Alappuzha (or) Alleppey, the waterlocked district with its palm fringed canals and shores of the Arabian Sea, the mirror still lagoons, picture book lakesides and long sandy beach,is one of the best Backwater tourism destinations in God's Own Country - Kerala. The large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline.
Water carnivals using the gigantic snake boats and the country canoes of varying sizes have an important role in the community life of the people of the district. The month of August holds the prime attraction to the civilians and the tourists as it is the time of the spectacular event -the Nehru Trophy Boat Race that is held on the second saturday of August every year.
A cruise on an elegant houseboat offers a rare chance to view the attractive dense palm groves that are so characteristic of Kerala's landscape. This district is also notable for its numerous pilgrimage centres that draw vast crowds on the festival days and also boasts of having some of the best ayurvedic rejuvenation centres in Kerala. This Venice of the East is also famous for its coir and carpet industries in addition to featuring many other attractions of tourist importance.
Washed by the silvery waves of the Arabian Sea, Alappuzha, the Venice of the East welcomes you to the backwaters of kerala. One night cruise on the backwaters of the Alappuzha is one of the most popular cruises offered.
A round trip, in which you board the boat at Alappuzha and disembark at Alappuzha after having spent the night in the tranquility of the Backwaters.
The cruise takes you through the clear waters of the prominent Punnamada Lake – the venue of the legendary Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race. You can visit the 400 year old Champakkulam church, one of the 7 churches established by St. Thomas. The Chavara Bhavan, located 6 km from Alappuzha, is another interesting place that one can't afford to miss. The ancestral home of the Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, the Chavara Bhavan houses the legendary 250 year old beacon of light – preserved intact in its original and primitive form. After spending the night at the romantic Vattakayal Lake, you sail back to Alappuzha.
During the months of August and September, the moist, rain-drenched earth and the glorious everflowing backwaters burst into a song together, as over a hundred thousand men and women gather on the banks to witness a spectacular water regatta - the SNAKE BOAT RACES. Boat race crew begin to practice for the race months before the great day. They live together, eat together, toil together to work themselves into a smooth, co-ordinated team.
For more information: http://www.alappuzha.com/, http://www.keralagreenery.org/alappuzha.html, http://www.atdcalleppey.com/, http://hotels.kerala-tourism.org/alleppey-hotels.html