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Alleppey – Venice of the East

2010/03/26

Alleppey  (Alappuzha)

Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet “Venice of the east”. These large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the malabar coast. Even today it retains its charm as the centre for Coir carpet industries and prawn farming. Alleppey the ideal headquarters for backwater tourism as well as for visits to the lovely church filled town of Kottayam, and the town of Aranmula, famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race which is an annual event.

Things to do

Houseboat Backwater Cruise

Kettuvalloms or Houseboats (Riceboats) are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages to the towns. With the advent of roads, bridges and ferry services, gradually the Kettuvalloms went off the scene. Now these kettuvalloms are back again as a major tourist attraction. A ride on a Kettuvallom is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.

Houseboat
A house boat is about 67 feet in length and has a width of around 13 feet in the middle. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc. The main wood used is “Anjili”. The house boats have fully furnished single and double rooms with sundeck, private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with WC. In addition there is also separate rest room for the crew. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. The crew includes a chef and two oarsmen. The cuisine is traditional Kerala flavour with the local specialities; delicious fish and prawns. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people.

Snake boat race

Alleppey is also known for its spectacular snake – boat races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition – the Nehru boat race takes its name from India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake – boats , each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The event is a tremendous success with tourists and the local population alike.

The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey give one first hand experience of the life style; toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, Coir-making, prawn farming etc., which remains more or less unchanged over the years.

article provided by ATDC

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