Alleppey is also known as Alappuzha and is popularly called as"Venice of East" from old times due to the large number of waterways. These waterways include networks of lagoons, canals, and lakes. Alleppey, the water town attracts travelers for its beauty of numerous coconut palms lined on the banks of these waterways. The backwater experience of enjoying these waterways and beauty of the tiny villages give a wonderful feel to the travelers.
Site-Seeing specialities in Alleppey/ Alappuzha:
Alleppey Backwaters: Alleppey Backwaters is one of the most popular leisure spots in the world now with its mesmerizing beauty of the waterways. The speciality of Alleppey is that the numerous waterways are networked through various canals, lagoons and lakes. The cruise in “Kettuvalloms” – Kerala architectural boats; ie, Houseboats is an mind-blowing experience for visitors to explore the beauty of backwaters.
Kuttanad: Kuttanad is known as the rice bowl of Kerala. Kuttanad region is the lowest altitude place in India. The other speciality of Kuttanad is, it is one of the few places in the world where farming is carried out below the sea level. The infinite view of paddy fields of hectors of land is another beautiful experience to the travelers.
Alleppey Beach: Alleppey Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Kerala. Vijaya Park, a small park near the beach attract tourists and is a leisure experience families; especially to families with small children. The Alappuzha Lighthouse near the beach is also an interesting spot for the visitors. The remains of the old Alappuzha Port and the Alappuzha Sea Bridge also attract lot travelers to this spot.
Krishnapuram Palace: The Krishnapuram Palace was built in 18th century during the reign of Marthanda Varma, a Travancore king. The two-storied building attracts lot tourists for the traditional Kerala architectural features which include gabled roofs, dormer windows and narrow corridors. Krishnapuram Palace is famous for its mural paintings as well as its architecture from older times. One of the biggest mural paintings in Kerala; called “Gajendra Moksham” means "The redemption of the elephant" is located here.
Aranmula: Aranmula is a village near Alleppey and is world famous for the handmade metal-alloy mirror, Aranmula Kannadi meaning Aranmula Mirror. The speciality with Aranmula Mirror is that it is a front surface reflection mirror and eliminates secondary reflections and aberrations in typical back surface mirrors. The British Museum in London has the Aranmula Mirror in its collection. The 1700 years old Aranmula temple is another major attraction here. The Aranmula Boat Race of Snake Boats or Chundan Vallams held during Onam days (August-September) is the oldest river boat fiesta in Kerala and it attracts lot tourists from whole around the world.
Arthunkal Church: Arthunkal Church is built by Portuguese missionaries in the 16th century and is a major pilgrim spot for Christian devotees as well as of other faith. The feast of St. Sebastian in Arthunkal is a grand celebration here and it will extend for two weeks in every January.
Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race: The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a popular Vallam Kali (Boat Race) held in Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha/Alleppey. The race is conducted on the second Saturday of August every year and is a major tourist attraction. People from whole around the world; come here to watch this thrilling Boat game every year. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race during his visit to Kerala in 1952, when he gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake-boat.
Karumadi: Karumadi is a small village near Alleppey and is famous for the statue of Buddha made from granite. As the statue is in Black colour it is known as “Karumadi Kuttan” means “Black Boy”. It is believed that the Black Buddha was carved either in 9th or 10th century.
Pandavan Rock: Pandavan Rock or Pandavan Para got its name from the Pandavas of Mahabharata; the Hindu Myth. It is believed that the Pandavas stayed in the cave here during the time of their exile. This ideal picnic spot need walking to get to this location and the panoramic view from the top of the rock is exceptional.
Tourist Destinations near Alleppey/Alappuzha:
Cochin/Kochi: Cochin/Kochi is popularly known as the “Queen of Arabian Sea” and is famous for its enthralling backwaters. The name Kochi is derived from the Malayalam word Kochazhi meaning small lagoon. Cochin/Kochi city includes Willingdon Island, Fort Kochi, Mattancherry, Ernakulam city, Kumbalangi, and outlying islands and is about to become one of the metropolitan cities in India. The new Vallarpadam transshipment terminal, first of its kind in India is taking Kochi to the Industrial Hub of India.
Kumarakom: Kumarakom is famous for its backwater tourism and is located near the city of Kottayam. Kumarakom is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Kerala. The boat cruise on the backwaters, especially on Houseboats – a unique Kerala Boats is an enchanting experience to be remembered for lifelong. Arundhati Roy's “The God of Small Things” is set in Ayemenem or Aymanam village, which adjoins Kumarakom.
Varkala Beach: Varkala Beach is a world famous beach destination for the safe beaches and Cliff. This place is also an important heritage center with the fresh water spring at the beach from the cliff. It is believed that taking bath here will wipe away all your sins and got the name “Papanasham Beach” (in Malayalam “Papanasham” means Removal of Sins).
Thenmala: Thenmala is known to be the first planned eco-tourism destination in India. Shenduruney Wildlife Sanctuary is the most important attraction in Thenmala and is part of the Western Ghats Mountain regions. Thenmala got its name from “Then + Mala” in Malayalam. “Then” means Honey and “Mala” means Hillock combined together means Honey Hills. The honey collected from Thenmala forest region is of good quality and of high medicinal value because of the unique floristic composition of the forests.
Agasthyakoodam: Agasthyakoodam is one of the highest peak points in Kerala and is a favorite Trekking Spot for Adventure Tourists. It’s a place where the nature is at its best and is famous for the presence of rare medicinal plants and herbs. This peak is at a height of 1868 meters above sea level and is part of the Western Ghats. This spot is also a famous pilgrimage center for devotees of the Hindu sage Agasthya.
Ponmudi: Ponmudi is a hill station near Thiruvananthapuram and is located about 60 kms distance of Trivandrum city. Ponmudi is part of the Western Ghats Mountain range and is at an altitude range of about 1100 meters. Ponmudi is blessed with scenic natural beauty and the valley view of thick tropical forests that rolls down to the foot of the hill range is an enthralling experience to the visitors.
Kovalam: Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach destination in Kerala. It is also one among the finest preferred leisure spots in the World, especially by the Europeans. The rocky separations make this beach calm bay and are ideal for sea bath lovers. Kovalam means “a grove of coconut trees”; as the name suggests the villages and the seashore here in Kovalam are full with the coconut trees and is a beauty to watch.
Poovar Island: Poovar Island is a coastal village near Trivandrum City. This is about 30 kms from Thiruvananthapuram and is accessible only by Boating facility. The unspoiled natural beauty is the main attraction of this spot and the meeting of Beach, Island, Backwaters, River and Sea in a single locale is a charming treat to the visitors. Poovar is a nice spot for romantic retreat and it attracts the Honeymoon Travellers with its calmness and pure nature.
Kanyakumari: Kanyakumari lies at the southernmost tip of India in Tamil Nadu State and was known as “Cape Comorin” earlier. It is at a distance of about 100 kms from Trivandrum. Being one of the exotic places in India, Kanyakumari has been a great centre for art and religions for centuries; especially to the Hindu religion. Mathur Hanging Trough/Bridge, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Sitharal Jain Monuments, Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial are the major attractions in Kanyakumari.