The district of Alappuzha , also known as Alleppey, is in Kerala. This district headquarters is also known as Alappuzha and is located 70 kilometres south of Cochin. 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.Now a days monsoon tourism is also popular from June to August.
Malayalam is the main language spoken here. You can also easily manage with English and Hindi
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport. Expect to pay about Rs.450 for a taxi to get from Cochin airport to Cochin, then Bus or train to Alleppey. Alternatively come to airports at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kozhikode (Calicut), Chennai, Bangalore and catch a train to Alappuzha.
You can also reach Alappuzha from other cities like Kochi (Cochin), Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bengalooru (Bangalore), Coimbatore, Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Mangalore, and Kolkata by train.(Hyderabad) Sabari Express
There are bus services operating from cities like Cochin (1:30 hours, Rs 41), Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore (overnight luxury Rs 650), Mysore, Coimbatore (overnight Rs.220) to Alappuzha.
Alappuzha district is well-connected by NH 66, which is part of the North-South East-West corridor. It goes via Alappuzha, Ambalapuzha and Cherthala towns. Alappuzha is well connected to other cities Kochi, Kottayam, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore by road.
Tourist taxis are the most convenient way to travel around attractions, especially while travelling in a group. Most airports and railway stations have tourist taxi services that would take you anywhere you would want to go.
Alappuzha has an excellent local bus service system and it is cheap.
This is cheap way of transportation between attractions.
Local taxis are also available at cheap rates. There are many Car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive. Rates are around Rs 7 per km but there are all sorts of extras.
When you are visiting places like Kuttanad, it's better to opt for boats, as many places in Kuttanad are inaccessible by road.
There are also good ferry services between places that are widely used by the locals, a cheap and scenic way of getting around.
Many of Alappuzha's attractions are easily accessible by foot.
- If you are visiting Alappuzha, enquire about the schedule of temple festivals. Alappuzha is one of the few towns in Kerala where non-Hindus are generally allowed enter the temple premises.For instace,the Padanilam Parabrahma Temple ,located in the eastern part of the district ,allow non-hindus to enter the temple and they can even take part in activities and festivals conducted here annually.But this is not the case in most of the famous Kerala temples. If you are a foreigner you are immediately branded as non-Hindu and prevented from entering. Alappuzha temples are generally not that orthodox, though there might be a few areas inside the temples where the entry is restricted. The Ambalapuzha temple festival is particularly impressive. Five elephants carry the Krishna idol for quite a long distance with a music accompaniment. The temple is 14 kilometres away from Alappuzha. It is famous for its rose palpayasam. The temple makes this traditional very sweet milk-based dish as an offering. Because of long boiling the milk condenses turning light pink colour.
- Alleppey has a high percentage of Christians. St. Mary’s Church (Champakulam) is one of the oldest church in kerala (AD 427)
- Sreekrishna Swamy Temple, Ambalapuzha.
- Karimadi Kuttan, . 9th century black granite statue of the Buddha, locally known as Karimadi Kuttan. This statue is protected by the Archeological survey of India.
- Marari-beach, Mararikulam. Mararikulam is one of the most beautiful place in Alappuzha. Mahadeva temple, Arthunkal church are near by places. 16km north of Alappuzha town. You can get there by local bus from the KSTC bus stand, get off at Maraikulam Junction (journey time: 20min), and then walk 3.5km or (better) get an autorickshaw for around 60 rupees to the beach itself. There are also private buses leaving from the YMCA bridge that take the coastal road and drop you very close to the beach.
- Main beach, . 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.Free
- 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.
- 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.
If you are not interested in a longer ride in a House boat, there are smaller boats available for rides lasting 3 to 4 hours. They take groups tours and you might have to wait until they fill up. Some of the boats have double decks and the top deck provides good views. You can also rent by the hour "Shikara" which are smaller boats. These offer a comfortable seating and an open view of the surroundings.
- Krishnendu ayurveda spa and resort is a well known ayurveda centre near Haripad, Alleppy. It is one of the most reputed firm in central kerala as it is run by a traditional family of ayurvedic doctors.They have specific treatments for spine related cases and wellness programs for the healthy people also. Here you can experience genuine kerala Ayurveda treatment.The hospital and spa are constructed in Kerala traditional architecture with modern facility.You could also enjoy a walk through the well landscaped herbal garden and pay a visit to their herbal medicine manufacturing unit to see how the medicines are prepared.
- It's advisable to book a houseboat through houseboat operator rather than depending on touts. Touts take commissions between Rs 500 to 2000. Booking on the internet can be a good option, rather than waiting for last-minute booking during the high season. You may get a better price if you book on internet and most operators have good service. As of the 20th October 2009, prices at the Jetty "Finishing Point" were: 8,000Rs overnight (21 hours) for standard, non-a/c... 10,000Rs for standard a/c and 12,000Rs for Premium. Lucky tourists can try last minute bargain with a houseboat operator whose boat does not have business on a particular day and can get a 2 a/c bedroom houseboat for one night even for 7,000.
- Some contacts for houseboat booking are:
- Oscar Cruise
- Tourindia : Pioneers in backwater tourism, who introduced the first Kettuvallam Houseboat into the backwaters of Kerala years back in 1991, having a fleet of Houseboats, who are the finalits WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) award for the Community Benefit in Bejing 2010, provides special made holidays all over India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel.: +914712328070, 2331507, 2330437 00919895605243.
- Earthyroutes Tour : Houseboat , Shikkara boats and canoe boat operator for your cruise in Alleppey and Kumarakom
- Eco Trails Kerala Houseboat Cruise operator with good reputation among European tourists. They are operating Houseboats from Kumarakom and from Alleppey too. All the contact details can are in their web site [www.thehouseboatskerala.com]
- Indigenous Houseboats Houseboat Cruise operator which have won the “Best Exhibit Award” at the International Boat Show insures to conduct tour programs more efficiently. Indigenous tours rated as the best handling agent for Kerala tourism through their service that meets the global standards.
- Venic of East Tours If you are interested in cruising deep inside the backwaters these guys will be the best. It is run by some local guys from western kuttanad and directly contacting them will reduce the cost. They have wide varieties of vessels including house boats and Canous. Email: email@example.com. Tel.: +91 9447596476. They normally arrange food from local restaurants (mainly toddy shops), the only place where you can get naturally grown fresh water fish and other items, of course it is very yummy...but you should be ready to afford bit spicy taste :).
- Lake King Cruise: As of April 2009, these folks could be reached at +91-986938488 or +91-477-2234344. They charged 4000Rs for a 12 hour day trip for two people on an air-conditioned houseboat with an upper deck. Although the staff were lovely, the manager Sebin Philip is a businessman and may disconnect some lights as you look at the boat and then charge you premium price rather than standard. He is also absent in the morning when you arrive back and cannot be reached.
- Southern Backwaters Southern Backwaters Jetty Road, Opp KSRTC Bus Station, Kollam (Quilon) Dist, Kerala State, India. +91 94959 76037 Reliable and excellent houseboat tour operator. Also bookable from Allapuzha.
- Activities Overnight canoe trips, bamboo furniture making classes, music lessons, yoga, painting classes etc are organised daily at the Bamboostix Island Resort. Ayurvedic Massage & courses at Sreekrishna and Keraleeyam. Anil at Seashore restaurant organises boating on small foam boat used by Kerala fishermen and even fishing expeditions
- Alleppey beach is another nice place to hang out. Strowl 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. (Personal note: I often go swimming from the Seashore Restaurant owned by Anil who is a lifeguard at the beach and his small hideaway is further north from the main beach. I have never experienced strong currents in non-monsoon periods)
- 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 although travelers are advised to be alert and cautious of unpredictable traffic.
- Beautiful Alleppey Houseboat serves the hospitality industry by providing all types of Houseboat like Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Premium and Luxury. Cruising along the backwaters of Kerala in Beautiful Alleppey is an unforgettable experience.
- Guadian backwaters have got many fleets of house boats and they have been appreciated good for the services they have offered.All the houseboats are available on a daily and weekly basis.
The rates are 6500Inr per day for 1bhk and 10000inr for 2bhk.It includes accomodation and mouth watering food(Karemeen polichathu).Candle light dinner for honeymoon couples is one of the remarkable point to mention.
They also arrange corporates trips from kochi to kumarakom and students boating on per head rate basis.For booking call 8281479318
- A traditional Kerala style boutique selling Kerala art, collectibles, hand-made accessories and custom made authentic apparel. This place is value for money and is run by a friendly family who lives behind the shop. This is a one-stop shop for purchase of a good souvenir for a decent budget.
- Kreamkorner - This place has two locations (Mullackal Road and Cullan Road) with a relaxed atmosphere and is popular with Indian and foreign families. There's a multicuisine menu with tandoori choices, and the cold coffee with ice-cream beats a frappuchino any day.
- Thaff - This restaurant has two branches , one is near the Zilla court bridge, at the junction of the road to Punnammada. The other one is located at the Revi's Heights building on the road to Mullackal.
- Chakara Restaurant, Beach Road, tel. 2230767. The restaurant at Raheem Residency is the most expensive, and best, place in town. The menu is creative and combines elements of traditional Keralan and European cuisine. Wine is available.
- Arcadia Regency, a 4 star hotel has just opened in 2006, but has priced meals at really low prices to attract customers.
- Vembanad Restaurant - At the Alleppey Prince Hotel, it's well worth making the trip out here. One of the better eating options around, you can dine poolside to live music (nightly from 18:30 )
- Halai's Fried Chicken - This is a small restaurant near Alleppey South Police Station and serves excellent biryani.
- Himalaya Bakery, Mullackal Rd., just north of the bridge over Northern Canal, on the right side. Great baked items such as puff pastries with vegetarian or non-vegetarian filling, tasty samosas and also sweets. There is also a little cafe attached that serves coffee and chai. Their banana and walnut cake (to take away) is particularly delicious!
- Harbour Restaurant, Beach Road,. An attractive, laid-back beer and wine restaurant with a good selection of multi-cuisine dishes. Go for the Kerala Fish curry! Great! The fish is caught locally. Lovely place to have a chilled glass of wine near the beach - the only place that offers it in this beach area. Mural on one wall by a local artist depicting beautiful snapshot scenes from the area.
- Mushroom, CCSB Rd, Near South Police Station. Great outdoors restaurant with inexpensive Indian food and delicious tandoori grilled chicken.
- Hassan's Restaurant, CCSB Rd, Near South Police Station. Excellent and cheap restaurant serving biryani for lunch and tasty tandoori chicken for dinner.
- Premier Bakery, Mullakkal. Established in the year 1962, serves all type of baked food.
- Dreamers, Beach Front. On the beach, a little south of Harbour restaurant, and cheaper! Well-priced Indian food, with some European dishes. Staff helpful and can also find you drinks not listed on the menu if you request. Restaurant has a pleasant bamboo raised terrace, best to get a table there for view and atmosphere.
- Indian Coffee House, Mullackal Road and Alleppey Beach. There are two main Indian Coffee Houses in Alleppey: one in the centre and one at Alleppey beach. They have the same menu (the same as the rest of Kerala in fact) and serve cheap, tasty south Indian food, ice cream and, of course, their signature coffee.
- biju, haripad. The houseboats are used as grain barges alongside the backwaters. At some time the houseboats were used as living quarters by the royalty. Converted to accommodate tourists, the houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. Most tourists spend the night on a houseboat. Food is cooked on board by the accompanying staff – mostly having a flavour of Kerala. The houseboats are of various patterns and can be hired as per the size of the family or visiting group.. houseboats are motorised but generally proceed at a slow speed for smooth travel. All houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned.
- Lavender Collections, Near Carmel Hall, Mullackal,Alleppey. A traditional Kerala style boutique selling Kerala art, collectibles, custom made authentic apparel and hand-made accessories. This place is value for money and is run by a freindly family who lives behind the shop. This is a one-stop shop for purchase of a good souvenier for a decent budget.Medium
- Erathra Homestay, Erathra, Near Nurse Jetty,East of Chungam,Thirumala Ward,Alappuzha. Erathra Homestay is located right on the river with a large paddy field to its west. Guests rooms are on the first level with river and paddy views from a large patio outside the rooms. The real advantage for a tourist is that you get to tap into the local knowledge of the host and get to relish home cooked local delicacies without hunting for restaurants. Rooms are well equipped, spacious with ensuite modern bathrooms. Free Breakfast, Free Wi-Fi, Free Bicycles, Free Toileteries, Free Coffe/Tea bar.
- Hotel Picasso Castle, Near Thondankulangara temple. located in the heart of Alappuzha town, near to Thondankulangara temple & sahrudaya hospital. Total 18 luxurious rooms, a/c & non a/c
- Abad Turtle Beach Resort, Varankavala, Pollathai, Mararikulam, Alappuzha,.
- Wind'n'Waves, North of Vijaya Park, Sea View Ward. Right on the beach, offers different options. Has a beautiful (but often dirty) roof terrace from which you can see the sea having beers and meeting other travellers. Rooms have different sizes and comforts. All attached bathroom and no hot water (not really needed). A basic double cost 500 December 2015. Probably not possible around Christmas/NY's eve. Bed in 4 beds dorm is 200. Staff is very nice and helpful although they will eat your tuna if you leave it in the fridge. Great option if you don't care about walkin 30-40 minutes or spending 40-80rs to go to main commercial area.
- Riviera Residence Bed & Breakfast, east of Vazhicherry Junction is one of the very new additions to Bed & Breakfasts in Alappuzha. Equi distant to the Beach & the backwaters. Walking distance to Restaurants and heart of the town. Rates include excellent choice of continental or South Indian breakfast. Listed with all major International travel sites, they offer excellent value for money. They have 2 deluxe rooms, one with a balcony view to the garden and they also have a suite. All rooms are air conditioned and have attached modern bathrooms. They can be reached on +914772243636 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for bookings or book through major global travel portals. Great place to stay as couples or family. Check out the guest reviews to know more.
- LemonDew, near Firestation,Thirumala, Alappuzha. LemonDew has changed its location from the canal side to a great three-floor building straight behind the bus stand located in a quiet neighborhood. 14 nice, clean and simple style furnished rooms, with attached bathroom are waiting for you. With it's new open roof top restaurant you have a great place to stay in the middle of town. The young LemonDew Crew helps and advice you in all your travel matters. as they have always done. Ticketing (Air, Train and Bus), Tours (Backwater, Village, Canoe and Kerala-Tours)are done by them. Also Yoga Classes, Ayurvedic Treatment and-Massages will be arranged for you. On request you can use the kutchen on the roof top. You can meet backpack The LemonDew guys are very friendly. 09.2014Price d.nonAC without bathroom Rs.250; d.nonAC with bathroom Rs.400 09.2014
- Orient Venice Inn, Chungam, . Independent cottages. Cottage is well furnished with a/c and nice vast greenary around with water front on Punnamada lake.
- Arcadia Regency, . As of April 2009, it is a decent and hygienic city hotel.
- Hotel Royale Park, a three star category hotel located in the heart of Alappuzha Town, it is located just opposite to Seemati Theater and Vireyya Theater. The hotel having 35 rooms, you can have A/C, Non A/c, Deluxe Rooms, there are Marvelous Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Executive Bar. Foods are just tongue melting, you can arrange Board Meetings, Business Meetings for more than 100 Pax.
- Malayalam Resort is a small (4 rooms) place must be the most photographed (but amazingly least stayed at!) along the edge of the backwater. It is run by a friendly family who cook the best meals in candlelight.www.malayalamlakeresort.blogspot.com +91(0)9895407909 Next to the bigger, more popular Keraleeyam which has ayurvedic massages.
- Punnamada Lake Resort, . A beautiful resort on the bank of Punnamada Kayal [Lake], with its own house boats.
- Venice of East Houseboats. Houseboat stays and other water cruise services operated by localities of backwater villages (kuttanad) throughout the year. You can enjoy the real beauty of backwater village by staying deep inside the local water channel shores safely. Email: email@example.com. PH: +91 9447596476
- Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Jana Sakthi Road, Kayippuram, Muhamma, Alleppey 688525, Kerala. The resort offers 27 luxury rooms and suites; and a premium two bedroom airconditioned house boat with an upper deck jacuzzi (The Cruising Villa) anchored at the resort’s private jetty.
- Kerala Houseboats, Punamada Jetty. Located at Punammada jetty, offers one- and two- bedroom houseboats for cruising between Alleppey and Kumarakom.5500
- Lake and Paddy, Chungam, Pallathuruthy. Wonderful small resort between the waterways and rice paddies. Only a few rooms, including two individual cottages that face the rice paddies.1000
- Palmy Residency, North of Matha New foot Bridge. Rooms are relatively spacious, very clean and well maintained. The staff are very friendly, and can also arrange highly backwater barge trips which come highly recommended, both for their comfort and relative inexpensiveness.budget
- Panoramic Sea Resort, Near Kadapallam, Beach Road. Panoramic Sea resort is situated right opposite to the beach. Here you can also have Panchkarma Ayurveda treatment.
- Mandala Beach House & Cottages, Sea View Ward. Mandala is a nice little house situated on the Alleppey beach.There is really nice breeze from the sea which will help you to escape from the humidity.The staffs are very friendly who makes you feel that you are a part of our family. BBQs & Bonfires on the beach, organizing some spectacular trips on backwaters and we do anything to make our customers satisfy. The only place which gives importance to the satisfaction of customers insted of money. The rooms are not very cozy but its clean and the mattress are really soft. There are two cottages and one of them with spectacular view to the beach.www.mandalabeachhouse.com600
- Sea Shore Homely Stay & Restaurant, North of Vijay Park. Semi-homestay right on the beach with very friendly, disorganized staff, delicious home-cooked Indian food and basic, sandy rooms. Four round beach bungalows are found in the restaurant area.500-800
- South Canal Holidays, Muppalam near Lighthouse. South Canal Holidays is a beautiful old house, completely renewed in keraliya style, situated in the historical gujarati district of Allepey/Alappuzha, 200 meters east from the lighthouse, at the crossroads of south and west canals. Location : Muppalam, Three Bridges in malayalam. South Canal Holidays provides you 7 exquisite rooms : 4 rooms with balcony and beautiful sight on the first floor, and 3 rooms on the ground floor with private balcony too (one family room with two double beds). TAXI are available too, tour possible all over Southern India.1800 rps
- mother cottages, zero jetty,chungom,alappuzha. Welcome to Mother. Welcome to a place where all you can see are endless carpets of greenery. Welcome to a place where all you can hear is the sound of a passing boat or the breeze whistling past the fields. Set in an idyllic village, Mother offers three comfortable bamboo cottages, a delicious restaurant and taste of laidback living – away from the worries of the outside world.To get there, all it takes is a ten minute boat ride from Aleppey Town. And what awaits you is a lifestyle, as easy as it is beautiful.
- Backwater Homestay, Meppuram(H), Vaisyambhagom P.O, Alleppey, Kerala. 1800
- Bella Homestay, Near Nehru Trophy Finishing Point Thathampally P.O, Alleppey 13 ,Kerala. Very Neat and Clean, Comfortable rooms and well maintained homestay. Host Biju and Natasha and really cool owners who make the stay very comfortable. Also arrange for the Houseboats, City tours on Auto Rickshaw/ Cab as required. Welcome drink is served i.e. refreshing Fresh Fruit Juice. Free WiFi.
- Funky Art Beach House, Beach Rd, 688007, Munnodi Temple Road, Sea View Ward. 400-1200
- Sea Breeze Home Stay, North of Vijay Beach Amusement ParkCanal Ward.
- Raheem Residency, classic Indian colonial villa refurbished in a grand style by European owners; now a recognised Heritage Hotel of India; swimming pool imported from France; rooftop restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea; Ayurveda.
- Sree Nagaraja Temple 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.
- 18th century Krishnapuram Palace 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.
- Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple : Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple, at Haripad, is one of the oldest and most important temples devoted to Lord Subrahmonia. It is situated at the 53rd Kilometre on the Kollam-Alapuzha highway. Annually three festivals are celebrated in this temple, of which the Chithira festival is the most important. It takes place in Medom (April-May). The procession with the golden peacock throne is quite attractive. The beautiful peacock in the temple is a great feast for your eyes
- Padanilam Parabrahma Temple - a famous Parabrahma temple located 14 kms from Mavelikkara.Annual sivarathri festival is conducted here in a grand manner.You can see big models of ox made of wood,sack,cloth etc coming into the temple compound from various parts of the village.This date generally falls either in February or in April.You can visit the temple during November or December also when it immerses in the energetic mood of Vrischika festival and mandala chirappu.You can reach the temple from Kayamkulam on the Ernakulam - Thiruvananthapuram National Highway.Private and KSRTC buses are plying from Kayamkulam through Padanilam to places like Pandalam and Pathanamthitta.