Welcome to Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Alleppey, or Alappuzha is famed across the world for its vast scenic undulating network of freshwater lakes, lagoons, canals, and rivers that comprise the backwaters.
While the freshwater backwaters are settled on the esstern side amongst lush velvet gren paddy fields and are interspersed with small quaint villages, the Arabian sea forms another natural azure border on the western perimeter.
Thus, thousands of International and domestic tourists visit Alleppey every year. The normal tourist season begins by mid October and ends by mid May. Although, anotger world renowned event, the snake boat race regatta attracts throngs of tourists in the 2nd week of August, giving a fillip to tourism even in the off season.
The secret beach is 20 minutes drive north of Alleppey. A quiet beach situated by the side of a fishing village, it has sugary white sand and rows of coconut palms that fringe this picture perfect beach.
The Mannarsala Nagaraja temple is 40 minutes drive south of Alleppey. An ages old temple dedicated to women, it is a sprawling, atmospheric place with stone carvings and figuries of sakes all over the temple courtyard.
Population of Aleppey - 21,21,943.
The population is predominantly HIndu, with a growing number of Christians and an even more increasing number of Muslims .
Economy- Agriculture based.
Kutanad, a scenic village along the backwaters is known as the rice bowl of Kerala.
Coir industry, fishing- both marine and freshwater as well as traditional industries based on coir, marine products and handlooms, toddy tapping are the other idustries prevailing in Alappuzha.
Over the last ten to 15 years, tourism, and specifically the houseboat industry has risen to establish itself as one of the major emergig industries in Alappuzha.
Geography and climate- 1,414 square kilometres. Tropical weather.
Aleppey, like the rest pf Kerala has only 2 seasons. The rainy season and summer. The monsoon breaks out over Kerala in the 1st week of June. June and July is peak of monsoon when it rains daily. The monsoon, on the wane extends to mid December. January to May are the generally dry smmer months. It is humid during the summer.
Transport- Alleppey is connected by rail, road and over water. The nearest airport is in Kochi, 2 hours drive away.
Information on Kerala Backwaters
The Kerala backwaters are a network of connected rivers, lakes, lagoons and smaller canals. Over 900 km's long, dotted by picturesque rice fields, stunning natural landscapes, bird life, wonderful sunrises and sunsets make it one of the most visited tourist locales in the world. The Kerala backwaters are interspersed by villages and connects a number of major towns and cities of Kerala including Kochi, Kollam, Kottayam and Alappuzha.
Information on Alleppey/Alappuzha backwaters
Defintiely the most scenic and meaningful part of the backwaters is in and around Alleppey. The hub of houseboat tourism, it attracts tourists, both Domestic and International throughout the year. Kuttanadu, the famed rice bowl of Kerala, is a scenic village- a huge area partly reclaimed form the water. It's one of the few places in the world where the water level is higher then the land level. Alappuzha also hosts most of the major Snake boat races of Kerala, including the world famous Nehru trophy boat race.
The Origin Of Alleppey Houseboats
Houseboats were used in earlier years as a means of transporting goods between various districts of Kerala.Aleppey or Alappuzha, once termed 'venice of the east' .
Alleppey Houseboats are made with locally sourced wood . The hull is made of wooden planks that are held together by ropes of cocunut fiber; the usual wood is 'Anjili'. There are also hulls that are made of iron, though there is nothing eco-friendly about them.
The roof is made of bamboo poles and palm leaves. The exterior of the boat is painted with protective coats of cashew nut oil.
So how did it all begin? Well, a tourism entrepreneur had the brilliant idea of converting these traditional barges that transported rice, spices, wooden logs across the state in the old days. Our man modiffied the same for the purpose of tourism. And here we are.
From the first few boats in early Nineties , there are now close to 1000 houseboats in kerala
Facts: Houseboats in Alleppey
Number of houseboats- 1000 and rising.
Hub of houseboats - Principally the Finishing point before Punnamada junction. However, there are number of new jetties coming up in Alappuzha.
Cost of hiring houseboats in Alleppey - Unfortunately, the rate varries accroding to season and demand. Expect to pay INR 8000/ on during low season (April to Sep) and upto double or treble of that during high season. The rate varies again from basic one bedroom to mammoth boats that can host upto 100 pax for day cruises or upto 20 or more on 6 bedroom overnight cruises.