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India >> South >> Kerala >> Alappuzha
Alappuzha Kerala, South
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is a picturesque town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. This town is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and the lighthouse built on its shore is the first of its kind along the Arabian coast.

 

Washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea to its west, Alleppey has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. It has a long and unbroken sea coast with the presence of a port and a pier over 137 years old, extending into the sea unfolding its very own saga.

 

Alappuzha- also known as the 'Venice of the East', for its innumerable canals that connect it to Kerala's famous snaking backwaters, its crisscross roads and numerous bridges across them creates a magical environment. Today, it is famous for its water carnivals- the gigantic snake boat and canoe races, palm fringed long sandy beaches, backwater holidays, marine products and coir industry.

 

The large network of canals and shores provides Alleppey its lifeline; offering sublime views of the bustling countryside, the swaying coconut palms and paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets and toddy tappers at work. Endless mirror still lagoons, picture book lakesides, and crisscrossing freshwater rivers has blessed the water locked district to become one of the best Backwater tourism destinations in God's Own Country- Kerala. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot and the amusement facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach.

 

Alappuzha is a class apart with its alluring backwaters and beautiful houseboats, a fascinating destination where people the world over want to holiday.

 

 Orientation

Alappuzha is a landmark between the broad Arabian sea and a net work of rivers flowing into it, connecting Kumarakom and Kochi (Cochin) towards north and Kollam (Quilon) to the South.

 

The serene backwaters of Alleppey are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. The town is also the access point for the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake. The festive season, Mullackal Chirap held for ten colourful days in the month of December is yet another attraction. This temperate backwater country is also home to diverse animal and bird species.

 

An absolute must while at Alappuzha is the delightful experience of a houseboat cruise. The boats sailing the backwaters are in fact modified versions of Kettuvallams of past. The original Kettuvallams or rice barges ferried tons of rice and spices. The Kettuvallam or 'boat with knots' was so named, because the entire boat was held together with just coir knots.

 

The houseboats are well furnished, housing modern amenities and comforts at par with any good hotel. The houseboats may vary in size; have comfortable bedrooms, modern bathrooms, a cozy living room, fully stocked kitchenette and even a sun-deck for angling. Nothing like enjoying leisure-filled days in a houseboat in the picturesque backwaters of Alappuzha!

 

Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Nehru Trophy Boat race a world renowned event is one of the most significant and colourful boat races in Kerala. It is a held annually, on the second Saturday in the month of August at Punnamada Lake, Alappuzha. Boats of various sizes compete in different events in the boat race.

 

The most prestigious and interesting among all the events is the competition of the "Chundan Vallam" or the snake boats. These majestic boats measuring up to 30 to 60 metres (over 100ft) in length with a raised prow are quite impressive and can accommodate around 100 rowers, 4 helmsmen and 25 cheer leaders. During the race these boats are beautifully decorated with colourful trimmings and umbrellas. The huge boats racing through the blue backwaters is a spectacular sight. The venue is 5 km from town's railway station and a walkable distance from its bus stand.

 

This race became a regular annual event after the visit of India's 1st Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952 to Alappuzha. He was so impressed with the impromptu race conducted on his behalf that he donated a Silver Trophy, which is a replica of a snake boat placed on a wooden abacus, with the words "To the winner of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore - Cochin" inscribed on it. The next year onwards the race came to be conducted on a regular basis in commemoration of his visit. Champakulam, Kavalam, Karichal, Jawahar Thayangari, Kallooparamban, Pacha, Pulincunnu, Nedubhagam, Cheruthana, Kandangari and Paippad are the chief competitors for the trophy.

 

 Getting there

Location and Distance

54 km south of Kochi town.

 Fast Facts
Name Alappuzha Best Time To Visit Septembet to March
Location Kerala   South   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Coastal Town
Temperature Summar   30-36C      Winter   16-20C      Rainy   22-26
 Map
 
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