The Venice of the East
With the Arabian Sea lashing on the west and a vast network of lakes,
lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alleppey is a district of
immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers
from across the world, this backwater country is also an abode to diverse
animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has
always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala.
Today, Alleppey has grown as an important backwater tourist centre,
attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alleppey is also
famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and
coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called
Kuttanad. A land of lush paddy fields, Kuttanad is called the Rice Bowl of
Kerala and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below
Unique Attractions of Alappuzha
Alappuzha beach is one of the most popular spots in the district of
Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is around 140 years
old. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons
and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of
immense natural beauty.
Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world,
this BackwaterCountry is also home to diverse animal and bird life. By
virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique
place in the maritime history of Kerala.
The little island of Pathiramanal, on the Backwaters is a favourite haunt
of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the land. This
island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom and is accessible by boat
only. Surrounded by the Vembanad Lake, stretching from Alappuzha to Kochi
and the Kayamkulam Lake.
The green island thus forms an ideal place for a break in the journey while
on a backwater cruise. The mainland Alappuzha has a vast network of lakes,
lagoons and fresh water rivers criss-crossing it and is a district of
immense natural beauty.
The palace is located at a distance of 47 kms, at Kayamkulam, on the way to
Kollam. The double storeyed palace contains one of the greatest Mural panels
in Kerala. The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace with its gabled roofs,
dormer windows, and narrow corridors, built during the reign of the
Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a typical example of Kerala
Called the Gajendra Moksham, it measures 14 feet by 11 feet and is at the
western end of the ground floor, a short distance from the palace pool.
Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.
14 kms from Alappuzha (Alleppey), the Sreekrishna Temple here is worth
seeing. The temple boasts of its classic temple architecture and its
'Palpayasam' (sweet milk porridge), offered to the deity. The temple's main
festival occurs in March/April. It was in this temple that the 16th century
poet Kunjan Nabbiar staged his first Ottam Thullal, a solo dance performance
based on social themes.
Mannarshala Temple - The Largest Snake Temple in Kerala
Mannarshala covers an area of 16 acres of dense green forest grove devoted
to serpent worship. The temple here is unique in that the holy rites are
presided over by a priestess. The grove is dotted with the granite idols of
serpents. There are 2 main idols: 'Nagaraja' or the serpent king and his
The priestess lives in the 'Illam' on the north side of the temple. 'Uruli
Kamazhthal' or the placing of a bell metal vessel upside down in front of
the deity is the most popular offering believed to restore fertility to
childless couples. Mannarshala temple at Harippad is reputed for having
30,000 images of snake-gods and this is the largest of its kind in the
Travel Attractions of Alleppey
Q S T and R Block Kayal
These regions are wonders of the indigenous agricultural engineering
know-how of Kerala and remind the visitor of the famous dikes of Holland.
Extensive areas of land have been reclaimed from the backwaters and are
protected by dikes built all around. Here cultivation and habitation are
made possible four to ten feet below sea level. A leisurely cruise along the
canals that surround these kayals is a memorable experience.
Chavara Bhavan (6 km from Alleppey. Accessible only by boat)
Chavara Bhavan is the ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias
Chavara. It is now a holy shrine and spiritual resort where thousands of
devotees gather for prayer receive favors and feel amply gratified. Here, a
250-year-old historically important beacon of light is preserved intact in
its original and primitive form.
(24 km from Alleppey, on the Alleppey - Thiruvalla
Established in 1810, the church is dedicated to St. George. It is believed
that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders
and other ailments. During the annual feast (5th, 6th and 7th of May)
pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed,
visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint.
Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Mavelikkara: The Kettukazhcha festival
at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Processions of tall decorated
structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks
and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant. (Festival -
Festive Moods of Alappuzha
Annual festival of the St. Andrews Forane Church
annual festival of the St. Andrews Forane Chuch at Arthunkal near Alappuzha
is held in the month of January. This ten-day festival held in the name of
St. Sebastian is attended by thousands of devotees from all parts of the
They express their gratitude by crawling on their knees from the nearby
beach to the church. On the last day, a grand religious procession is taken
out from the church to the nearby beach.
Festivals in Alappuzha
- Mannarasala Serpent Temple, Harippad (October/November)
- Chirappu Mahotsavam, Mullackal Temple (December)
- Chirappu Mahotsavam, Kidangamparampu Temple (December)
- Chandanakudam, Kakkazhom Juma Masjid Arthungal Perunnal (January)
- Edathuwa Perunnal (May)
- Thumpoli Church Perunnal, Chettikulangara Kettukazhcha
Boat Races in Alappuzha
- Alleppey Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada (2nd Saturday of
- Pulinkunnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race (last Saturday of August)
- Champakulam Moolam Boat Race (Moolam day of Midhunam - July)
- Payippad Jalotsavam (4th Onam day - August/September)
- Neerettupuram Boat Race (Onam - August/September).