Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake. With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and several freshwater rivers criss-crossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Picasso castle front view Related to the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world, this Backwater Country is also home to diverse range of animals and birds. It has always been honoured a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala for its proximity to the sea. Alleppey has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's premier supplier of coir. Today, Alleppey has emerged as a Backwater Tourist Centre, beckoning thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alleppey is also famous for its Boat races, Houseboat Holidays, Beaches, Marine Products and Coir Industry. Every year, during August-September, Alleppey wakes up to the pulsating Nehru Cup Snake Boat Race, a water sport unique to Kerala. Shopping in Alleppey for coir products will be a fascinating and feasible experience. Alleppey is famous for its coir products and carpets. There are also several shops selling coir matting and carpets. The fine quality, variety and reasonable price tag make these products stay high in the demand list of tourists. Besides Alleppey is also famous for its pepper, coconut oil, areca nut, cardamom, and sugar.
The Houseboats of Alapuzha are a new addition to the travel and tourism of the state's backwaters. These crafts, measuring up to 120 feet in length, retrieved from the age old cargo vessels of the State. Once they ruled the backwaters, poled along by one or two men, heavily loaded with rice, coconut and other commodities. But in the recent times, these big vessels have been replaced by more and modern modes of transport, relegating them to neglect and decay. But like the phoenix it again raises to the attention of the modern world, with a difference – this time the cargo is comfort and rippling relaxation. It takes great skill and meticulousness to construct these giant houseboats by tying huge planks of jack wood together. Curiously enough, not a single nail is used in their making of a houseboat. There used to be an entire clan of artisans who were involved in house boat construction. Today, an innovative holiday idea has restored these majestic representatives of a unique culture and with them their makers. The Alapuzha houseboats that cruise these emerald waterways are an improvisation on the large country barges, which were an essential part of the land's ethos in days gone by. Modified to meet a novel concept of holidaying, the kettuvalloms (houseboats) are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, one or two bath attached bedrooms and a kitchenette, and are extremely eco friendly, merging smoothly into the panorama. Every houseboat is manned by a crew of 3 men, usually a cook, guide and oarsman.
The 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormar windows, narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. It measures14 feet by 11 feet and is at the western end of the ground floor, a walking distance from the Palace Pool. Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. Situated 47 kms from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, Krishnapuram is easily accessible by bus from either town..
This is a small beautiful island in the Vembanad Lake and is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma.
The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 kms from Alleppey is among Kerala's more famous ones boasting of the typical temple architectural style of the state. It is equally famed for its palpayasam - a sweet milk porridge offered to the diety. The temple's main festival occurs in March/April. It was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his first Ottan Thullal, a solo dance performance with high social content.It is also in this temple that Palipana is performed by Velans (sorceres) once every twelve years. Paintings of the Dasavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) are on display on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam. Ottan thullal, a satiric art form originated by the poet Kunchan Nambiar, was first performed on the premises of this temple.
32 kms. south of Alappuzha situated near Harippad, this is a serpent shrine under the patronage of a 'Brahman' family, headed by a priestess. The ancient shrine is an internationally renowned pilgrim centre dedicated to the Serpent God Nagaraja. Sarpa Yakshi and Naga Yakshi are the beloved consorts of Nagaraja. It is believed that Nagaraja as the installed deity is endowed with the form of Hari (Lord Vishnu) and the spirit of Lord Shiva. Legend has it that the first priestess of Mannarasala gave birth to a five-headed snake, which is believed to reside in the ancestral house to safeguard the family. At Mannarasala barren women are believed to be blessed with children and a special turmeric paste available at the shrine is credited with powers to cure even leprosy.
The Kettukazhcha festival at this temple draws large crowds of devotees. Processions of all decorated structures on chariots, brightly decorated effigies of horses and bullocks and cultural performances make a spectacular pageant
Close to the Ambalappuzha. the village of Karumadi is famous for its Karumadi Kuttan, a black granite figure of Buddha said to belong to the 9th or 10th century
A short distance from Alappuzha is Punnapra, a village which has gone down in history as the scene of a bitter and heroic fighting between the communists and Travancore State Police in the Punnapra Vayalar Communist uprising of 1946.These are the memorial of the martyrs located in Alappuzha near Kalarcode.
Kuttanad, is called the rice bowl of Kerala because of its wealth of paddy crops. It lies at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of banana, cassava and yam. This perhaps the only region in the worked where farming is done 1.5 to 2 ms. below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level are an amazing feature of this region.
This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya beach park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse which is greatly fascination to visitors.
TPicnic spot with children's park & boating facilities (Open 15.00-20.00 hrs). Other facilities for children: Toy train, bicycles.
The park offers boating facilities and a swimming pool.
Chavara Bhavan (6 kms. from Alappuzha, accessible only by boat) 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 favours and feel amply gratified. Here, a 250 year old historically important beacon of light is preserved intact in its original and primitive form.
22 kms. north of Alappuzha, the St. Sebastian's Church is an important Christian pilgrim centre. Annual festival - Arthunkal Perunnal - the feast of the patron saint. (January).
Situated 24 kms. away from Alappuzha, on the Alappuzha - Thiruvalla Road . 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, 7th of May) pilgrims from all parts ofSouth India , irrespective of caste and creed, visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint.
Local transport available in Alleppey includes taxis, autorickshaws, bicycles and buses. There are frequent buses run by the State Transport Corporation. Hired cycles and motor boats are also a fun way to explore Alleppey.
Alappuzha is linked by boat service through the backwaters to Kollam, Changanassery, Kottayam, Kochi, Kumarakom, Kovalam and Chengannur. Climate: Alleppey, being a coastal area, has a dry and humid weather during summers in March to May with maximum temperature reaches to nearly 37°C. June to September are Monsoon season with heavy rains and December- February are winters with pleasant climate of temperature between 22°C to 30°C. Onam the famous festival of Kerala is in the Malayalam Shravan Month (15th August to 15th September) and the celebrations are very attractive. Alleppey is renowned for the Snake boat races, especially the Nehru Trophy boat race in Punnamada Lake which coincides in the month of August.
Built in the 9th century AD, Alleppey, called Alappuzha lies on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake. With the Arabian Read more
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