The most important tourist attraction in Alleppey is the leisurely boatcruise along the stretch of backwaters fringed by coconut palms. Alleppey, one of the exotic sites of backwater tourism in the state of Kerala is better known as the "Venice of the East" for its labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it.
One of the most popular cruise routes are from Alleppey south to Kollam (Quilon) for about 8 hours including stops for lunch, chai (tea), a temple visit and a kathakali (dance drama) apart from enjoying the most entrancing scenery of palm-lined banks, quiet water-bound villages, Chinese fishing nets, prawn farming and coir manufacture.
Places to See in Alleppey
Alleppey Beach or Alappuzha Beach has a long stretch of sandy beach with a lighthouse and a pier jutting out into the sea, a reminder of its age-old maritime importance.
Mullakkal Bhagavathy Temple
Mullakkal Bhagavathy Temple in the heart of town dedicated to Goddess Rajarajeshwari gives the feel of a typical Kerala Temple.
It is like a pilgrimage destination for the followers of Nagaraja or the serpent god. The Mannarasala Temple has over 30,000 images of snakes and special procession and offerings are made to celebrate Mannarsala Aayilyam, the main festival of this temple.
Alappuzha CSI Christ Church
Built in 1818 by the first Church Missionary Society, Allappuzha CSI Church was the first church established in Travancore.
Other Attractions of Alleppey
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
The not-to-be-missed spectacle in Alleppey 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. It is now a major event held in August on Punnamada Lake and features the gigantic snake-boats of Kerala, the chundans, once the battleships of the Malayalee kings of ancient times. Today the boat race has grown into Alleppey's single most important tourist event, with each boat being sponsored by a different village. Competition is severe as the boats, with over 100 rowers in each, race to the finish to the accompaniment of rousing music.
Alleppey offers glimpses of the coir manufacturing process from the coconut husk to the final rope or coir yarn stage. There are also several shops selling coir matting and carpets.
Tourist Destinations Near Alleppey
A tourist can make excursions from Alleppey to nearby historic places and scenic spots. Pathiramanal, a beautiful little island in the Vembanad Lake, which can be reached only by boat, is set to be developed as a major tourist spot.
Arthinkal, known for the St. Andrews Church established by Portuguese missionaries in 1951, is near Sherthallai, 22 km north of Alleppey. The feast of St. Sebastian is held here every January. On the Pamba river is Chambakulam, the site for the famous boat regatta held during August/September, which has traditionally involved the participation of all communities.
The 18th Century Krishnapuram Palace, built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala, called the Gajendra Moksham. A short distance from Alleppey, is Punnapra, a village which has gone down in history as the scene of a battle between the Communists and the Travancore State Police in the Punnapra-Vayalar Communist Uprising of 1946.
Last Updated on : 13/09/2013