Visit Alleppey: 5 Top-Rated Attractions in Alleppey (2021)
There is a reason why Kerala is known as God’s Own Country. This southern state of India is located on the Malabar Coast and is home to one of the biggest networks of brackish lagoons known as backwaters. Today, Kerala has become synonymous with backwaters, rejuvenating Ayurvedic massages, sprawling tea plantations, pretty hill stations, sprawling wildlife sanctuaries, golden sandy palm-fringed beaches, and colorful traditions and dance forms. Kerala has everything to offer for tourists of all ages. The biggest draw to Kerala remains the state’s network of interconnected backwaters, and visitors from all over the country come to the state to get an experience of staying in a houseboat and exploring the serene backwaters of Kerala.
If you want to get a complete experience of the backwaters of Kerala, you must visit the famed town of Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha.
Where is Alleppey Located?
Alappuzha, which was formerly and commonly known as Alleppey, is located 46 kilometers from Kottayam, 28 kilometers from Changanacherry, 55 kilometers from Kochi, and 155 kilometers from Trivandrum. The closest hill station to Alleppey is Munnar, located around 170 kilometers from Alleppey.
Alleppey city is full of beautiful canals, beaches, lagoons, and of course, the backwaters. The Viceroy of India at the start of the 20th century, George Curzon, named Alleppey as the Venice of the East. Since then, this town has been fondly referred to as the Venetian Capital of Kerala.
What is Alleppey Famous For?
It won’t be wrong to say that Alleppey is one of the most important tourist destinations in India. The backwaters of Alleppey have been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kerala, attracting millions of not only domestic but also international tourists to the district.
Alleppey is also famous for being the access point for the yearly Nehru Trophy Boat Race that is held on the Punnamada Lake near Alleppey. The boat race is held on the second Saturday of August each year. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is known for being the most competitive and famous boat race in India.
The Mullackal Chirap is another reason why Alleppey is famous. This is a major temple festival of Alleppey, held for ten days every year towards the end of December.
If any of these interests you, you should think about planning your trip to coincide with these events to get to experience life in Alleppey first hand.
Now let us see what all exciting attractions are there in Alleppey to visit.
Visit Alleppey: 5 Top-Rated Attractions in Alleppey
Alleppey is famous for the many houseboat cruises that take you through the beautiful brackish backwaters, giving you an up-close look at the lush green paddy fields, stunning and unique avifauna of this region, choir making activities, and you will also get a first-hand look at the life of the locals in Alleppey.
As you move towards the shores of the town, there is the Alleppey Beach located along the Arabian Sea. This is just one of the many beautiful beaches you will find along the Malabar Coast. This beach is very special and a big draw for history buffs because of the 137-year old pier attached to the beach.
Here are some of the main places to visit when you are in the coastal town of Alleppey.
1. Houseboat Cruise in Alleppey
The biggest draw of Alleppey is the houseboats, due to which the town is famously known as the Venice of the East. Taking a cruise on houseboats in Alleppey should be the number one thing to do so that you can enjoy the natural and mesmerizing beauty of this pretty little town.
The crisscrossing network of canals runs throughout the city. This allows you to easily access and explore the entire town while relaxing on your houseboat. There are many types of houseboats in Alleppey – from the budget-friendly ones to the luxury ones, you can decide to choose from a wide variety of these 120 feet long abodes that glide along the serene backwaters.Image Source
The houseboats are typically operated by at least three people, including an oarsman, a guide, and a cook. Your in-house cook will cook delicious traditional meals that include selecting from the fresh catch of the day. The guide will take you through and explain all the important landmarks you pass through.
What are the different houseboat packages that are available?
The boarding point for these houseboat cruises is usually the Punnamada Lake, which is the venue of the Nehru Boat Race. The cost of renting a houseboat varies depending on the type of houseboat you are looking for. There are commonly two types of packages for houseboat cruises available. These include a 1 night and 2 days package and the 2 nights and 3 days package.
If you choose the 1 night/2 days package, you will be part of a round trip that circles Alleppey. It will take you from Punnamada Lake to SNDP Canal, Kuppapuram, Vilakkumaram Thodu, and then finally end at the jetty. Meanwhile, the 2 nights/3 days package will not only take you around Alleppey but also explore the beautiful nearby towns of Kottayam and Kumarakom. You can also select customized special tours that most cruise operators willing arrange for you, and you can cover all the areas of your interest and choice.
One of the best places to visit for the houseboat cruise is the Kuttanad backwaters in Alleppey. This spectacular lagoon is surrounded by plenty of natural beauty. Lakes, canals, rivers, majestic mountains, and just an ethereal landscape all around. Floating down the peaceful backwaters here on your houseboat will prove to be an incredible and unforgettable experience. This particular area is also known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Kerala’ as there are stunning rice plantations all around.
You can choose from houseboats having one-bedroom suites, two-bedroom suites, and even three-bedroom suites. The rates of the houseboats, of course, vary according to the type of houseboat you choose.
When is the best time to take the houseboat cruise?
It is important to know that the houseboat cruises are usually closed during the monsoon season. The best time to take the houseboat cruise is during the winter months when the average temperature remains between 17 to 32 degrees Celsius. You can opt to take a cruise during the summers also when the tourist crowds are usually scarce, and you can enjoy the backwaters without the usual rush.
2. Alappuzha Beach
Also known as the Alleppey Beach, this is one of the most famous beaches in Alleppey. Renowned for its natural beauty and the 137-year o0ld pier that stretches into the sea, the Alappuzha Beach is a historical landmark of Alleppey.
The Alleppey Beach hosts many festivals around the year, including the famous sand art festival and the Alappuzha Beach Festival.
What Is There To See And Do At The Alappuzha Beach?
There are many exciting activities and attractions that are located near to the Alappuzha Beach. One of the biggest draws here are the water sports offered here. You can choose between parasailing, surfing, motorboat riding, and boat races. The water sports here are conducted in the emerald backwaters that give you yet another look at the stunning terrain of Alleppey.
If you want a rejuvenating experience at the Alappuzha Beach, you can decide to indulge in some yoga and meditation. There are many Ayurvedic and yoga centers located near the beach, with sessions being held early in the morning to allow you to witness the glorious sunrise here.
Located just a short distance of 450 meters from the main Alappuzha Beach is Vijaya Park, which is an amusement park specially designed for children. The park is home to all types of fun rides that will keep your little ones occupied for hours. The park also has boating, cycling, and toy train facilities. The Vijaya Park is open from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm every day, with changes being Rsa. 10 for a 10-minute ride.
When you are visiting the Alappuzha Beach, be sure to check out the Alappuzha Lighthouse as well, which is located just a stone’s throw from the beach. This is the oldest lighthouse in Kerala. It was built in 1862 under the role of Maharaja Rama Varma of Travancore. Alleppey used to be one of the busiest ports of Kerala and was an important trading center. Even today, the lighthouse is still standing and has become an important tourist attraction. Not many visitors are aware that the lighthouse is still in use and is a crewed station.
The Alappuzha Beach is also the point where the Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Alappuzha Beach?
The best time to visit the Alappuzha Beach is during the months of October to February when the weather is pleasant and the humidity remains low. There is also little to almost no rainfall during this time, making it a great time to visit the beach.
3. Vembanad Lake
The famous Vembanad Lake is a beautiful lagoon that is a significant tourist attraction in Alleppey. This naturally beautiful and expansive lake cum lagoon is the longest lake in India and also the largest lake in Kerala.
The interesting thing about the Vembanad Lake is that it is known by several names in the different regions of Kerala.
There are many things to do at Vembanad Lake, including bird watching, taking a boat ride through the serene lagoons, and stay in one of the houseboats to explore the waters of the lake.
4. Krishnapuram Palace
The Krishnapuram Palace is located 47 kilometers from Alleppey in Kayamkulam. This beautiful palace and museum were built during the rule of Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma, a king of the Travancore Empire. The palace is known for its unique mural paintings and breathtaking architecture.
The Krishnapuram Palace has been constructed in the traditional architectural style of Kerala. It has a gabled roof with narrow corridors and dormer windows. Located close to the palace is the Krishnaswamy Temple at Krishnapuram.
One of the major attractions of this palace is that it is home to one of the biggest mural paintings in of Kerala, called the ‘Gajendra Moksha.’ This spectacular mural painting covers an impressive area of 53 square feet and is historically very important. The palace and museum are also to the double-edged sword known as Kayamkulam Vaal.
The Archaeological Department of Kerala currently manages the Krishnapuram Palace and Museum.
5. Nehru Trophy Boat Race
One of the most exciting times to visit Alleppey is when the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held here in a lake. This yearly competitive boating event is held on the second Saturday of every August during the Onam festival. The most popular event of the Onam festival is this boating race. This thrilling event sees many categories of boats participate, including Churulan Vallam, Iruttukuthy Vallam, Veppu Vallam, Vadakkanody Vallam, Odi Vallam, and the Kochu Vallam.
These 100-120 feet long canoe-like traditional boats navigate the waters by making serpentine movements, thereby the name of the event.,
The winners of the boat get a trophy that is in the form of a silver snake boat placed on a wooden pedestal.
There are many other places that one must check out when visiting Alleppey. These include:
- St. Mary’s Forane Church
- St. Andrew’s Basilica Arthunkal
- St. Andrew’s Forane Church
- Edathua Church
- Ambalapuzha Temple
- Mannarasala Temple
- Mullakal Bhagvathy Temple
- Andhakaranazhi Beach
- Marari Beach
- Pandavan Rock
There is a wide diversity in the places to visit in this pretty coastal town. You will be rewarded with the breathtaking sight of the sea, the crisscrossing inlets of backwaters, and the bountiful wildlife. From the golden beaches to spiritual churches and temples, Alleppey has something for everybody and for all ages. So book your trip to Alleppey – the Venice of the East today, preferably around the time of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race that takes place in the second week of August.