist attractions in Alleppey
Alleppey is a pivotal point, if you want to embark on trips into Kerala's famous backwaters. Between Quilon in the south and Kottayam in the east, tourists will find scenic palm-lined banks, quiet water-bound villages and islands. The backwater cruise starts from Alleppey and ends at Jetty. While on the cruise, tourists can view an entire landscape filled with beautiful monuments, temples, churches and cottage industries of Alappuzha. Check out the following attractions in Alleppey.
The 10th century Karumadikkuttan statue is a black granite figure of Buddha located at this village of Karumadikkuttan. It is interesting to note that there are many legends connected to this idol. The Dalai Lama worshipped this shrine when he visited Kerala.
The Alappuzha Beach also doubles up as a picnic spot. It has a beautifully laid out garden on the shore along with entertainment facilities. The Vijaya Beach Park has boating facilities and a children's play area with toy trains and bicycles. The pier that extends into the sea is almost 140 years old. The beach has dense palm groves at one end and a towering lighthouse on the other.
Famous as the 'rice bowl of Kerala', Kuttanad is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is done below seal level. Kuttanad has inland waterways flowing above land level. The region is also famous for its banana and yam plantations.
Boat races of Alleppey
Alleppey is the headquarters for many boat races held during August and September every year. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada, the Aranmula Snake Boat Race, the Payippad near Harippad, the Thiruvandoor, Neerettupuram, Karuvatta and Thaikkoottam boat races are all held in different parts of Alleppey. Snake boat races are the most famous in Alleppey. The boat race festival is inaugurated with a splendid profession accompanied by singing and is a feast to the eyes.
What to do in Alleppey
- Go on a backwater cruise. Choose from many interesting routes and each one is more enchanting than the other.
- Take an excursion to nearby historical sites and scenic spots like Pathiramanal, supposed to have the largest lake in Asia.
- Visit any of the pilgrimage centers in the area also popular for effective Ayurvedic treatments.
- Visit Alleppey during the boat festival and watch this spectacular event unfold before your eyes.
How to reach
The nearest airport is at Cochin. Tourists can connect to Cochin and Trivandrum by train (Alleppey Railway Station) as well as road. Alleppey is also linked by boat service through the backwaters to Quilon, Changanassery, Kottayam, Cochin, Kumarakom, Kovalam and Chengannur.
Alleppey is famous for its coir products and carpets, in addition to pepper, coconut oil, areca nut, cardamom and sugar.