Royal Backwater Cruise

Alleppey Houseboat

Alleppey (Alappuzha)

Alleppey, the land of lagoons, leisure and tranquility is appropriately named the "Venice of the East". Its enchanting backwaters and the lush carpet of green amidst the many crisscrossing canals curtained by palm trees will excite the romantic in you and soar your imagination to new dimensions of meanings. Considered to be one of the first cities to be planned in Kerala, the city is astoundingly well laid out and has a corridor of waterways which will transport you, both literally and figuratively, through a journey you cannot forget.

A trip to Alleppey dictates that you take some time off exclusively for appreciating the backwaters and the scenic beauty surrounding it. Beaches, lakes and the much-acclaimed cruise in the houseboat await you!

Alleppey Attractions

Alleppey Beach Alleppey Beach

Alleppey beach is nothing like the beaches you'll find in other coastal cities. Situated in the heart of the city, a mere one kilometer from the Railway Station, the Alleppey beach is a neat stretch of sand fringed on one side by the vast expanse of the Arabian Sea and on the other by tall palm trees.

The splendor of the sparkling water brought out under the radiance of the setting sun, makes for a memorable evening – whether you're with family, friends or spouse. Don't miss out on two other important attractions adjacent to the beach. Take the boat ride from the sea view park to feel closer to the marvel of the sea and for a bird's eye view, walk into the light house with a nominal entry fee. It may be just a tourist spot now, but the light house of Alleppey, in its hey days was of prime importance to this busy port town.

Alleppey Beach Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple

Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, an ancient symbol of heritage is said to have been constructed by the ruler of the land, Chembakasserry Pooradam Thirunal-Devanarayanan Thampuran around 790 AD. The presiding deity of Parthasarthi, is likened to his traditional warrior form with a whip in one hand and a conch in the other. While the Sankam (conch) is an oft-seen symbol associated with Lord Visnu and his many incarnations, Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is one of the few rarities with its presiding deity wielding a whip.

This temple has a mythological connection to the famous Guruvayurappan. It is believed that Guruvayurappan visits the temple every day, even to this day, to partake of the skillfully prepared milk porridge that is served for naivedyam. The temple hosts The Amabalapuzha Temple Festival every year in commemoration of the installation of the deity. Aaraattu festival is yet another annual festival celebrated here.

Alleppey Beach Champakulam Church

Champakulam Church is the mother church of most of the churches of the Catholic Syrian descent in Kerala. It was built way back in 427 AD and has seen a number of structural changes in its centuries of existence. The rich experience of history that this church has had over starkly changing times, can be gathered from the many ancient rock inscriptions found around the church. They each tell a story of the church, and the circumstances of various eras this church has seen. One of such relics from the past is the Rock Cross, dated to about 1151 AD. The most important fest held here, is in the name of its patron, St. Joseph held on the 19th of March every year.

The annual fest is held on the third Sunday of October. It is 15 kilometers away from Alleppey mainland but can also be accessed through its backwaters in about an hour's time.

Alleppey Beach Chavaran Bhawan

Chavaran Bhawan is the ancestral home of one of the leading luminaries of the Christian faith, the Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara. Kuriakose Elias Chavara was the pioneer for the first congregation for men in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. His home is now accorded the respect given to a holy shrine. Almost three centuries old, this symbol of Christian antiquity is a refuge for Christians to gather, pray and retreat into themselves to find the pinnacle of spirituality in repose and serenity.

Located around six kilometers from the city of Alleppey, the Chavaran Bhawan is only accessible by boats. The imperturbability of the spiritual aura this place exudes is complimented by the collective composure of its surrounding. Suitable for large congregation of people for a spiritual retreat or for a small group of people trying to get in touch with their inner selves, this spot serves as a get-away from the hustle-bustle of the otherwise tourist-oriented city.

Alleppey Beach Edathua Church

Edathua Church, also known as St. George Catholic Church or "Eduthua Palli" figures prominentlyin the map of pilgrimage centers for Christians. Situated on the banks of one of the tributaries of Pamba river, this abode of worship is as assuaging from its geographical location as it is in its architecture. Almost two centuries old, the Edathua Church has a structure resembling that of the churches of medieval Europe.

The annual fest held in the church has been attracting people from all over the state of Kerala as well as the neighbouring states. In fact, it has been a prime reason for the economic upliftment of this area. The ten days long fest commences on the 27th of April and continues to the 7th of May. The graceful statue of St. George is ornamented in gold and brought to the center of the basilica to bless the devotees. Private taxis are available for hire to get to the church.

Alleppey Beach Karumadi Kuttan

Karumadi kuttan (literally 'the boy from Karumadi') is an endearing name given to one of the oldest installations of Buddha known in the region. The onset of Buddhism in India, saw its gradual growth into many cultures around various states in India. Few regions still hold onto symbols of the past which identify these events. Karumadi Kuttan is one such memorabilia situated in the city of Alleppey, dated as far back as the 9th century. Many such antiquities have been identified to have perished through natural calamities or man-induced violence, but this granite statue has been the only one to survive, it being the only Buddhist temple in Kerala. Though the statue has suffered some damage by the attack of an elephant, devotees revel in the spiritual as well as its temporal presence of this timeless temple.

Alleppey Beach Krishnapuram Palace

Krishnapuram Palace, named after the adjacent Temple of Krishnapuram, has seen centuries of changes in the world around it, and in itself. The erstwhile King of Travancore, Anizham Thirunal Martanda Varma had built a modest palace of just one story after bringing the original palace to the ground in the 18th century. The palace itself was built to showcase the traditional style of architecture native to the land.

The present form of the Palace was a result of the renovation the Archeological Department of Kerala undertook in the 1950s after the palace had begun falling into ruins. The palace now stands tall with three storeys and the palace compound houses a number of buildings which combining various architectural styles from the west and the east. Situated atop a hillock, the Palace is surrounded by lawns beautified by fountains and ponds. Visit the palace to experience the royal Kerala of yore apart from the many historical exhibits such as mural paintings, coins, sculptures etc.

Alleppey Beach Pathiramannal

Pathiramannal, has the idealic setting of a dream. Only accessible by a boat, this is a small island of immense beauty surrounding its small land area. If you were looking to run away from the humdrum of life in the city, this locale will hold you in a trance that will increase your thirst for serenity and beauty - be witness to one of the most breath taking sunset/sunrise of your life here.

This island is usually a spot en route on the back water cruise. The Vembannad Lake, the lush greenery and the distance from all the sounds and sight of a town or a city make this a haven for nature-lovers with wings too. Home to hundreds of local as well as rare migratory birds, the bright cacophony of sounds to which greets you everyday, morning through evening, is a tremendous aide to inner peace. If you're more adventurous kind, bird-watching would be a fruitful pursuit. It is 13 kilometers from Alleppey and can be reached via boats in about half an hour.

Alleppey Beach St. Andrews Church, Arthunkal

St. Andrews Church has it's recorded history anchored in the 1500's. The Portuguese, who are said to have invaded the state during that period gave this establishment of thatched roof a better structure with wood and stone. Over time, the church grew in popularity and had to be reconstructed to accommodate the huge crowd of devotees visiting from various parts of the state and outside. The Feast of St. Sebastian is the most important festival of the church.

A history this massive is bound to attribute itself to a number of local legends and folklore, accordingly local customs are an integral part of worship. Some devotees walk along the beach in consecration and accept the whatever form of food or drinks they are offered by the locals. Propagated to build a sense of servitude and humility, this custom has been practiced for ages now. It is situated at a distance of 25 kilometers from Alleppey.

Alleppey Beach Pandavan Rock

Pandavan Rock is the stage for the enactment of the hordes of mythological stories one might have heard from the ancient epic of Mahabharata. Legend has it that the Pancha Pandavas had made a home of this cave in their wanderings in the forests during their exile, making this a mythological as well as a historical tourist spot. The cave has, of course, changed its appearance to a tiny hillock with the passage in time; don't expect to find a hollow cave with its walls covered in pictographic script!

It is an ideal picnic spot for a pleasant evening with the family. It takes an easy climb to reach the top of the rock, unless one is old or otherwise abled, getting to the top isn't very challenging. And once there, the panoramic view is spectacular! In fact, vantage points can be found throughout the climb. This place is easily reachable from Alleppey by bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw.

Alleppey Beach Nehru Trophy Boat Race

Nehru Trophy Boat race is a popular Vallam Kali held in the punnamada Lake near Alappuzha, Kerala, India. Vallam Kali or Vallamkali literally means boat race. The most popular event of the race is the competition of Chundan Vallams (Snake Boats). Hence the race is also known as snake Boat Race Other types boats which participate in various events of the race are Churulan vallam, Odi vallam, (Vaipu Vallam), Vadakkanody Vallam and Kochu Vallam. The race conducted on the second Saturday of August every year is a major tourist attraction.

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of Independent India visited Kerala in 1952. He was given a roaring reception by the people of alleppey, escorted by the huge snake-boats. Having gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake-boat Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner of the race. The trophy is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus on which the following words are inscribed.

How to Reach Alleppey

By Air

Alleppey does not have an airport. The nearest airports are Trivandrum International Airport (150 kilometers) and Cochin International Airport (around 50 kilometers). Taxis and buses are readily available to these airports. These are major international airports in Kerala and cater to travellers across the country and abroad.

By Train

Alleppey is a well connected by railways to most cities of India. Trains are available on a daily basis to major cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc. It is an average of 12 hours from Bangalore and Chennai and 36 hours from Mumbai.

By Road

You can reach Alleppey by bus from select locations such as Bangalore, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi etc. There are various private and Government buses that provide these services. This mode might prove to be more expensive and may not make for a comfortable journey.