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4.5 /5 248 votes


Best Time: June - March Read More

Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Nearest Airport: Kochi Check Flights

"Backwaters, Beaches and Lagoons - Venice of the East"

Alleppey Tourism

Officially called Alappuzha, Alleppey is a city in the South Indian state of Kerala. Bordering the Laccadive Sea, it is known for its wide network of interlinking, palm-fringed canals called backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts.

Allepey is also popular for its Houseboat cruises that pass through the serene backwaters, where you can catch glimpses of green paddy fields, choir making activities, beautiful avifauna and witness the life of locals in Kerala. Towards the shore lies the Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea, a beautiful example of the gems you’d find along the Malabar Coast. The appeal of this beach is only amplified by the history attached to it, and a walk down the 137-year old pier is a must. Be sure to catch a traditional snake boat race in the months of August and September and try out some toddy (palm wine) at a local toddy shop for adding a touch of authenticity to your travel experience in Allepey.

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Venice of the East

One of the cleanest and the oldest planned towns in India, Alleppey is a picturesque coastal delight, with backwaters, lagoons, canals, beaches festooning the city like nothing else. No wonder why Alleppey was nicknamed 'Venice of the East', ironically by the most notorious Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. Besides this, Alleppey is extremely famous for its snake boat races, which occur in the monsoon season. Alleppey's backwaters are the most popular destination in Kerala. Other places of interest in Alleppey are Alleppey Beach, which offers a breathtaking view of Laccadive Sea, Krishnapuram Palace, St. Andrew's Basilica, and Haripada Sri Subrahmanya Swamy Temple.

History of Alleppey

Alleppey's history can be traced back to as early as the 1st century AD --- when St Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, arrived here and introduced Christianity in South India. The foothold of the Christian religion was further strengthened by the Portuguese and the Dutch forces who arrived many centuries later and established their dominance in this region. The famous St. Andrews Basilica was constructed by the Portuguese in around the 17th century. Alleppey was also under the political influence of Maharaja Marthanda Varma, who is known as the ‘Maker of modern Travancore’. The town played a critical role in the independence struggle of the country, birthing revolts against the feudal British Raj. The famous Communist uprising - Punnapra Vayalur took place here, where more than a 1000 people lost their lives during the struggle period.

Paddy Cultivation in Backwaters

The backwaters of Alleppey is home to Kuttanad, often called The Rice Bowl of Kerala. Traversing through a houseboat in this region offers a beautiful green kaleidoscope of rich paddy fields, interspersed with coconut trees. The paddy is cultivated on huge areas of reclaimed land from the Vembanad lake. The reclamation took place over three phases, starting from 1865 to 1940. These reclaimed areas are called Padsekharam. Initially, the reclaiming was done manually with water wheels, and later with steam engines. The paddy fields are drained by 4 major rivers - Pampa, Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimala. Speculations have claimed that it is the only area in the world where farming is done up to 2 metres below sea level.

Restaurants and Local Food in Alleppey

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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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Reach Alleppey, preferably by noon, and take some rest. In the evening, you can go for a stroll in the famous markets of Alleppey, primarily Mulakkal, where you can get some souvenirs, especially stuff like coir bags, rugs etc. apart from the native spices for yourself.
Day 2 - The next day should be earmarked for a visit to the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race, if the visiting time is in monsoon, or else, go for the glorious Krishnapuram Palace. Thereon, you can take a cruiser or houseboat to the backwaters of Alleppey.
Day 3 - The final day can start with a lovely view of the sea at Alleppey beach. Located about an hour away, is the Kumarakoram Bird Sanctuary, which has an exquisite range of birds.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

A refreshing retreat from the harsh winters. Home to the famous Snake Boat Race.

What's Not So Great?

Congested in winters.

For Whom?

Ideal for tourists of every kind. Suitable for backpackers from places like Trivandrum, Kochi, etc.

How To Reach Alleppey

Cochin International airport will land you right in Kerala. Alternately, you can hop off at Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Chennai or Bangalore. From there, Alleppey is connected by rail and roads.

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Alleppey Reviews

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Ratheesh Ramachandran 1 year ago
Do not get cheated by taxi drivers in Alleppey. The taxi drivers will take you to some of their counterparts to get commission. They will scare you talking about security. You are free to hire any house boats here. All registered. You may also go to District Tourism Promotion Council Office (DTPC) near to Boat Jetty and ask for house boat rates before hiring. Have a pleasant tour :-) Ratheesh
Nayana Nayana 1 year ago
Couponsji India 1 year ago
Alleppey reminds me the beauty of Bengali, the endless row of coconut trees, the pastoral land all shared surprising similarities with Bengal and with our neighboring country Bangladesh. The serene atmosphere, the journey by the house boat, the delicious fish items, at some point, all of these bear trace of similarities with Bengal.
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