Things to do in Alleppey: Exploring the 'Venice of the East'


Top things to do in Alleppey

Endearingly known as the 'Venice of the East', Alleppey is a scenic coastal town in Kerala. Aside from a picturesque setting and ultra beautiful landscape, there are a umpteen exciting activities and things to do in Alleppey. Among the most essential ones are cruising in the backwaters, canoeing, visiting the beaches, exploring the magnificent churches and the like. On the offbeat side, you can visit the verdant green island of Pathiramanal, or go on a boat safri at the bird sanctuary or explore the dainty fishing villages. All in all, there is no dearth of activities and things to do in Alleppey. Given below is an elaborate list of exciting things to do in Alleppey. Have a look!

Here is the list of 28 Things to do in Alleppey: Exploring the 'Venice of the East'

1. Enjoy a Cruise on the Houseboats

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Popularly known as the Venice of the east, Alleppey or Allapuzha is famous for its serene backwaters and their exceptionally scenic setting. Cruising on houseboats in Alleppey is the latest and probably the best addition to the list of ways you can enjoy the mesmerizing natural beauty of this quaint little town. This is one of the most exciting things to do in Alleppey. Alleppey is gifted with a unique crisscrossing network of canals that runs throughout the town which allows you to access and explore the entire area while you're relaxing on your houseboat.

2. Enjoy a Boat Ride in the Ethereal Backwaters

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Perhaps the most sought after destination in God's Own Country for a peaceful two to three days trip, Alleppey is the heaven for the nature lovers with the soul-soothing greenery and the soft waves of the backwaters. The experience is almost too good to be true for those who like to take a small, silent trip down the path lesser taken. Though that is not true for the backwaters, it is still quiet and peaceful once you hire your own boat and get started along the flow of the stream. The main attraction of the Alleppey backwaters is the overnight journey in the famous Kerala houseboats. Riding across the backwaters is one of the most exciting things to do in Alleppey.

3. Witness a Mesmerizing Sunset at Alappuzha Beach

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The Alappuzha beach, also known as the Alleppey Beach is famous for local getaways due to its blissful surroundings. It is known for its intrinsic beauty and a 150 years old pier which stretches into the sea. Alappuzha Beach is the venue for a number of fun-filled and thrilling activities ranging from adventure sports to quaint beach getaways. Relaxing under the palm groves and picnicking beside the beach are amazing options available to those visiting the beach. One of the other popular activities at the beach is watching the mesmerizing sunset and sunrise views which is also one of the top things to do in Alleppey.

4. Taste the Authentic Drink Toddy

Alleppey's cuisine has a number of must haves. Your taste buds haven't experienced Allepey if you haven't tried the Ghee Roast Dosa and Malayalee Parotha . While Appams and Idlis form the essentials, you can also try "Toddy" which is a locally fermented alcohol beverage made from palm tree and coconut palms. Rice wine can be also tried in Alleppey.

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5. Savour the Sumptuous Local Cuisine

One of the most essential things to do in Alleppey is trying the local cuisine. Apart from the very famous Puttu Kadala, Appam, Vada, curry and other traditional Kerala food; you can also try the homemade fish and seafood. All of these dishes have a very strong coconut flavour.

6. Experience a Boat Safari at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

An ideal place for bird lovers, this bird sanctuary spreads over an expanse of 14 acres. It serves as a home to several rare species of homing and migratory birds. Also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, most commonly sighted birds here are kingfisher, paradise fly-catchers and egrets. Boat safaris are a common way to traverse the sanctuary. Taking a safari here is one of the best things to do in Alleppey.

7. Offer Prayers at Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

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Located in the district of Ambalappuzha, Alappuzha in the state of Kerala in South India, Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Built in the traditional Kerala style architectural pattern, the temple is famous for its delicious rice pudding prepared in sweet milk, popularly known as Pal Payassam. The main deity presiding the temple called Parthasarathi (another name for Lord Krishna) is carved out of black granite stone and carries the sacred conch (shankh) in the left hand and a whip in the right. Visiting the temple is one of the most popular things to do in Alleppey, not just for the pilgrims but also for the tourists.

8. Marvel at the Architecture of St. Andrew's Basilica Arthunkal

St. Andrew’s Basilica at Arthunkal in the district of Alappuzha, is considered to be the largest shrine of Saint Sebastian in all of the world. Originally constructed by the Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century, the church was rebuilt in 1584 under the priest Jacomo Fenicio who was believed to possess powers to heal body and mind; and was popularly known as ‘Arthunkal Veluthachan’ translating to ‘fair-skinned father’. Eight years after the vicar died, the shrine was renovated to face the West towards the silken white sands of the Arabian Sea. Visiting the church is one of the top things to do in Alleppey.

9. Shop for Local Trinkets at City Markets

One of the most interesting things to do in Alleppey is to shop for souvenirs and knick- knacks from the local markets and street side stalls. Some of the most common things to shop are authentic spices, handicrafts, coir products, South Indian jewellery, textiles, carpets and trinkets. The city also have some malls where you can shop the big brands.

10. Visit the Stunning Vembanad Lake

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One of the prime things to do in Alleppey is visiting the Vembanad Lake which is a freshwater lagoon. Vembanad Lake is known worldwide for its tranquil backwaters amidst mesmerising natural surroundings. One may go boating in the beautiful lagoon and explore the islands lined with lush green coconut trees. A houseboat stay is another way to explore the backwaters. The Ramsar Convention has defined the Lake as a Wetland of International Importance. The lake proves to be essential for the locals that live by the shore as their livelihood depends on the lake waters.

11. Natural Retreat at Pathiramanal

Replete with pristine environs in the idyllic setting, Pathiramanal is a tiny island in the backwaters of Kerala near Alappuzha. ‘Pathiramanal’ meaning ‘sands of night’ boasts of verdant wilderness, serene lakeside and a picturesque landscape. Sprawling over 10 acres of land, the islet is the ideal spot for bird watching expeditions as it is home to a large number of rare and endangered species. This haven of natural beauty is also believed to nurture plants which have medicinal qualities. Be sure to include visiting here in your top things to do in Alleppey.

12. Visit the Shrine of Karumadikkuttan

Situated in the village of Karumadi, around 3 kms away from Alappuzha in Kerala, is the shrine of Karumadikkuttan; the name literally translating to the ‘boy from Karumadi’. Set on the banks of Punnamada lake in the backwaters, the temple majorly houses a three feet high, black granite statue of Buddha and is a venerated religious site among the Buddhists. The statue dates back to the 10th century AD and is believed to have been abandoned in the nearby stream called ‘Karumadi thodu’ from where it was later recovered in the 1930s, by Sir Robert Bristow, a British official. However, the left half of the statue was damaged and only half of the entire body could be restored.

13. Visit the Paddy Fields of Kuttanad

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Covering a large part of Alappuzha and some of Kottayam district, Kuttanad is the 'rice bowl of Kerala', being home to lush green rice fields spread extensively, divided by dykes. In Kuttanad, the heart of the backwaters of Kerala, you can literally find more greenery than you can ever imagine. Primarily popular among the nature-loving travellers, it is, however, gaining popularity as one of the most scenic attractions of Kerala. Other than being the greenest patch in the region, Kuttanad is also dominated by some water bodies which criss-cross with each other to form a most attractive labyrinth of waterways to explore.

14. Admire the Crystal Relics at Revi Karunakaran Museum

Revi Karunakaran Museum is a memorial museum built by Betty Karunakaran in the memory of her namesake husband and one of the leading coir industrialist and businessman of Kerala- Revi Karunakaran. Built in 2003, the renowned, privately owned museum is a one of the largest of its kind, holding vast Swarovski crystals in jade, ivory, porcelain; sculptures, Belgian glass works, Murano glassworks and Tanjore paintings etc. Initially, the depository was meant for personal use but after the death of Revi Karunakaran in 2003, Betty decided to open visits for public display. Visiting the museum is one of the best things to do in Alleppey, especially for the art connoisseurs.

15. Visit the Coir Making Industries

Coir Weaving is an important industry in Alleppey. You can find numerous small scale industries weaving coir products. Most of their workers are females. The process first requires you to extract the coconut fibre from the coconut husks and then it is further processed and woven into mats and other products. Besides purchasing these products, you can also take a round and visit these small setups running all over town, for a better insight.

16. Relax at the Picturesque Marari Beach

One of the great delights of the Malabar Coast, the Marari Beach is an idyllic destination for a serene beach vacation. Clear turquoise waters that meet the shimmering golden sands with the coconut palm trees in the background make it about as picturesque as anyone could imagine the appearance of the shore. About 11 km from the city of Alleppey, this beach is a hotspot for fishing activity, deriving its name from the local fishing village Mararikulam, and it has a peaceful and laid back ambience perfect for those looking to relax and unwind by the calming waters. Visiting the beach is one of the essential things to do in Alleppey.

17. Visit the Magnificent Krishnapuram Palace

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The Krishnapuram Palace is a palace and museum that is located in Kayamkulam, at a distance of 47 km from Alappuzha (Alleppey) in the Alappuzha district of Kerala in south-western India. One of the famous palaces of Kayamkulam, this magnificent palace was built during the reign of a Travancore King, Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma and is well known for its mural paintings and architecture. In fact, the palace is built in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, with a gabled roof, narrow corridors and dormer windows, and is close to the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram. Visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Alleppey.

18. Visit the Dainty Hamlet of Pallippuram

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One of the islands located in the Vembanad Lake, Pallipuram is a small village known for its white sand. Surrounded by water bodies on three sides, the tiny hamlet is synonymous with utmost serenity and tranquility. If you are a nature lover and are in search of quaint places to spend some time in solitude, this is the place for you. Be sure to include it in your bucket list of things to do in Alleppey.

19. Visit the Serpent God at Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple

Nestled in a forest glade near Haripad, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja temple is dedicated to the snake god- Nagaraja. Nagaraja is considered to be a form of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Flocked by pilgrims and devotees who believe in serpent worshipping, the temple is marked with over thirty thousand paintings and drawings of snakes along the path and over the trees in the surrounding grove. The unique temple is known to have umpteen snakes crawl all over the place at all times- on the steps, in the hedges, on the creepers etc. The majestic shrine is internationally known and is mostly visited by women seeking fertility.

20. Appreciate the Sculptures at Bay Island Driftwood Museum

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Founded by Raji Punnoose, a school-teacher in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay Island Driftwood Museum is famous for its innovative modern art techniques deployed to design various kinds of root and tree-trunk sculptures. Other sculptures made of driftwood comprising of twisted tree trunks, stumps, roots etc. are also on display here. She had developed this collection shaped in the form of birds, animals, reptiles, amphibians and fishes during her teaching days. The interesting and expansive techniques of curation have helped the museum to be listed in the Limca Books of Records.

21. Treat Yourself to Spa & Massages

Alleppey offers a divine experience with all its peaceful ambiance and tranquil atmosphere. In addition to visiting the picture perfect scenery, you can also treat yourself to the very relaxing spa and massage facilities available at almost all resorts and hotels. These massages are surely going to revitalize you with herbal oils, steam baths etc. This activity is one of the best things to do in Alleppey.

22. Seek Blessings at Chettikulangara Devi Temple

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Chettikulangara Devi Temple is the most renowned Hindu temple in Kerala. The followers of the main deity Sree Bhadarakali visit the temple. The Goddess is worshipped in 3 different forms: Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Kali or Durga. It is treated as a religious-cultural icon. It is believed that the temple is 1200 years old. In the morning, the Goddess appears to be Maha Saraswati, Maha Lakshmi in the noon and Sree Durga or Maha Kaali in the evening. Devotees visit the temple so that their wishes come true.

23. Visit the Stunning St. Mary's Forane Church

Champakulam Kalloorkadu Marth Maryam (St. Mary’s) Basilica, popularly known as St. Mary’s Forane Church is an ancient Syro- Malabar church in the Archeparchy of Changanacherry. Constructed in 427 AD, the church is one of the oldest Syrian Catholic churches in all of India. The brilliant architecture, elaborate rock inscriptions and ancient artefacts boast about the Portuguese influence in the traditional designs and are worth a visit. Legend has it that this church was the first to have been founded by St. Thomas, the apostle himself.

24. Find Peace at Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple

Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple, also known as the Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple is situated on the main street of ‘Mullakkal Theruvu’ in Alappuzha district of Kerala. Built in the traditional Kerala style architecture, the temple is accessible to people of all faiths, religions and castes. The charming temple boasts of a quaint little pond and well-maintained premises. Graced with plenty of trees and pretty jasmine plants, the temple presents a picturesque landscape. A big banyan tree shields the ‘linga’ of Lord Shiva for darshana. The temple is thronged by both tourists and devotees alike and visiting here is one of the best things to do in Alleppey.

25. Pay a Visit to the Enchanting Edathua Church

Situated on the banks of river Pampa, Edathua Church is also known as St. George Forane Church is dedicated to St. George. Built in 1810, the church is believed to possess miraculous healing powers. Praying at this holy site has healed many of mental disorders and other medical issues. The charming church is constructed in the style of medieval European brilliant architecture, with majestic arches and gigantic pillars. Considered as a venerated site and an important religious spot among the Christians, the church is also celebrated and visited by Hindus.

26. Visiting the Fishing Harbours at Thottapally Beach

Famed through a celebrated novel and movie “Chemmeen”, Thottappally Beach is a quiet escape in the village. It an active fishing harbour that draws locals every day. The Thottappally Spillway located nearby is also quite an attraction. It helps separate the freshwater of the Thottappally Lake and the saline water at the mouth of the river that drains into the Arabian Sea. Tourists visit often for its conserved picturesque beauty and a soul-soothing experience. Make sure to include visiting this beach in your bucket list of things to do in Alleppey.

27. Fun and Games at Vijay Beach Park

Constructed on the southern side of the Alappuzha backwaters, Vijay Beach Park is a wonderful initiative by the state government. The park is an ideal picnic spot for kids and adults alike. Other than the umpteen swings and slides available for the kids to play on, there are numerous thrilling rides for the grown-ups. While the charming toy train gives the children a ride around the park in minimal waters, the adults can enjoy boating or simply relax in the vibrant environment. It facilitates different types of boating experiences in round boats and pedal boats. Be sure to include visiting here in your top things to do in Alleppey.

28. Sun Soak at the Numerous Beaches

While the backwaters are the main attraction of this district, the beaches of Alleppey are still extremely beautiful, with a wide variety ranging from the virgin, barely visited Marari beach to the crowd pulling Alappuzha beach with its 150 year old pier. Beach hopping is one of the prime activities and things to do in Alleppey.

This post was published by Aqsa Aleem

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