A popular honeymoon destination, a nature's delights & known as 'Venice of East' is the beautiful destination in Southern India named Alleppey or Alappuzha. The numerous waterways, the wildlife, architecture, the surrounding religious and historical sites make Alleppey an apt destinations for the tourists. This picturesque city is situated on the banks of river Astamudi and has many lagoons, canals, lakes and fresh water rivers. The key attraction is the Alleppey beach which is extremely famous in the entire state. Apart from bird watching, water sports like snake boar race held annually also attracts the tourists.
Alleppey is well connected by rail to the cities of Trivandrum and Cochin and has a rail head in the city itself named Allepey railway station. Trivandrum and Cochin International airports are situated at a distance of 151km and 75km respectively. The city is also connected by road to all the major cities of the state of Kerala through bus service and private cabs.
The period to visit Alleppey is between September to March when the weather is cool and pleasant. Since the monsoons had just gotten over the city wears a lush green look which makes it all the more attractive.
While Alleppey is all famous for its numerous waterways, wildlife and architecture also form a great part of its tourist attractions and activities. The city is also one of the major suppliers of coir.
The key attraction is the Alleppey Beach owing to its picturesque surroundings and the facilities offered by the Vijaya Beach Park. The ambience of the beach is extremely relaxing and rejuvenating as the color of the sand contrast to the color of water. People not just come and enjoy the sea but also come for picnic at this beautiful beach. One can also find a 137 year old character-filled pier at this beach.
Krishnapuram Palace is one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture in the state. Built in typical Kerala style architecture the palace is particularly famous for its mural paintings. The biggest mural painting of Kerala ''Gajendra Moksham'' is also placed in this palace. The two storied palace was built during the reign if King Marthanda Varma.Some of the unique features of the architecture of this palace are the dormer windows, narrow windows and gabled roofs. The palace has now been converted into a museum and houses many antique paintings, sculptures and artefacts.
One of the places that offer magnificent views of Alleppey is the Pandava Rock. It is believed that Pandavas during their exile took shelter in a cave here. This is an easy climb spot and people often come for picnics at this place.
Situated on the Vembanand Lake is an adventure lover's delight, a tiny island named Pathiramannal. This secluded and beautiful tourist spot is extremely picturesque and can be reached by boat. The adventure seekers can explore and enjoy as they can spot some rare species of birds, like night herons, egrets, kingfishers, shrikes, Bulbuls and doves.
Backwaters are another key attraction of Alleppey. The small cluster of islands is surrounded by numerous water ways like canals, lagoons which form the backwaters. The best ways to enjoy is by going on a cruise on the houseboat and soak in the natural beauty as you sail across.
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a delight for the bird watchers. Spread over an area of about 14 acres the sanctuary hosts a large variety of birds like golden-backed woodpeckers, night herons, kingfishers, paradise fly-catchers and egrets. The sanctuary is even visited by migratory birds like the Siberian Cranes.
Water sports also attract lot of tourists to Alleppey. In the Punnamadda Lake the annual snake boat races are hosted; the key attraction being the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race.
The village of Karumadi is located about three kilometres away from Alleppey and extremely popular for the large black granite statue. The unique part of the statue is that it is made of black quartz as quartz is usulaly found in grey colour.
Built in traditional kerala style architecture is the Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple which is extremely famous for Palpayasam in the entire state. The deity of the temple Lord Krishna is referred to as the Dwarka of South and is offered Palapayasam, milk porridge of exceptional sweetness.
A serpent shrine named Sree Nagaraja Temple is an important temple for snake worship in the entire state. The temple is under the patronage of a Brahman family which is headed by a priestess.
There are many important and famous churches in Kerala. The St. Mary Forane Church is one of the oldest Churches of Kerala and is believed to be one of the seven churches historically built by St. Thomas. Known for serving the community and blessed with a strong historical background is the St. Andrews Church. The church has a clock tower which was set up in 1891 and an impressive pipe organ that was installed in 1881. The Edathua Church is popular for healing the mental disorders and other ailments.
Alleppey is also a popular Ayurveda Spa destination as it offers the age old Ayurveda wellness treatments across the backwaters. It is believed that the relaxing atmosphere and the traditional spa treatments based on Ayurveda helps in healing and purification of the body, mind and soul. Thousands of tourists visit Alleppey for this traditional wellness treatment.