Population : 2,65,000
Languages : Malayalam and English
Best time to visit : August to March
STD Code : 0477
THE TOWN IN
Alappuzha (Alleppey) is one of the exotic backwater
sites of India's southern state Kerala. Washed by the
Arabian Sea, interlocked by a number of canals and bridges,
this tiny marketplace is also famous for its Nehru Trophy
boat race held every year. Alappuzha attracts tourists
not only by its natural beauty but also through its
locally made coir products that are of a very superior
Separated out from the former districts of
Kottayam and Quilon, Alappuzha consists of seven taluks
spread over an area of 1414 sq km. It is bounded by
Kochi and Kanayannur taluks on its north; Vaikom, Kottayam,
Changanassery Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks
on its east; Kannathur and Karunagappally taluks on
its south and the exotic Lakshadweep of the Arabian
Sea on its west.
TIME TO TAKE
The climate of this small town is temperate
and humid in general and relatively more pleasant in
the winter season. The temperature ranges from 22 to
35°C in summer and 20 to 32°C during winters.
The best time to visit Alappuzha is during the winter
season. The months from August-September and February-March
are ideal for a visit to this place. The backwater cruises
in the exotic houseboats, which also serve Keralan cuisine
delicacies, are an eternal experience. The Nehru Trophy
boat race is the major attraction of this place, which
is held during Onam festival celebrated in the month
of August. The festivities of the Mullakal temple during
the month of December are highly recommended as some
of India's finest temple musicians perform in the main
hall during this festival. Besides these, the locally
made coir and carpets of coconut fibers are also attracting
tourists these days.
Before the Dutch took over this place, the
Portuguese were the predominant rulers of this place.
Later Maharaja Marthandavarma came into power and he
gave ample importance to the developmental works of
the place. Slowly it became a very busy commercial place
attracting merchants from all over. This resulted in
the establishment of a number of coir factories producing
coir-related goods of quality. The first coir factory
was developed by an English sea captain and soon others
followed suit. The first Anglican Church was built in
1816 by the Christian missionaries whose headquarter
was in Alappuzha.
Some of the most important
sites to visit in and around Alappuzha are
Punnamada Kayal, the
must-visit place of Alappuzha where the annual Nehru
Trophy boat race takes place. During the month of August-September,
the backwaters become crowded with thousands of spectators
and a large number of competitors who come to participate
in the famous Nehru Trophy boat race. The long boats,
designed to resemble snakes, can accommodate 120 people,
making two rows of 60 each. The energy, coordination,
and the feeling of getting ahead in the competition
make this game quite engrossing.
the two-storied building, displays the typical Keralan
style of architecture. The largest mural painting, Gajendra
Miksham, is displayed in a museum here.
where Lord Krishna is worshipped, is also an important
place to visit. Here one can see the typical temple
architecture and culture of Kerala along with the chance
to taste the Keralan delicacy, payasam, which is served
to the visitors during the festival times of March/April.
St. Andrew's Church,
established by the Portuguese missionaries, celebrates
the feast of St. Sebastian in a fun-filled, festive
Situated in the heart
of the town, Mullackal Temple, dedicated to goddess
Rajarajeswari, is also a place worth visiting.
Surrounded by thick-green
forests, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is a holy
place where the king of serpents is worshiped. Number
of devotees from all over India and abroad visit this
place every year.
Bhagavathy Temple is believed to have miraculous powers
and hence visited by number of pilgrims every year.
Temple and Devi Temple are the oldest temples of Alappuzha
and are sites worth visiting, especially during the
time of festivals.
SOME GOOD BARGAINS
Among the locally available products of Alappuzha
are the coir products and carpets. The fine quality,
variety and reasonable price tag make these products
stay high in the demand list of tourists. Besides Alappuzha
is also famous for its pepper, coconut oil, areca nut,
cardamon, sugar, etc. Several markets are available
in Alappuzha, though the market of Kayamkulam is most
Alappuzha is accessible by all the means of
The nearest airport
is Kochi at a distance of 64 km north. The Trivandrum
airport is located 159 km south of Alappuzha.
Cities like Cochin,
Chennai, Howrah, Bangalore and Bokaro are well connected
National Highway 47
goes through Alappuzha connecting it with almost all
the nearby places of South India. A number of buses
ply to Alappuzha.
This exotic place is
also well connected through waterways. It is linked
by boat and ferry services through the scenic backwaters
to Cochin, Kottayam, Kevalam, Chenganassery and Chengannur.
WHERE TO STAY
Alappuzha is well equipped with the various
types of accommodation facilities. Starting from luxurious
hotels to reasonably cheap dormitories, all are available
in this place.
WHERE TO EAT
The restaurants and local eateries provide
all kinds of eatables starting from country-specific
to local south Indian delicacies. Seafood is also one
of the special attractions of the beachside eateries.