A beautiful network of tranquil lagoons, waterways, and canals, Alleppey is the gateway to Kerala’s famous backwaters. Alleppey’s charm lies in its pristine backwaters, swaying coconut trees, laidback lifestyle, emerald green paddy fields, sleepy backwater villages, and of course houseboats. As you traverse through Alleppey’s backwater and wander around the city, you can experience the true meaning of a tropical paradise. So here’s our comprehensive guide to experience the best of sightseeing at Alleppey.
To experience a sunset that will be etched in your memory, visit the tranquil Alleppey Beach. At Alleppey Beach, you can witness rippling blue waves kissing the pristine palm-fringed beach and the tangerine sun setting in the background – a beautiful postcard-like setting. The highlight of this beach is the 150-year pier that extends into the sea. A short walk down the beach will take you to the Alleppey Lighthouse that dates back to 1862. In the evenings between 3-4.30pm, you can climb up the lighthouse to experience some of the best views of the Arabian Sea.
Renowned as the Dwarka of the South, Ambalapuzha Temple is one of the most popular tourist spots in Alleppey. Built between the 15-17th centuries, at this wonderful temple Lord Krishna is worshipped in his Parthasarathy form – Lord Krishna riding Arjuna’s chariot. Beautifully designed in typical Kerala architectural style around a serene pond, a visit to this temple is truly blissful and calming for the soul. You can admire the gorgeous al fresco paintings depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu that adorn the inner walls of this temple. While you are at this temple, you must savour the delicious Amabalapuzha Palpayasam (a sweet dish made of milk, hand pounded rice, and sugar) that devotees line up to receive as Prasad (blessing/offering of God).
Your trip to Alleppey is incomplete without sailing down its picturesque backwaters in a traditional Kerala houseboat – Kettuvallam. These beautiful houseboats in Alleppey will take you through a labyrinthine network of lagoons canals, crisscross waterways, rivulets, and exotic palm-fringed islands. For centuries the backwaters were used for public transport but today they offer the most surreal way to explore Alleppey, its lush tropical villages and islands, and quaint rustic lifestyle. During a houseboat cruise, you can idly relax on the deck or balcony of the houseboat and watch life pass by – undoubtedly a tranquil experience! If you are pressed for time you can choose to opt for a day cruise instead of an overnight cruise – this is an experience you must not miss!
Backwater Villages – Toddy Tapping and Coir Making
Exploring lush green backwater villages near Alleppey not only gives an insight into the region’s natural beauty but also into its country lifestyle, architecture, art and traditions. Discover the unique local art of coir making and toddy tapping. Famous as the land of coconuts, villagers use fibres from the outer husk of coconuts to make and handicrafts, whereas the juice from coconut palms is used to be exotic, delicious toddy (palm wine).
Kayaking in the backwaters
Kayaking is the best way to get up, close, and personal with the Alleppey backwaters. On a kayaking excursion, you can enjoy the thrilling experience of navigating through backwater canals, rivulets and small waterways that cannot be accessed by larger boats. As you gently kayak through the backwaters, you can catch a glimpse of the daily life in Alleppey – cozy villages tucked away in pockets of greenery, children merrily playing in the outdoors, fisherman out to find their daily catch, devotees worshipping in ancient temples by the canals, and farmers working in the fields to add their own shade of green to this mesmerizing landscape. During the excursion keep an eye for some rare birds.