Here nature has spent up on the land her richest bounties. Alleppey, the Venice of the East.

Lord Curzon, Viceroy of Indian Empire

Alappuzha is the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways, over a thousand houseboats and an important coir industry. Head out towards the backwaters and Alleppey becomes graceful and greenery-fringed, disappearing into a watery world of villages, punted canoes, toddy shops and, of course, houseboats.

Aptly named as ‘Venice of the East’ due to its numerous backwater lakes and lagoons, Alleppey is one of the must-visit cities in India. An emerald-green carpet adorns this district, in the form of vast paddy fields. A golden spread will replace this decor during the harvest season. Alleppey is a city in which Mother Nature has gone all out and ornamented herself with serene lakes, lazy rivers and swaying palm trees. It is truly a paradise on Earth, with charming native and exotic traditions.

History

Christianity was first introduced to India by St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, who first landed near Alleppey, in the 1st century. The district flourished under the rule of the Cheras, who were called ‘Kuttuvans’, so named after their seat in ‘Kuttanad’ which is a part of the district of Alleppey. The district saw much progress during the rule of the British, by the establishment of the first post office and telegraph office in Travancore. Alleppey has also played a major role in the freedom struggle of India. A separate administration for the city was set up well after India’s independence and after the formation of the state of Kerala, in the year 1957.

Culture

Alleppey has enjoyed a monopoly in coir and related industries, since ancient times. Many beautiful hand-crafted carvings made out of coconut husks can be found here. Mohiniyattam, Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi are various dance forms, practised in this city. Tourists can enjoy mesmerizing performances by experienced artists. Ancient dance forms like Thiruvathirakali and Kathakali are also performed here. The locals gather together to celebrate the festival of Mullakkal Chirapu. The famous snake-boat race, Nehru Trophy Vallam Kali, is usually conducted in August and is a fair-cum-exhibition as well. The local cuisine includes delicious seafood, which is world-famous.

 

Interesting Facts

  • Alleppey was rated the cleanest town in India by the Center for Science and Environment in 2016.

  • Vembanad Lake, Kerala's largest, reaches all the way north to Kochi.

  • The name Alappuzha means the land located in between the sea and the stream of rivers flowing into it.

  • The Kuttanad region of Alleppey is known as the rice bowl of Kerala. This is one of the few places in the world where farming is done in places below the sea level.

  • The backwaters and the abundance of wetlands in Alleppey make it a home to exotic migratory bird species.

Climate

Due to its proximity to the ocean it is more temperate than central India. The temperature rarely goes above 35 degrees Celsius and never below 20 degrees. The best time to visit is from September to March. 

Best Time
  • September - March

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