A small town in the Country of God, Kerala is blessed with the natural scenic beauty and mesmerizing views providing the best memories a person shall cherish for the rest of the lives. The backwaters, the beach, the natural beauty and the ayurveda is not what you only get here, it’s a lot much than that. Being a prominent tourist destination of South India, Alleppey is also known as the Alappuzha, which is the oldest planned backwater of Kerala.
Proudly known as the ‘Venice of East’, Alleppey is considered to be an aquatic paradise which is blessed with the divine beauty of waterways, lagoons, lakes and canals. The sailing houseboats are the best attraction of this beautiful town that fascinates people from all over the world. The coconuts, the lined canals and the small hamlets add on to the charm of this heavenly town.
The town now known for its natural beauty and backwaters was founded by Raja Kesavadas who was the Divan of Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma in 1762. The only planned city of that time in Travancore was Alleppey with two canals and roads that stretched across the banks of the two canals.
Being the commercial town of the Kerala, the canals were designed in a way so the transportation of the good can be done with ease and the business of the town could be promoted in perfect manner. As the canals grew, the major business merchants of the country came down to Alleppey for expanding their business and royal government of that time offered all facilities to these commercial traders. Thus the town was made the Main Business Center of the early times.
As the trade of the town increased rapidly, many merchants came down for their business and trade expansion as the town was providing them major business facilities approved by the government. Later in the year 1862, with the establishment of a 303meter long sea bridge and lighthouse made the trade easier as the light from the lighthouse was spread across the area of 20 kilometer. The industrial areas were established making the trading more efficient and for the transportation of these goods and services, major roads and canals were commissioned. In the mid – 19th century the sea was recede a mile and so more land was offered for trading along the sand trips.
The call for the trading vessels was quiet louder and in 1859 the first organized coir factory was established producing the matting from the coir yarn on a loom which was developed by the English Sea Caption. The add on to the town was when in 1816, the Church Missionary Society acknowledged its first headquarters in Alleppey. Post three years of the acknowledgement the first Anglican Church was built and in 1851 the honor of being the land to the first post office in the erstwhile Travancore State was given to Alleppey.
As Cochin was already a natural harbor, the development of the town in 1928 shrank the commercial importance of the Town of Alleppey. In the first decade of early 20th century with a visit to the Alleppey town by the Viceroy of Indian Empire, Lord Curzon named Alleppey as the ‘Venice of the East’ as he was totally mesmerized by the natural scenic beauty that it housed.
With the independence of the of the country, as the State Kerala was made, Cochin as a major commercial town was developed and the post of Cochin was then became the popular destinations for ships. Yet eventually the popularity of Alleppey as a trading town was diminished. But because of the natural scenic beauty and the magnificent views, the pristine backwaters, the calm environment and the captivating beaches made Alleppey a popular tourist destination of India famous for its backwaters.
Being a renowned Boating center makes it a place packed with the continuous presence of keen visitors; however beginning from the month of November to the end of February is considered as the best-suited duration. It’s a paradise for the newly-married couples [one of the finest honeymoon destinations in South India.
The picturesque and soothing city of Alleppey is situated on the Laccadive Sea in the state of Kerala, well-known for houseboat cruises. It passes through an exemplary network of serene canals and lagoons; this is what attracts the tourists to the most, hence most of them come with a desire to at least live an overnight stay on the Houseboat [it’s more of like a sailing hotel – comfort stay, traditional food is being served etc]. Apart from houseboat stay, there are quite a few hotels as well, which one can opt in case the trip demands for.
It completely depends on your choice; however, a day or two is sufficient to explore the adorable city of backwaters. One can sit in calmness on the houseboat, witness the passing beauties; one can even involve in the act of fishing etc. here are the names of in and around attractions of Alleppey – Alleppey Beach, Marari Beach, Kumarakom Bird sanctuary, Vembanad Lake etc.
Sail and sail until your heart is thoroughly filled with the layers of natural freshness; the ethnic formation sailing through the impressive chain of brackish lagoons. Kettuvallam is the word used to define the widely present houseboat in Kerala; it’s adorned with thatched roof covers over the wooden hulls. All of these houseboats are an outcome of continuous efforts put in by numerous artistic people; ancient principles and skilled techniques are used to build the huge comforting boats.
The houseboats are made up of ‘Anjili woods’; coir ropes are brought in use for tightening the thick wooden planks together. The houseboats are built in various forms and sizes with the input of bamboo poles, ropes, bamboo mats, carpets, coconut fibre etc. Some are equipped with luxurious decor and some are adorned with traditional touch etc. It can easily house a group of friends or a team of family members; fully furnished single room, double and triple rooms, sitting room etc.
The city of Agra is rich in history, attractions, hospitality, cuisine etc [especially the sweet named as Petha – Alleppey resides in widespread arms of a state, which is nicknamed as the God’s Own country. Some also address it as the land of Coconuts or say the Spice Garden of India [Kerala]. This is one of the finest southern countries, where one can experience the life of coastal; artistic people showcasing the various forms of art and performance [Kathakali is the state dance of Kerala; performers singing the Sopana Sangeetham etc].
Fireworks displays, massive crowd, elephants etc are what is really common to sight if it’s the time of any festive occasion [Onam is the most prominent festival of Kerala – complemented with cultural elements like – Vallam Kali, Pulikali, Onavillu, Pookkalam and Thumbi Thullai]. Malayalam is the widely spoken mode of communication [language] and it’s also the official language of the happening state of Kerala.
The cuisine you will get to have in Alleppey is the very famous Kerala cuisine – it’s filled with multiple options of Vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes [made of fish, meat and poultry]. Taste is something, which we all look up to and Kerala being the spice garden of India is gifted with all the taste you prefer having [from the all-time favourites to the seasonal choices]. Some of the common breakfast foods are – [note - all are made out of rice]: Puttu, appam, Idiyappam or idli, accompanied by Kadala, Payasam, Chutney, fish curry etc. Vegetarians can have Sadhya, which is served on a fresh Banana leaf [followed with a cup of tasty Payasam].
The beach that ultimately got the name of Alleppey as the ‘Venice of the East’ is the famous tourist location of this town. Blessed with the mesmerizing beauty and serene views, Alleppey beach itself attracts people in uncountable numbers every year. Known for its 150 years old pier that stretched into the sea, this beautiful location houses the major festivals and events of Kerala that includes the World Famous Sand Art Festival and the Nehru Trophy Boat Race that takes place on every second Saturday of August every year.
The place that unwinds you completely is rated as one of the World’s top five Hammock Beaches by the National Geographic Survey. Blessed with the natural calm beauty with the crystal clear pristine water and the glittering sands, this Marari Beach is known for being a beach symphony. The nearby small village which is sleepy almost every time is the biggest attraction of this beach. While this beach showcases the real culture of Kerala, this is the one-must visit destination of Alleppey.
The only attraction of Alleppey which makes the town famous is the Backwaters of Alleppey. The perfect location with the houseboats sailing on these backwaters makes the time period of one the memories they would cherish for the rest of their lives. The place where one can opt for their quick gateway from a busy life or maybe for recreation or if someone seeks rewind post a hectic life is these backwaters.
The wetland is known to be the largest lake of Kerala and one of the Asia’s largest freshwater lakes with a area of approx 200 sq km. situated at a sea level, it is separated from the Arabian Sea by a small yet narrow barrier island. With the popular backwaters, this mesmerizing lake also offers sightseeing, fishing and other related activities.
Built by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma in 18th Century, this place is the must visit tourist location of Alleppey. Being a iconic Travancore Style Castle, it also houses a small museum which is now maintained by the Archaeological department of Kerala built up in typical Kerala Architectural style.
The biggest attraction for the lovers of nature and birds is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary situated on the Vembanad Lake and is stretched to almost of 14 acres. With the thousands of migratory birds that it houses, one can find the rare birds that flock in thousands at the same time in this sanctuary.
The one of the best tourist attraction of Alleppey, St. Mary’s Church stands tall since the 835 Ad and is famous for the events and festivals that it hosts. The renowned center of Pilgrimage, the lifestyle and culture of Christians can be seen here. Being of the biggest churches and parishes of the Aercheparchy of the Changanassery, this magnificent church house almost of 2500 families. Apart from these attractions, as the point of interest of alleppey, one can opt for Alleppey Sightseeing Tour, Alleppey Backwater Tour with HouseBoats and opt for plenty of other activities.
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