Sunday, May 31, 2009


Alappuzha also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Alleppey has a wonderful past. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms , was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in B.C and in the Middle Ages, as well as with other parts of India.
Most important backwater regions are Alleppey , Kumarakom, Kottayam & Kollam. Vembanad lake is the biggest fresh water lakes in Asia, covering an area of 200 sq km, and touched Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, and Ernakulam / Cochin districts. This exclusive backwater destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters. Alleppey/Alappuzha, populary known as " Venice of the East" has a network of canals that meander through the town. Boating across these soothing stretches is an experience exclusive to Kerala.
The backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their produce are often the only link between isolated villages and crowded towns. In Kerala, the total expanse of backwater stretches over 1500 kms, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south. Alleppey which forms the main part of this network has the peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride. Throughout the coastal areas of Kerala backwaters are endless stretches of lakes, lagoons and ponds connected by a network of canals. A huge expanse of estuaries formed by 41 west-flowing rivers, the backwaters stretch to over 1,000 miles. The Kerala backwater routes date back over the centuries and have been long used for all transportation needs, in particular trade in coconut, rubber, price and spices. Today, these waterways link remote villages and islands to the mainland and nerve centers of the coastal area. They also form an ideal highway for the thatched roof houseboats of Kerala, a colorful and unique navy of floating hotel suites, suitable for cruising the backwaters in sybaritic decadence.Alappuzha or Alleppey is also home to Kuttanad, The rice bowl of kerala, one of the very few places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Kuttanad is the most beautiful backwaters region of Kerala. It is here that most of the snake boat races are conducted and a majority of the rice boat & houseboat cruises are scheduled.
Kerala Houseboats

Kerala Houseboats (Riceboats) or kettuvallam are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages of Kerala Backwater area to the towns like Alleppey, Kollam, Cochin and Kottayam. 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 as a modern moving boat house that is kerala houseboats . kerala houseboats size vary from, about to 95 feet feet in length and a width of around 13 feet to in the middle for one bedroom houseboat and , big houseboats with up 107 feet long and up to 19 feet wide. 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".Kerala house boats have fully furnished single double triple and five bedrooms with sundeck, private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with WC. In addition there is also separate rest room.
houseboats in Kerala have a three member crew - a chef, driver & cabin assistants. The cuisine is traditional Kerala flavor with the local specialties; delicious local fish. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people.and 3 bedroom houseboat for 6 , and 5 bedroom houseboat for 10 People.The spectacular beauty of Kerala's backwaters needs no introduction. A Kerala Houseboats cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala in luxury houseboats is the most enchanting holiday experience in India today. In this world of simple pleasures, you will skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves. A guided tour down the backwaters would provide you with a complete and most enchanting experience on the back waters of Kerala and will also reveal to you some interesting facts about the life of local village people. This month's lens view takes you to the backwater stretch of the Vembanad, where one can go for a leisurely cruise on a multi deck boat, allowing you enjoy the scenic backwater life.
Location details
Country -India
Nearest railway station-Alleppey
Nearest Airport-Cochin internation airport(Nedumbassery)
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