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We enjoyed the trip and the program was well organised.

George Williams

Kerala Holidays - Alleppey

  also known as Alleppey, is a city in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India.It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District.This town is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the town is the first of its kind along the Arabian coast (reference encyclopedia of Kerala in Malayalam language). As per 2001 census Alleppey is the sixth largest city in Kerala with an urban population of 177,029. Alleppey is situated 62 kilometres (39 mi) to the south of Kochi and 155 kilometres (96 mi) north ofTrivandrum. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as "Venice of the East" by Lord Curzon .Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English and Tamil are also widely spoken in the town.
Alleppey is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alleppey are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin towards north and Quilonto the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, held on the second Saturday of August every year, is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India. The mullackal chirap is also one of the attractions of Allapuzha which is the festive season held ten colorful days every year in the month of December.
Other attractions in Alleppey are Alappuzha Beach, offering one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Edathua Church, and Champakulam Valia Palli. Krishnapuram Palace also attracts many tourists. The tasty ambalappuzha payasam is a popular dessert.
Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. The Coir Board was established by the Central Governmentunder the provisions of the Coir Industry Act, 1955. There is also a Coir Research Institute functioning at Kalavoor


Alappuzha is a landmark between the broad Arabian sea and a web of rivers flowing into it. It is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India.
In the early first decade of the 20th century the then Viceroy of the Indian Empire, Lord Curzon made a visit in the State to Alleppey, now Alappuzha. Fascinated by the scenic beauty of the place, in joy and amazement, he said,

Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms, was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancientGreece and Rome in the Middle Ages. The early Cheras, who had their home in Kuttanad were called `Kuttuvans` named after this place. Pliny and Ptolemy of the first and 2nd centuries had mentioned places like Purakkad or Barace in their classical works. The literary works like "Unnuneeli Sandesam" give some insight into the ancient period of this district, and some archeological antiques like stone inscriptions, historical monuments found in the temples, churches, rock-cut caves also emphasize its historic value.Christianity had a strong foothold in this district even from the first century AD. The church located at Kokkamangalam was one of the seven churches founded by St. Thomas who was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. It is generally believed that he landed at Maliankara in Muziris Port, presently known as Cranganore or Kodungallur in 52 AD and preached Christianity in South India. The district flourished in the field of religion and culture under the second Chera Empire during 9th to 12th centuries AD. The famous literary work, `Ascharya Choodamani`, a Sanskrit drama written by Sakthibhadran who was a scholar of Chengannur enables us to know many pertinent facts.
In the 17th century the Portuguese power declined and the Dutch had a predominant position in the principalities of this district. They built many factories and warehouses for storing pepper, ginger relying on several treaties signed between the Dutch and theRajas of Purakkad, Kayamkulam and Karappuram. In course of time they also delved into the political and cultural affairs of the district. At that time Maharaja Marthanda Varma, who was the 'Maker of modern Travancore' intervened in the political affairs of those princedoms. In the 19th century the district saw progress in many spheres. One of the five subordinate courts opened in the state in connection with the reorganization of the judicial system by Colonel George Monro was located at Mavelikkara. The first post office and first telegraph office in the former Travancore state were established in this district. The first manufacturing factory for the coir mats was also established here in 1859. In 1894 the town Improvement Committee was set up.
The history of Alappuzha District also murmurs the facts of the prominent role that the district played in the freedom struggle of the country. The historic struggles of Punnapra and Vayalar in 1946 constrained the attitude of the people against Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, who was Dewan of Travancore. And this ultimately led to his exit from the political scene of Travancore. A popular Ministry was formed in Travancore on 24 March 1948 after India`s independence, and on 1 July 1949 Travancore and Cochin states were integrated. The position continued until the formation of Kerala State on 1 November 1956, under the States Reorganization Act 1956. The district came into existence as a separate administrative unit on 1 August 1957.

Geography and Climate

Alleppey or allapuzha is located at 9.54°N 76.40°E. The average elevation is 1 metre (3.3 ft) Alleppey covers an area of 1,414 square kilometres (546 sq mi) and is flanked by 2,195 square kilometres (847 sq mi) of Vembanad Lake, where one can witness the magnificent union of six major rivers which spread out extensively before joining the 80 km coast line of the district. The town of Alleppey is crisscrossed by a system of canals, which is a part of the National Waterway 3 (India).
The district is a sandy strip of land intercepted by lagoons, rivers and canals. There are no mountains or hills in the district except some scattered hillocks lying between Bharanikkavu and Chengannur blocks in the eastern portion of the district. There are no forest area in this district.
Alleppey is gifted with immense natural beauty with the Arabian sea on its west. The city has a vast network of lakes, lagoons andfresh water rivers. Due to their closeness to the sea it has developed an unparalleled destination in the maritime map of India.The richness of the coastal Alleppey waters is expressed annually in the blooming and consequent deposit of a huge quantity of fishes and prawns on the Alleppey coast called ‘Chakara’. This annual shifting of sandbank appears during the post-monsoon period and contributes to the local economy and is a festive season for the people of Kerala. The annual floods rejuvenate and cleanse the soil and water due to which there is abundance of marine life like prawns, lobsters, fishes, turtles,and other flora in the sea. Thebackwaters and Wetlands host thousands of migrant common teal, ducks and cormorants every year who reach here from long distances. One of the major feature of this land is the region called Kuttanad, the 'granary of Kerala'. Kuttanad is also known as the rice bowl of Kerala and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. The paddy fields lie about 0.6 to 2 m below mean sea level.
Owing to its proximity to the sea, the climate of Alleppey is humid and hot during the summer. Although the place remains fairly cool and pleasant during the months of October and November.The average monthly temperature is 25C. The district also gets the benefit of two outstanding monsoons as in the case of other parts of the state.Alappuzha city experiences a long monsoon season with heavy showers as both the Southwest monsoon and Northeast monsoon influences the weather of Alleppey. The South-west monsoon affects the climate in between the months from June to September. On the other hand the North-east monsoon rings rain from October to November. The average rainfall received by the region is 2763 mm


The district is accessible by air, rail, road and water. Cochin International Airport, which is 78 kilometres (48 mi) to the North, is the closest airport. Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 159 kilometres (99 mi) to the South, is the other airport that links the district with other countries. International tourists utilize this facility to reach Alappuzha.
One major rail line passes through Alappuzha. The railway station is about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) away from the center of the town. Alappuzha Railway Station is linked by rail to cities like Trivandrum, Cochin, Chennai, Bokaro and Mumbai. A total of four trains originate from Alleppey to cities like Kannur, Chennai, Dhanbad, and Tatanagar. Since Alleppey is a prime destination, many trains from important cities, like Banglore, Manglore, Calicut, and Amritsar, pass through this station.
Alappuzha is also well connected by road. The town service is served by white and brown coloured private buses with routes starting from Erattakulanagra Temple at Ambalappuzhatill Kalavoor. These buses connect the city with the surrounding suburbs. The KSRTC bus station and SWTD boat jetty are located opposite to each other. National Highway NH 47passes through the city connecting the city to other major cities like Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kollam, and Trivandrum. The proximity to Munnar, Kochi and Kumarakom makes Alappuzha one of the best destinations for tourists for spending time at Alleppy house boats. Usually the house boats start from the boatyard at around noon daily and end their journies the next morning. During that time the water transport covers maximum areas in Alleppy and touches Kumarakom, then returns to the Alleppy boatyard next morning.

*accuracy of the facts and figures provided cannot be guaranteed