It is often called the Venice of the East due to the canals that connect it to Kerala's famous snaking backwaters. Alleppey has a wonderful past.
Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. The best thing about Alappuzha and Kerala in general is the weather. Due to its proximity to the ocean it is more temperate than central India. The temperature rarely goes above 35 degrees Celsius and never below 20 degrees. The best time to visit is from September to March. Monsoon is always heavy. Presently, monsoon tourism is also popular from June to August.
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Best Time to Visit
Ride a House Boat
Alappuzha is also well known for its house boats Alappuzha is inlaid with channels that support its thriving backwater tourism. Many tourists that come to Alappuzha take a houseboat cruise along the backwaters. Houseboats can be rented for 12 Hrs to few days and there is a new hop-on, hop-off service through remote backwaters in a shared-houseboat. They come equipped with well-furnished bedroom, sit-outs, kitchen and modern bath and toilet facilities. Some of the house boats even sport an air-conditioner, though most people prefer a calm cruise with lanterns which add to the rustic feel. The houseboats are manned by drivers and a cook. From the boat one can observe the everyday village life of people, stop for toddy (traditional mildly alcoholic drink made from coconut sap) with grilled prawns, watch birds, and relax in the middle of the lake. It is nice to go towards Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, where rice farming is done below sea level.
Visit a south Indian temple
Alappuzha is one of the few towns in Kerala where non-Hindus are generally allowed enter the temple premises. Most of the famous Kerala temples do not allow such thing, and if you are a foreigner you are immediately branded as non-Hindu and prevented from entering.
Mararikulam is one of the most beautiful places in Alappuzha. Mahadeva temple, Arthunkal church is nearby places. 16km north of Alappuzha town.
A fairly large, flat and clean beach by Keralan standards. An old pier which used to be used for trade and had at one point three railway lines still stands in disrepair. Locals play Frisbee and volleyball, and camel and pony rides are available.
Snake Boat Races
Alappuzha is known for its Snake Boat races and one of the prestigious competitions glorifying this tradition is the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race. Held on every second Saturday of August, the competition is named after Jawaharlal Nehru who also inaugurated the event on 1952. To compete for the cup, one must ride in a snake boat which approximately carries over a hundred persons. Boats are available for rent for tourists who want to take a closer look at the event.
It is the nice place to hang out. Stroll along the beach promenade, have a drink and some food in the "Indian Coffee House" and a ice cream or peanuts from one of the stalls. However, it is not a place for swimming. The water is very deep and the current is very strong. Sun tanning might not be a good idea unless you are in a private place.
Main industry in Alleppey is coir manufacturing. Coir is made of coconut husk. Some of bigger producers organize tours of their facilities. A bicycle can be rented to tour the town and surrounding areas for coir making, although travelers are advised to be alert and cautious of unpredictable traffic.
Sree Nagaraja Temple
It is located in Mannarasala is 32 kilometers south of Alappuzha near Harippad. It is a Brahman family owned snake temple featuring beautiful stone carvings of snakes throughout its territory. It is headed by a priestess. The temple deity is credited with restoring fertility in women. The turmeric paste available there supposedly cures many diseases.
It is located 47 kilometers south of Alappuzha on the way to Kollam. Its two-story building is typical of Kerala architecture. It contains impressive murals worth watching. The palace also housed a museum of antique sculptures and artefacts.