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District of Kerala :: Alleppey

How to get there

Air: The nearest airport is Cochin, 64 km to the north; Trivandrum International Airport is 159 km to the south.

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.

Road: Alleppey is on the NH 47 highway and is connected to all-important towns in south India by public state transport buses.

Houseboat Boat / Motorboat: Alleppey is linked by boat services through the backwaters to Quilon and  Changanassery,   Kottayam, Cochin, Kumarakom, Kavalam and Chengannur, Kuttanad places.

The Venice of East,Kerala; One of the beautiful backwater houseboats places in the world. To label Alappuzha (The Malayalam name for Alleppey) The 'Venice of the East' might today appear a far-etched clichés of travelogue writers, but this quaint little town is certainly the Venice of the East, Alleppey (Alappuzha). Nowhere else will you find, spread out across the center of town, a unique crisscrossing network of canals & lagoons on which thatch covered country boats punt (houseboats) along leisurely. The proximity of lakes adds to the Venetian ambience.

But when Raja Kesavadasan, the Dewan of Travancore (king), founded the town in 1762, there was just one canal through the strip of sand between the backwaters and the sea. This soon grew into a bustling waterway, with shops, factories and commercial establishments springing up on either bank of the canal. This attracted merchants from other parts of the country from Europe, America and some other business countries.
By the mid-19th Century, the sea had receded a mile, offering more land along the sand strip. Trading vessels soon began to call on Alleppey (Alappuzha). In 1859 the first organized coir factory & products was started here and began producing matting from coir yarn on a loom developed by an English sea captain. Soon other British company -owned weaving establishments followed.

Meanwhile, in 1816, the Church Missionary Society set up its local headquarters in Alleppey(Alappuzha).  (Christ society of India ) and three years later the first Anglican Church was built. In 1851 Alleppey had the honor of housing the first post office in the erstwhile Travancore State (kerala). The commercial importance of Alleppey (Alappuzha) began to decline after the late 1920s with the development of Cochin (queen of Arabia) into a major port.

However, today Alleppey(Alappuzha) is still a major center for trade in coir products, copra (dried coconut meat) and coconut oil for cooking and Ayurvedic products. Thanks to its long beach coast, Alleppey(Alappuzha). is also a center for fishing and marine products processing activities, have a good beach and looking to development for Tourist Ships.

Govt is taking steps for promoting tourism in Alleppey(Alappuzha).

For tourists Alleppey(Alappuzha) is the pivotal point for trips into Kerala's famed backwaters (houseboats & motor boats) and the state's lush rice bowl, Kuttanad, Between Quilon to the south and Kottayam to the east lie some of the most entrancing scenery of palm-lined banks, islands, quiet water-bound villages and little boats taking the local people to and fro-everything framed in green.

Apart from the boat trips through the town's many canals and lakes, and the Mullackal Bhagavathi Temple in the heart of town, Alleppey(Alappuzha) offers glimpses of the coir manufacturing process-from the coconut husk to the final rope / coir yarn stage. There are also several shops selling coir matting and carpets, often at prices cheaper than elsewhere. 

The long sandy beach at Alleppey (Alappuzha) has a lighthouse and a pier jutting out into the sea, once active in the unloading of goods from cargo ships calling at Alleppey(Alappuzha). Children can romp in the Vijay Beach Park.

Kerala Snake boat race
The not-to-be-missed spectacle in Alleppey(Alappuzha) is, of course, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race which began in 1952 on the occasion of the visit of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to Alleppey(Alappuzha), It is now a major event held on the second Saturday of every August and features the gigantic snake-boats of Kerala, the chundans, once the battleships of the Malayalee kings of yore.

Today the Boat Race has grown into Alleppey (Alappuzha) single most important tourist event, with each boat being sponsored by a different village. Competition is severe as the boats, with over 120 rowers in each, race to the finish to the accompaniment of rousing music. World famous snake boat race is in Alleppey (Alappuzha) is on second Saturday of August on every year.

Houseboats construction
Now Alleppey (Alappuzha) is becoming famous for houseboat building, more than 50 houseboats are building per year. One houseboats cost Rs.25,00,000/-(euro) Houseboats are moving into the venbanad lake with the tourist, it can go to kottayam, cochin, kumarakom, changanassery, thanner mukkam, muhamma, kollam (quilon), kayamkulam etc….

Grant Jepson, 40, British Nationalist, Marine engineer, he had an experience in 25 years in boat building in Europe: Holland , England, Indonesia etc.... he came as a tourist in kerala on 2002 and traveled in a houseboat at Alleppey (Alappuzha),He taken a key Interested to build a houseboat in Alleppey (Alappuzha),  but it is building a Eco friendly, Green Palm and unique houseboat, 100% pollution free. The Govt. of India is supporting visa for his new venture....

A traveler can use Alleppey (Alappuzha) as a base to make excursions to nearby historical sites and scenic spots. Pathiramanal, (near kumarakom) a beautiful little island in the Vembanad Lake; it is the largest lake in the Asia, which can be reached only by boat, is set to be developed as a major tourist spot. The Sri Krishna temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 km from Alleppey (Alappuzha), is among kerala's more famous ones, boating through of the typical temple architectural style of the state. It is equally famed for its palpayasam, a sweet milk porridge offered to the diet. 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 a high social content.

Close to Ambalapuzha, the village of Karumadi is famous for its Karumadi Kuttanm a black granite figure of Budha, said to belong to the 9th or 10th Century. During his visit to Kerala in 1965, the Dalai Lama worshipped at this shrine.

Arthinkal, from Alleppey (Alappuzha) 25km, known for the St. Andrews Church established by Portuguese missionaries in 1951, is near Sherthallai, north of Alleppey (Alappuzha). The feast of St. Sebastian is held here every January.
On the Pamba river is Chambakulam, (Rajeev ghandi snake boat race)  the site for the famous boat regatta held during August/September that has traditionally involved the participation of all communities.

The 18th Century Krishnapuram Palace(45 km from Alleppey( Alappuzha), built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double-storied structure, which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormer windows, and narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala, called the Gajendra  Mokshm. It measures 14 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, painting and bronzes. Situated 45 in from Alleppey (Alappuzha) on the way to Quilon Krishnapuram are easily accessible by bus from Alleppey.

A short distance from Alleppey (Alappuzha) is Punnapra, a village that has gone down in history as the scene of a battle between the Communists group and the Travancore State Police in the Punnapra - Vayalar Communist Uprising of 1946.

Mannarasala, 32 km from Alleppey (Alappuzha), is a very important center of serpent worship in Kerala, Built in a cool grove of trees and shrubs, this temple is said to contain 30,000 images of snake-goods, which line the path to the temple.

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