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Alleppey

Called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake...

Backwaters > India

Alleppey > Kerala > India

 
 

Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Related to the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world, this backwater country is also home to diverse range of animals and birds. It has always been honoured a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala for its proximity to the sea. Alleppey has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's premier supplier of coir.

Today, Alleppey has emerged as a backwater tourist ventre, beckoning thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alleppey is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. Every year, during August-September, Alleppey wakes up to the pulsating Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race, a water sport unique to Kerala.

Alappuzha also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha district of Kerala state of southern India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha district. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in Antiquity and in the middle ages, as well as with other parts of India. Alappuzha has a lighthouse, which is a major tourist attraction.

Best Time to Visit Alleppey:

August to September and February to March

Alleppey Travel Attractions:

Alappuzha Lighthouse, Krishnapuram Palace, Pathiramanal Island, Ambalappuzha, Karumadi, Punnapra, Kuttanad, Alappuzha Beach, Vijaya Beach Park, Sea View Park, Chavara Bhavan, Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Edathua Church, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Arthunkal

Alleppey Travel Attractions:

Alappuzha Lighthouse: Located 4km from Alappuzha town, near the beach is one of the oldest light houses in Kerala. Completed on March 28, 1862 under the supervision of an European engineer Captain Hugh Crawfords, the light house sours to a height of 28 meters and its light has a range of 25 nautical miles. Initially the light house worked using old techniques but now new equipments have been installed. The first light-source was a double -wick coconut oil lamp supplied by Chance Bros. Birmingham in 1862. Then it was replaced by a 500 mm drum optic and DA gas flasher of AGA make in 1952 and after that an electric revolving optic system supplied by BBT of Paris was fixed in 1960. In 1998, a separate emergency light in 300 mm lantern was used which was again replaced by 230V 150W Metal halide lamp in 1999.

Krishnapuram Palace: The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormar windows, narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. It measures14 feet by 11 feet and is at the western end of the ground floor, a walking distance from the Palace Pool. Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. Situated 47 kms from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, Krishnapuram is easily accessible by bus from either town.

Pathiramanal Island: A small island of Alleppey (Alappuzha) is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds, which come from different parts of the world. The island is accessible only by a boat. This 10-acre island on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to raise from below, thus creating the enchanting island, Pathiramanal (sands of midnight).

Ambalappuzha: The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 kms from Alleppey is among Kerala's more famous ones boasting of the typical temple architectural style of the state. It is equally famed for its palpayasam - a sweet milk porridge offered to the diety. The temple's main festival occurs in March/April. It was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his first Ottan Thullal, a solo dance performance with high social content.

Karumadi: Close to Ambalapuzha, the village of Karumadi is famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black granite figure of Budha said to belong to the 9th or 10th century.

Punnapra: A short distance from Alappuzha is Punnapra, a village which has gone down in history as the scene of a bitter and heroic fighting between the communists and Travancore state police in the Punnapra Vayalar Communist uprising of 1946.These are the memorial of the martyrs located in Alappuzha near Kalarcode.

Kuttanad: Kuttanad, is called the rice bowl of Kerala because of its wealth of paddy crops. It lies 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 perhaps the only region in the worked where farming is done 1.5 to 2 ms. below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region.

Alappuzha Beach: This 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 fascination to visitors.

Vijaya Beach Park: Picnic spot with children's park & boating facilities (Open 15.00-20.00 hrs). Entrance fee Rs. 2 per person; Free entrance for children below 5 years. Boating charge: Rs.10 for 10 minutes. Other facilities for children: Toy train, bicycles.

Sea View Park: The park offers boating facilities and a swimming pool. Boat rentals for 10 minutes: Round boat (4 seater): Rs. 10. Pedalboat (2 seater): Rs. 15. Pedalboat (4 seater): Rs. 25. Video permit Rs. 15, Camera permit Rs. 100 respectively.

Chavara Bhavan: Chavara Bhavan (6 kms. from Alappuzha, accessible only by boat) 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.

Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple: 15 kms. south of Alappuzha, built in the typical Kerala architectural style, this temple is famous all over India for the Palapayasam, the daily offering of deliciously sweet milk porridge. It is also in this temple that Palipana is performed by Velans (sorceres) once every twelve years. Paintings of the Dasavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are on display on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam.

Edathua Church: Situated 24 kms. away from Alappuzha, on the Alappuzha - Thiruvalla Road. 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, 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.

Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple: 32 kms. south of Alappuzha situated near Harippad, this is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a 'Brahman' 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.

Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple: The Kettukazhcha festival at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Processions of all decorated structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant.

Arthunkal: 22 kms. north of Alappuzha, the St. Sebastian's Church is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual festival - Arthunkal Perunnal - the feast of the patron saint.

How to reach Alleppey:

By Road
Alleppey is on the NH 47 highway and is connected to all-important towns in south India by public state transport buses. Taxis or cabs are a convenient way of commuting in Alleppey, especially if you are looking to go further to Munnar or Thekkady/Kumily/Periyar.

By Air
The Nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, about 85 km from Alleppey town. If you are unable to get to Kochi, you can also take a flight to Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandurum), it will just make your drive up to Alleppey a bit longer, an hour to be exact.

By Rail
Alleppey has recently been linked to Cochin by rail. The Alleppey Railway Station is 5 km from the central bus stand and the boat jetty. Cities like Cochin, Chennai, Howrah, Bangalore and Bokaro are well connected to Alleppey by road and train.

Where to stay in Alleppey:

Indigenous Houseboats, Muthoot River Escapes, Rainbow Cruises, PWD Rest House, KTDC Motel Aaram, Sona Tourist Home, Teds Home Stay, Panchavadi Lodge, Mutteal Holiday Inn, Enkeys Tourist Home, Ayur Cruise

 

Alappuzha Lighthouse, Krishnapuram Palace, Pathiramanal Island, Ambalappuzha, Karumadi, Punnapra, Kuttanad, Alappuzha Beach, Vijaya Beach Park, Sea View Park, Chavara Bhavan, Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Edathua Church, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Arthunkal, Kerala