Also known as Alappuzha, Alleppey is a land of tropical backwaters, houseboats and lagoons, which has earned it the nickname of the ‘Venice of the East. Alleppy is situated in Kerala on the Malabar Coast of Southern India. Lapped by the warm waters of the Laccadive Sea, the area is known for its gold-sand beaches and snaking canal system which connects Cochin in the north, with Quilon in the south.
Heading inland, the sleepy backwaters are a world away from the bustling city centre, with palm-fringed villages, coconut plantations and charming houseboats, bobbing up and down on the waterways. In fact, many visitors travel to Alleppey just to experience the novelty of spending a night on a traditional houseboat. Hundreds, if not thousands, of houseboats, can be found moored along the verdant canals of Alleppey, surrounded by emerald rice fields. The tranquillity of floating down the backwaters is an experience not to be missed if you take a holiday to Alleppey.
The city and surrounding region are characterised by landscapes of tropical groves and bountiful farmlands, whilst a great selection of upmarket resorts offers blissful accommodation on the shores of the Alleppey coastline. Ayurvedic spa treatments and trips to fragrant tea plantations are just some of the most popular things to do if you take a trip to Alleppey. Winter is the best time to visit Alleppey, with mild, pleasant weather, perfect for exploring the landscapes by houseboat or simply kicking back on the beach.
Alleppey city offers an array of sightseeing opportunities, but if you’re longing for a little relaxation, be sure to explore the Marari Beach area, undoubtedly the best beach in Alleppey. Marari is located just north of the city and is the go-to place for a tranquil day spent relaxing on the sand and listening to the gentle waves of the Laccadive Sea. Lined by coconut trees, this idyllic stretch of sand goes on for miles. Nearby, a number of resorts offer spa treatments and all-inclusive packages. For a slice of luxury, Marari Beach is the best place to visit in Alleppey.
Of course, you cannot visit this region without taking a ride on a houseboat, one of the best things to do in Alleppey. An unbeatable way to experience the tranquil backwaters, day trips and overnight stays are both popular choices. Mostly, the boats are manned by a driver and cook, so visitors can concentrate on enjoying the spectacular views of everyday life in the backwater villages and the lush landscapes of this peaceful haven.
Back in the city, Alleppy Lighthouse is a must-see. For the best views of the verdant landscapes and coastline, head to the top of this 1862 lighthouse where you’ll enjoy a fantastic panorama. Painted in a red and white, candy-cane fashion, the lighthouse is home to a small museum that houses the original oil lamp used to illuminate the coastline back when the city was an important trade port.
While you’re in the city centre, be sure to visit Kidangamparambu Temple. An unmissable sight and active place of worship this colourful Hindu temple is dedicated to the goddess Bhuvaneshwari Devi, known as the mother of the solar system. Inside this beautiful temple, it’s difficult to know where to look as at every turn you’ll find intricate statues and vibrant frescoes depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
Finally, if you enjoy a good museum, be sure to visit the RKK Memorial Museum, housed within a Greco-Roman- style building in Alleppey city. It is home to a priceless collection of South Indian decorative arts, crystals, porcelains and antique furniture. The museum is dedicated to a local businessman, Revi Karunakaran, who made his fortune in the coir (coconut fibre) industry.
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