Have you ever wondered why Alleppey, a coastal town in Kerala is known as the Venice of the East? Do you know why it has become one of the most sought-after travel destinations? If your answer is backwaters and houseboats, then let me tell you, apart from these two most essential ones there are umpteen things to do and places to visit in Alleppey. One cannot deny the fact that the backwaters and houseboats have overshadowed all other major tourist places at Alleppey or Alappuzha. However the mesmerizing greenery, beautiful beaches, magnificent temples, surreal calmness and delectable dishes of this diverse land has equally contributed in putting the state of Kerala on the global travel map.
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Top 12 Things To Do In Alleppey
The below list of things to do in Alleppey that starts with boathouses and ends with some unique shopping experience is sure to give you the idyllic holiday that you are looking for.
Embark On A Backwater Cruise
It is nearly hard to ignore the captivating backwaters while visiting Alleppey. Alleppey’s backwater cruise is something that travelers from all over the world aspire to cross off their bucket lists. Hop on to an opulent boathouse in Alleppey to relax for one to two days with your loved ones. The backwaters of Alleppey has something for every visitor, whether they wish to go on a romantic date or take their family and friends for a relaxing vacation, this place has it all. Alleppey backwaters routes are dotted with gentle swaying palm trees on either side. You will also be able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the expansive paddy fields. These Alleppey houseboat excursions are available on the Pukaitha River and the Pallathuruthy River. A trip in a houseboat in Alappuzha is a must try, for it’s going to leave you with a lot of memories.
Experience The Village Life Of Kuttanad
Kuttanads predominant rice cultivation has earned it the name ‘The rice bowl of Kerala’. Located 2.2 meters below sea level, this place has also earned the tag of being the lowest point in India, a great place to learn about farming 4 to 10 feet below sea level. Kuttanad is a place that’s well known for its extensive paddy fields, backwaters, coconut groves, network of canals and spice-farming. Exploring in and around Kuttanad will introduce you to a different facet of India’s contemporary development and rural lifestyle. The best things to do while here are to tour the area, talk to the locals, taste mouthwatering cuisine and relax in the lap of nature. Nature enthusiasts will truly enjoy this lush green blanket location which looks more like a paradise.
Witness The Famous Snake Boat Race
Every year, Kerala’s most prestigious snake boat race – the Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place in Alleppey on the second Saturday of August. People swarm to see nearly 100-foot-long boats race against one another while listening to traditional boat melodies. Chundan vallam is another name for the snake boat. The snake boat race takes its name from the design of the racing vessel. However, only a lucky few gets to experience the race live as the place is expected to be crowded and congested during this time. An alternative to this is to visit in the month of June to watch the practice sessions which is as good as the real one. Visit during this time will give you all the time to relax, take pictures, and learn about the most recognized sport in Alleppey. This location near Vembanad Lake is great for photography and traditional sports fans.
Indulge In Kayaking & Birdwatching
Kayak across Alleppey’s backwaters for a unique look into Kuttanad life. Kayaking is one of the well-known things to do in Alleppey that you may choose from. To appreciate the pleasures of simple existence enjoyed by the rural population who live along the banks, go through the small canals and tranquil rivers. The world’s rarest and most beautiful migratory birds reside in the backwater in Alleppey. Black Drongo, Asian Palm Swift, White Throated and Stork Billed Kingfishers, White Breasted Waterhen, and Jungle Myna are all willing subjects for your camera shutters at any time. Now, you can accomplish all of this while paddling around Alleppey’s stunning backwaters in a canoe or kayak. There are specialized tours that combine canoeing or kayaking with bird watching. This is heaven for photographers and bird watchers. So get ready with your cameras or binoculars to capture the rarest migratory birds.
Attend The Elephant Parade
There is a great choice if you are thinking about taking a holiday in January and are wondering what to do in Alleppey at this time. The largest art display of decorated elephant statues is hosted by the social enterprise Elephant Parade and this happens in Alleppey each year. Each Elephant Parade monument is a one-of-a-kind work of art that was made by artists and celebrities. In Alleppey, there is a celebration known as Adoor Gajamela that lasts for ten days. The festival’s main attractions include an elephant tug-of-war with 19 people and a game of elephant polo and racing. At these festivities, a large number of ornament-adorned elephants participate. It may surprise you to learn that each elephant has a rider who is holding an umbrella for the animal. One of the best things to do in Alleppey is to attend this festival, so make sure you go.
Watch A Sunset At The Beach
The extensive network of freshwater rivers, meandering lakes, and lagoons in Alappuzha are well-known. However it’s the Alleppey beach, a well-known beach in Alappuzha Kerala that draws hundreds of visitors each day. The beach is renowned for its serene surroundings, fine sands, configuration of palm trees and mesmerizing sunsets. The well-known Alappuzha Beach Festival is also held in conjunction with the New Year’s holiday. Another top spot for photography on the beach is where a charming lighthouse stands alone. This spot has the cutest views from where you can try out your photographic skills. Some of the must-do activities while at the beach are boat racing, relaxing in peaceful surroundings, and archaeological exploration. Additionally, this location is ideal for those who value peace, the outdoors, and photography. Before entering this beach, make sure you have enough sunscreen on.
Visit To The Coir Museum
The Ambalappuzha and Cherthala taluks of the Alleppey district are where Alleppey coir is produced. Coir is a coarse fiber made from husk that is referred to as “cord”. The first factory was established in Alleppey, India, more than a century ago, launching the country’s coir manufacturing industry that produces coir mats, matting, and other floor coverings. In Alleppey, you can visit the International Coir Museum to witness a variety of items made from dried coconut husk. This shop has a wide variety of items, including bags, wall hangings, and birds and animals. You can see how coir is treated and given various shapes after looking at its products. Additionally, the gift shop has handicrafts and souvenirs for sale. This is the ideal location to feed your thirst for knowledge if you want to explore the rich culture and customs of Kerala.
Explore The Royal Krishnapuram Palace
Do you want to learn more about the culture and history of Alleppey? Then visiting the magnificent Krishnapuram Palace is the best place to start. In Kayamkulam, close to Alappuzha, there is a palace and museum called the Krishnapuram Palace. Anziham Thirunal Marthanda Varma constructed this palace, which is renowned as the first fortress of the Travancore Empire. The architectural marvel epitomizes Kerala style and is undoubtedly a delight for history and architecture enthusiasts. The palace has been converted into a museum that houses numerous precious sculptures, canvases, antique bronzes, and other artifacts. The palace’s architecture, which is reminiscent of South India’s classical art, features dome-shaped windows, gabled roofs, and winding passageways. ‘Gajendra Moksham’ is a huge mural painting that shows an elephant bowing to Lord Vishnu. The palace, which underwent renovations in the 18th century, is now a protected site under the Archaeology Department.
Laze Around At Marari Beach
“Marari” is an abbreviation for Mararikulam, a lovely fishing community on this shore. For those seeking to get away from the bustle of city life, the beach’s golden sands and swaying coconut palms make the ideal companions. Marari Beach, known as the Malabar Coast’s joy, is the ideal location for a beach vacation. This beach is unmatched in its beauty and appeal because of the turquoise ocean, coconut trees, and sparkling sand. It is a popular location for leisure and adventure activities including fishing, swimming, and parasailing and is located around 11 kilometers from Alleppey. Marari Beach’s tranquility and aesthetic appeal are indescribable in words. Marari Beaches in Alleppey is one of the best things to do if you enjoy the outdoors and want a peaceful place to spend your holiday.
Rejuvenate Yourself With An Ayurvedic Massage
Ayurvedic massages are something you must experience if your trip to Alleppey is scheduled for the winter or rainy season. The medicated herbal oils used in Ayurvedic massages provide a number of health advantages. The oils can enter through the skin during a massage, reach the tissues and aid in the healing process. There are various health advantages to using ayurvedic oils. There are many spas and Ayurvedic centers where professionals may give you a massage to relieve your stress and physical pain. Although there are numerous contemporary massage parlors where you can enjoy the massage experience, the traditional massage parlors provide the most genuine care. For various physical afflictions, one can experiment with different massage techniques. There are some professionals who also provide massages on the sand. Dress loosely and comfortably so that you can enjoy your massage thoroughly.
Relish On Some Local Flavors
Well, in addition to being the main cause of the town’s natural beauty, it also provides tourists with a variety of delectable and reasonably priced cuisine options. The primary draw of Alappuzha cuisine is seafood. Some of Alleppey’s most popular seafood meals include karimeen curry, viral fry, pearl spot fish fried over coals, and karimeen pollichathu. Once in Alleppey, make sure to try Toddy, a specialty beverage of the area. Vegetarians can satiate their taste buds with the traditional Kerala veg delicacies. The non-vegetarians can enjoy the flavor of sea food from fresh catch provided in its local restaurants. Also do not miss out on the Kerala sadhya served on banana leaf. Another two dishes that shouldn’t be missed are banana chips and chettinad chicken, they are this region’s specialties. Alleppey has a number of excellent dining establishments that will have you hankering for more of the local cuisine.
Shopping At The Floating Market
Floating Triveni, one of Alleppey’s unique markets, is a floating market that makes for a special kind of shopping experience. The market built on a large boat can be spotted from far as the white and red checkered design floating on the backwaters of Vembanad Lake is very catchy. Just like the famous floating market of Bangkok, Alleppey’s floating market too sells almost every basic necessity to luxury items. From grains to veggies, refrigerators to TVs, there’s just about anything on this boat. The market is known for its affordable jewels and handicrafts. It is best to pick some lovely handcrafted items from the market to take back home if you want to preserve the memory of the trip. This state government-owned market is open not just to the tourists but also supplies daily needs to the local residents. End your Alleppey vacation with this unique shopping experience.
Suggested Reads: The 11 Reasons You Must Visit Kerala This Year
Some FAQ’s For You
Alleppey has favorable weather conditions throughout the year. However the temperature shoots up to 36°C during the peak summer months of March, April and May. So the best time to visit is during the winter months between October to February.
The exotic beauty of this place has earned Alleppey the tag of being the Venice of the East and also one of the most romantic getaways in India. Couples can rent a houseboat to cruise through their stay, they can watch picture-perfect sunsets together, witness a snake boat race or even get a couples therapy session at one of the Ayurvedic wellness centers.
Alleppey’s Kumarakom has some of the best houseboats. These houseboats are available in different shapes and sizes depending on your budget. From multiple rooms to fully-equipped kitchens, from open decks to lounge areas, the houseboats are no less than a luxury hotel. Apart from the incredible scenic views, one can also enjoy the freshly cooked authentic Kerala meals while cruising through the beautiful backwaters.