Alleppey is usually and rightfully
referred to as the Venice of the East. There is a broad labyrinth of the
brackish lagoons and the interconnected lakes. Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha
is at par with the well-known European city Venice, be it the historical
importance, or culture or the natural beauty.
Alleppey is often considered to be
a heaven for the Nature lovers. The greenery and the backwaters calm the nerves
and soothe the soul. It is an excellent idea to hire a boat and move along the
flow of the stream.
Though the backwaters used to be a
channel for transportation, agriculture and fishing in the earlier times, they
have evolved into a tourist spot over the time. Journeying in the well-known
Kerala houseboats overnight comprises one of the major attractions of the
The houseboats are, by no means,
inferior to a hotel room. Rather, they offer more of luxuries, at times. And
what’s more, there would be the open deck and the soft and salty breeze, apart
from the beautiful greenery all around.
Moreover, the beautiful sunsets
would leave you in awe. There are a number of regions that pride themselves on
their expertise in manufacturing something or another, e.g., toddy,
handicrafts, coir etc. The village life is unique in its own way. You will never
be tired of visiting the village frequently, watching the farmers in the fields
and the fishermen at work. Besides, who can run away from the charms of star
gazing and bird watching?
More on Backwaters in
What to Explore at
Traditional Kerala Village: Whenever you visit the backwaters, watching the rural life including the
lower backwaters, is a highly interesting experience in itself. Besides, you
would also come across a vast variety of various avian species.
2. Widlife: The bird watchers would find an
amazingly interesting variety of various avian species including the
kingfishers, hornbills, storks, and swifts, apart from a number of the domestic
and also migratory birds. The route you opt may also reveal various beautiful
wonders of Nature!
3. Sunset: The sunsets are the beautiful sites that should never be missed!
4. Kayaking/Canoeing: Do opt for Kayaking/Canoeing, but
be sure that you can control the boat, otherwise you may find yourself unable
to move the boat amidst the waters.
Alleppey Backwaters Tour
A boat fare depends on the size of the boat and also
from one company to another.
The government tourism department
conducts the backwaters tours. There is an Alappuzha-Kollam trip for 8 hours
and begins at 10:30 AM daily. It charges INR 300 per individual and covers a
number of areas and attractions including Kumarakody, Kayamkulam Lake and
Alumkadavu. There is another tour at 11:00 AM. It heads towards Kuttanad via
Kumarakom for INR 150 per individual.
Houseboats in Alleppey Backwaters
The houseboats allow you to cruise along smoothly
through the backwaters in Alleppey. And it really is a mesmerizing experience
in itself! The maze of the canals running across the town would let you explore
almost the entire area while you enjoy the comfort of the houseboat.
Each of the houseboats is manned at least by a
guide, an oarsman and a cook. The meals provided serve the local delicacies.
The guide keeps you informed of all the landmarks. And it is the job of the
oarsman to see to it that the boat cruises along smoothly.
There are various routes to opt from while you visit
the Alleppey backwaters and chiefly the Lake Punnamada. Gazing at the stars
while you cruise along the route to reach the destination is a pleasant
experience in itself. The houseboats are usually boarded at Punnamada Lake that
happens to be the venue for the Nehru Boat Race.
The renting charges for the houseboats vary as there
are the deluxe i.e., the luxury boats or the more economical budget-friendly ones.
The packages available are usually of two types including 2 Nights/3 Days and 1
Best Time to Visit the Backwaters
The boat races during the Onam festivities in the
beginning of August are a MUST watch. However, the time in between October to
April is also excellent to visit the place. The summers and monsoons should be
avoided. With an angry Sun or the raining clouds, you would not be able to
enjoy the trip.
Food at Backwaters
The local cuisine can be enjoyed at a number of
places at Alleppey. The cuisine of the backwaters including lobsters, shrimps,
coconut rice, chicken chettinad, toddy, apart from various other varieties of
seafood and of course, the banana chips should not be missed! The seafood is
definitely more enjoyable rather than what the most expensive of the
Nehru Boat Race
Alleppey backwards have gained recognition for the
snake boat races during the festive season of Onam. Though most of the boat
races are held as per the lunar position, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes
place on the second Saturday of August as an annual event.
Though snake boat races have been a long tradition,
the Nehru Trophy Boat Race had begun in 1952 when the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal
Nehru visited the state and has been held since then.
Snake boats derive their name from their shape. They
are very long and each boat accommodates 80 – 100 people. The rowers on both
the sides of the boat are equal in number. Each village participates with its
own boat. This fun – filled boat race experience at the Punnamada Lake,
Alleppey is one of its kind in the entire world and attracts tourists from the
How to Reach Backwaters in Alleppey?
The nearest rail stations are Kollam, Thrissur and
Kottayam while Cochin airport is 75 km from Alleppey. From any of these
locations, you may hire a jetty towards your hotel or homestay location. You
may also catch an interstate bus from Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, apart from