Aluva (formerly Alwaye)is the second largest town in Greater Kochi City and an important commercial town in Ernakulam District, Kerala. The town is famous its festivals, large river banks and temples. Many of Kochinites (people of Kochi, as popularly known), do prefer to live in Aluva, while working in Ernakulam City, considering quiet cityscape, waterfront facility and presence of large commercial areas.
Aluva, is well known for its large river banks of Periyar River. The town is divided into two halves by the river, making the commerical town towards southern side of river and residential areas towards northern side. The Shiva Temple, located in river banks is the main attraction of the town, due to the traditions and legends associated with it. The temple gets submerged under river, during moonsoon season (May-Sept).
Aluva has a major historical significance. The town ceded to Travancore Kingdom by Kochi Kingdom as part of Travancore-Kochi Treaty of 1790. Due to which, the town became a first major defence line for Travancore-Kochi Kingdoms from any external aggressions. The Northern side of Aluva (Travancore Aluva), thus became famous for its extensive Nedumkotta lines (Frontlines Fortifications) of Travancore Army, whereas Southern Aluva (Cochin Aluva) turned into commercial port which received boats and ferry from Travancore's High ranges loaded with spices and other commodities of high value.
The formation of Modern Aluva started, when H.H Maharaja Chitra Thirunal, then-the Maharaja of Travancore started his industrialization program in 1930s, making Travancore Aluva, one of the major centers for various industries. More than a dozen heavy industries were opened, creating the largest industrial belt in Kerala. A large bridge across Periyar made easy connectivity between Cochin and Travancore sides of Aluva, which helped the town to grow and diversify its economy into non-agrarian areas.
After independence, both sides of town merged into a single municipality and merged into Ernakulam district. Again, Aluva got a shot in the arm, when Kerala's largest private bank - The Federal Bank made the town as its Headquarters. Several small and medium sector financial institutions soon started its operations from this town, boosting its local economy. In 1990, Aluva was included into Greater Kochi Area, making it part of Kochi City and satellite town of Ernakulam.
Aluva is well connected by air, road and rail from all parts of the country
Cochin International Airport, is just 15 Kms from the town center and thus Aluva is the most nearest town from Airport. Regular domestic and international connections are available from the Airport.
Aluva railway station (IR Code: AWY) in the town, is the second largest railway station in Kochi UA after Ernakulam South. All passenger, express trains bound to southern Kerala do have a stop in this station. Some leaflets/websites still refer the town's old name (Alwaye).
Rajiv Gandhi Central Bus Station is one of the largest Bus terminal in Kochi UA. Regular private and KSRTC Bus connect from all parts Kerala to this station. Apart from this, daily passenger bus of Karnataka RTC and Tamil Nadu's SETC do connect from places like Mysore, Mangalore, Bangalore, Trichy, Coimbatore, Salem, Palani, Kodaikanal etc.
Privately operated Inter-state bus to Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore, Mumbai etc do have stops in various points of Aluva town.
Aluva is one major stop for National Waterway 3, scheduled to open by August 2010 which connects to Thiruvananthapuram in south and Kottapuram (Thrissur) in north.