<< Kerala Village Tourism

The most important tourist attraction in Alleppey is the leisurely boat cruise through the stretch of backwaters fringed by coconut palms. Alleppey, one of the exotic sites of backwater tourism in the state of Kerala is better known as the "Venice of the East" for its labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it. This tiny town in Kerala attracts tourists especially during the time of the annual boat race.

For tourists Alleppey is the pivotal point for boat cruises into Keralas famed backwaters and the states lush rice bowl, Kuttanad. The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey give one a first hand experience of the simple life style of the people which is a far cry form the bustle and rat race of the city folk in India. One of the most popular cruise routes are from Alleppey south to Kollam (Quilon) for about 8 hours including stops for lunch, chai (tea), a temple visit and a kathakali (dance drama) apart from enjoying the most entrancing scenery of palm-lined banks, quiet water-bound villages, Chinese fishing nets, prawn farming and coir manufacture.

There are several tourist attractions in and around Alleppey. Mullackal Bhagawathy Temple in the heart of the town dedicated to Goddess Rajarajeshwari gives the feel of a typical Kerala temple.Alleppey Beach is a long sandy stretch with a lighthouse and a pier jutting out into the sea, a reminder of its age-old maritime importance.

The not-to-be-missed spectacle in Alleppey is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race which began in 1952 on the occasion of the visit of Indias first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to Alleppey, It is now a major event held in August on Punnamada Lake and features the gigantic snake-boats of Kerala, the chundans, once the battleships of the Malayalee kings of ancient times. Today the Boat Race has grown into Alleppeys single most important tourist event, with each boat being sponsored by a different village. Competition is severe as the boats, with over 100 rowers in each, race to the finish to the accompaniment of rousing music. Alleppey offers glimpses of the coir manufacturing process-from the coconut husk to the final rope/coir yarn stage. There are also several shops selling coir mats and carpets.

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