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smooth travel. All houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned.</eat>
smooth travel. All houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned.</eat>
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The district of Alappuzha , also known as Alleppey, is in Kerala. This district headquarters is also known as Alappuzha and is located 70 kilometres south of Cochin. It is often called the Venice of the East due to the canals that connect it to Kerala's famous snaking backwaters.
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.The best thing about Alappuzha and Kerala in general is the weather. Due to its proximity to the ocean it is more temperate than central India. The temperature rarely goes above 35 degrees Celsius and never below 20 degrees. The best time to visit is from August to March. Monsoon is always heavy.Now a days monsoon tourism is also popular from June to August.
Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport. Expect to pay about Rs.450 for a taxi to get from Cochin airport to Cochin, then Bus or train to Alleppey. Alternatively come to airports at Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kozhikode (Calicut), Chennai, Bangalore and catch a train to Alappuzha.
You can also reach Alappuzha from other cities like Kochi (Cochin), Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bengalooru (Bangalore), Coimbatore, Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Mangalore, and Kolkata by train.
There are bus services operating from cities like Cochin (1:15 hours, Rs 33), Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore (overnight luxury Rs 650), Mysore, Coimbatore (overnight Rs.220) to Alappuzha.
Alappuzha district is well-connected by NH 47, which is part of the North-South East-West corridor. It goes via the Alappuzha, Ambalapuzha and Cherthala cities. Alappuzha is well connected to other cities Kochi, Kottayam, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram Kozhikode, Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore by road.
Tourist taxis are the most convenient way to travel around attractions, especially while travelling in a group. Most airports and railway stations have tourist taxi services that would take you anywhere you would want to go.
Alappuzha has an excellent local bus service system and it is cheap.
This is cheap way of transportation between attractions.
Local taxis are also available at cheap rates. There are many Car rental companies offering cars with drivers or self drive. Rates are around Rs 7 per km but there are all sorts of extras.
When you are visiting places like Kuttanad, it's better to opt for boats, as many places in Kuttanad are inaccessible by road.
There are also good ferry services between places that are widely used by the locals, a cheap and scenic way of getting around.
Many of Alappuzha's attractions are easily accessible by foot.
- Alleppey is known for its snake-boat race - the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race , held on the second Saturday of August. It is named after Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated it in 1952. The race is very popular with the locals. Traditional snake boats, each manned by over a hundred local people compete for the Cup. Tourists could rent a houseboat and watch the race close up from those boats.
- If you are visiting Alappuzha, enquire about the schedule of temple festivals. Alappuzha is one of the few towns in Kerala where non-Hindus are generally allowed enter the temple premises. Most of the famous Kerala temples do not allow such thing, and if you are a foreigner you are immediately branded as non-Hindu and prevented from entering. Alappuzha temples are generally not that narrow-minded, though there might be a few areas inside the temples where the entry is restricted. The Ambalapuzha temple festival is particularly impressive. Five elephants carry the Krishna idol for quite a long distance with a music accompaniment. The temple is 14 kilometres away from Alappuzha. It is famous for its rose palpayasam. The temple makes this traditional very sweet milk-based dish as an offering. Because of long boiling the milk condenses turning light pink colour.
- Alleppey has a high percentage of Christians. St. Mary’s Church (Champakulam) is believed to be one of the seven churches established by St. Thomas.
- Sreekrishna Swamy Temple, Ambalapuzha.
- Karimadi Kuttan (Karimadi, Near Ambalapuzha). 9th century black granite statue of the Buddha, locally known as Karimadi Kuttan. This statue is protected by the Archeological survey of India.
- Marari-beach, Mararikulam. Mararikulam is one of the most beautiful place in Alappuzha. Mahadeva temple, Arthunkal church are near by places. 16km north of Alappuzha town. You can get there by local bus from the KSTC bus stand, get off at Maraikulam Junction (journey time: 20min), and then walk 4km or (better) get an autorickshaw for around 30 rupees to the beach itself.
- Main beach, (Western edge of town). A fairly large, flat and clean beach by Keralan standards. An old pier which used to be used for trade and had at one point three railway lines still stands in disrepair. Locals play frisbee and volleyball, and camel and pony rides are available. Free.
- Houseboat cruises Alappuzha is inlaid with channels that support its thriving backwater tourism. Many tourists that come to Alappuzha take a houseboat cruise along the backwaters. Houseboats can be rented for 12 Hrs to few days and there is a new hop-on, hop-off service through remote backwaters in a shared-houseboat. They come equipped with well furnished bedroom, sit-outs, kitchen and modern bath and toilet facilities. Some of the house boats even sport an air-conditioner, though most people prefer a calm cruise with lanterns which add to the rustic feel. The houseboats are manned by drivers and a cook. From the boat one can observe the everyday village life of people, stop for toddy (traditional mildly alcoholic drink made from coconut sap) with grilled prawns, watch birds, and relax in the middle of the lake. It is nice to go towards Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, where rice farming is done below sea level.
- It's advisable to book a houseboat through houseboat operator rather than depending on touts. Touts take commissions between Rs 500 to 2000. Booking on the internet can be a good option, rather than waiting for last-minute booking during the high season. You may get a better price if you book on internet and most operators have good service. As of the 20th October 2009, prices at the Jetty "Finishing Point" were: 8,000Rs overnight (21 hours) for standard, non-a/c... 10,000Rs for standard a/c and 12,000Rs for Premium. Lucky tourists can try last minute bargain with a houseboat operator whose boat does not have business on a particular day and can get a 2 a/c bedroom houseboat for one night even for 7,000.
Some contacts for houseboat booking are:
- Tourindia : Pioneers in backwater tourism, who introduced the first Kettuvallam Houseboat into the backwaters of Kerala years back in 1991, having a fleet of Houseboats, who are the finalits WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) award for the Community Benefit in Bejing 2010, provides special made holidays all over India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, mail:[email protected], Tel.: +914712328070, 2331507, 2330437 00919895605243.
- Lemon Dew, Tours and Travels South Indian Tour Operater, mail:[email protected], Tel.: +91 9895108332, +91 477 2238495, Backwater trips with Houseboats or Canous, and special Village Tours.
- Gwyns Holidays: They have been giving excellent service to its clients. You can write to them in English or French.
- Eco Trails Kerala Houseboat Cruise operator with good reputation among European tourists. They are operating Houseboats from Kumarakom and from Alleppey too. All the contact details can are in their web site [www.thehouseboatskerala.com]
- Indigenous Houseboats Houseboat Cruise operator which have won the “Best Exhibit Award” at the International Boat Show insures to conduct tour programs more efficiently. Indigenous tours rated as the best handling agent for Kerala tourism through their service that meets the global standards. 
- Lake King Cruise: As of April 2009, these folks could be reached at +91-986938488 or +91-477-2234344. They charged 4000Rs for a 12 hour day trip for two people on an air-conditioned houseboat with an upper deck. Although the staff were lovely, the manager Sebin Philip is a businessman and may disconnect some lights as you look at the boat and then charge you premium price rather than standard. He is also absent in the morning when you arrive back and cannot be reached.
- Southern Backwaters Southern Backwaters Jetty Road, Opp KSRTC Bus Station, Kollam (Quilon) Dist, Kerala State, India. +91 94959 76037  Reliable and excellent houseboat tour operator. Also bookable from Allapuzha.
- Activities Overnight canoe trips, bamboo furniture making classes, music lessons, yoga, painting classes etc are organised daily at the Bamboostix Island Resort. Ayurvedic Massage & courses at Sreekrishna and Keraleeyam. Anil at Seashore restaurant organises boating on small foam boat used by Kerala fishermen and even fishing expeditions
- Alleppey beach is another nice place to hang out. Strowl along the beach promenade, have a drink and some food in the "Indian Coffee House" and a ice cream or peanuts from one of the stalls.
- However, it is not a place for swimming. The water is very deep and the current is very strong. Sun tanning might not be a good idea unless you are in a private place. (Personal note: I often go swimming from the Seashore Restaurant owned by Anil who is a lifeguard at the beach and his small hideaway is further north from the main beach. I have never experienced strong currents in non-monsoon periods)
- Main industry in Alleppey is coir manufacturing. Coir is made of coconut husk. Some of bigger producers organize tours of their facilities
- A bicycle can be rented to tour the town and surrounding areas although travelers are advised to be alert and cautious of unpredictable traffic.
- Kreamkorner - This place has two locations (Mullackal Road and Cullan Road) with a relaxed atmosphere and is popular with Indian and foreign families. There's a multicuisine menu with tandoori choices, and the cold coffee with ice-cream beats a frappuchino any day.
- Chakara Restaurant, Beach Road, tel. 2230767. The restaurant at Raheem Residency is the most expensive, and best, place in town. The menu is creative and combines elements of traditional Keralan and European cuisine. Wine is available.
- Arcadia Regency, a 4 star hotel has just opened in 2006, but has priced meals at really low prices to attract customers.
- Vembanad Restaurant - At the Alleppey Prince Hotel, it's well worth making the trip out here. One of the better eating options around, you can dine poolside to live music (nightly from 18:30 )
- Halai's Fried Chicken - This is a small restaurant near Alleppey South Police Station and serves excellent biryani.
- Himalaya Bakery, Mullackal Rd., just north of the bridge over Northern Canal, on the right side. Great baked items such as puff pastries with vegetarian or non-vegetarian filling, tasty samosas and also sweets. There is also a little cafe attached that serves coffee and chai. Their banana and walnut cake (to take away) is particularly delicious!
- Premier Bakery, Mullakkal (north, in heart of the city), ☎ +0477-2262124. Established in the year 1962, serves all type of baked food. Well known for our home made fruit salad with ice cream, variety coconut cookies.
- Dreamers, Beach Front. On the beach, a little south of Harbour restaurant, and cheaper! Well-priced Indian food, with some European dishes. Staff helpful and can also find you drinks not listed on the menu if you request. Restaurant has a pleasant bamboo raised terrace, best to get a table there for view and atmosphere.
- Indian Coffee House, Mullackal Road and Alleppey Beach. There are two main Indian Coffee Houses in Alleppey: one in the centre and one at Alleppey beach. They have the same menu (the same as the rest of Kerala in fact) and serve cheap, tasty south Indian food, ice cream and, of course, their signature coffee.
- biju (houseboat in alleppey), haripad, ☎ 04793290138, . The houseboats are used as grain barges alongside the backwaters. At some time the houseboats were used as living quarters by the royalty. Converted to accommodate tourists, the houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. Most tourists spend the night on a houseboat. Food is cooked on board by the accompanying staff – mostly having a flavour of Kerala. The houseboats are of various patterns and can be hired as per the size of the family or visiting group.. houseboats are motorised but generally proceed at a slow speed for smooth travel. All houseboats have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned.
- Green Kerala (Best Houseboats in Allepey Backwaters), http://greenkerala.info, ☎ 9176651109. Guadian backwaters have got many fleets of house boats and they have been appreciated good for the services they have offered.All the houseboats are available on a daily and weekly basis. The rates are 6500Inr per day for 1BHK and 10000INR for 2BHK.It includes accomodation and mouth watering food(Karemeen polichathu).Candle light dinner for honeymoon couples is one of its remarkable point to mention. They also arrange corporates trips from kochi to kumarakom and students boating on a per head basis.For booking call 9176651109
- Lemon Dew (situated between a canal and a paddy field, 5 min. from the main busstand), East of Chungam (ask for Chungam Bridge), ☎ +91 9895108332, +91 477 2238495. checkin: 24h; checkout: 12:00. Bungalows in big garden with sitout, nonAC/AC with attached huge bathroom/toilett and hot water. Wifi and food is available. It's a quiet and relaxed place, close to the town center and the boat jetty with friendly young staff. As they are grown up in Alleppy they can give you excellent infos. Backwater trips with Houseboats or Canous, and special Village Tours can be arranged with no problems. mail:[email protected], Tel.: +91 9895108332, +91 477 2238495, resonable.
- Orient Venice Inn, Chungam, . Independent cottages. Cottage is well furnished with a/c and nice vast greenary around with water front on Punnamada lake.
- Arcadia Regency, . As of April 2009, it is a decent and hygienic city hotel.
- Bamboostix Island Resort claims to have been 'built by backpackers, for backpackers" is a new eco-resort on an island. Very unique construction with bamboo, thatch and coconut with unique activities like bamboo furniture making, music lessons, overnight canoe trips and shared houseboat cruises contact +91(0)9895407909
- Raheem Residency, classic Indian colonial villa refurbished in a grand style by European owners; now a recognised Heritage Hotel of India; swimming pool imported from France; rooftop restaurant overlooking the Arabian Sea; Ayurveda.
- Hotel Royale Park, a three star category hotel located in the heart of Alappuzha Town, it is located just opposite to Seemati Theater and Vireyya Theater. The hotel having 35 rooms, you can have A/C, Non A/c, Deluxe Rooms, there are Marvelous Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Executive Bar. Foods are just tongue melting, you can arrange Board Meetings, Business Meetings for more than 100 Pax.
- Malayalam Resort is a small (4 rooms) place must be the most photographed (but amazingly least stayed at!) along the edge of the backwater. It is run by a friendly family who cook the best meals in candlelight.www.malayalamlakeresort.blogspot.com +91(0)9895407909 Next to the bigger, more popular Keraleeyam which has ayurvedic massages.
- Punnamada Lake Resort, . A beautiful resort on the bank of Punnamada Kayal [Lake], with its own house boats.
- Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Jana Sakthi Road, Kayippuram, Muhamma, Alleppey 688525, Kerala (resort situated on the Western shore of Kumarakom, at the very edge of Vembanad Lake with a magnificent view of the calm backwaters.), . checkin: 1300; checkout: 1100. The resort offers 27 luxury rooms and suites; and a premium two bedroom airconditioned house boat with an upper deck jacuzzi (The Cruising Villa) anchored at the resort’s private jetty.
- Kerala Houseboats, Punamada Jetty (Near Alleppey town), ☎ 91 9312163396, . checkin: 12h00; checkout: 10h00. Located at Punammada jetty, offers one- and two- bedroom houseboats for cruising between Alleppey and Kumarakom. 5500. (1 bedroom ac houseboat,)
- Palmy Residency, North of DPTC Ladder Bridge (Walk back along the road from the bus station, and cross the river over the first footbridge you come to. Take the small lane opposite the footbridge steps, and walk for about five minutes. It's on your right.), ☎ (0)477 2235938, . Rooms are relatively spacious, very clean and well maintained. The staff are very friendly, and can also arrange highly backwater barge trips which come highly recommended, both for their comfort and relative inexpensiveness. budget.
- Harbour Restaurant, Beach Road, (near Raheem Residency), . An attractive, laid-back beer and wine restaurant with a good selection of multi-cuisine dishes. Go for the Kerala Fish curry! Great! The fish is caught locally. Lovaly to have a chilled glass of wine near the beach - the only place that offers it in this beach area. Mural on one wall by a local artist depicting beautiful snapshot scenes from the area.
- Sree Nagaraja Temple in Mannarasala is 32 kilometers south of Alappuzha near Harippad. It is a Brahman family owned snake temple featuring beautiful stone carvings of snakes throughout its territory. It is headed by a priestess. The temple deity is credited with restoring fertility in women. The turmeric paste available there supposedly cures many diseases.
- 18th century Krishnapuram Palace is located 47 kilometers south of Alappuzha on the way to Kollam. Its two-story building is typical of Kerala architecture. It contains impressive murals worth watching. The palace also housed a museum of antique sculptures and artefacts.
- Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple : Sree Subrahmonia Swamy temple, at Haripad, is one of the oldest and most important temples devoted to Lord Subrahmonia. It is situated at the 53rd Kilometre on the Kollam-Alapuzha highway. Annually three festivals are celebrated in this temple, of which the Chithira festival is the most important. It takes place in Medom (April-May). The procession with the golden peacock throne is quite attractive. The beautiful peacock in the temple is a great feast for your eyes (More.... http://www.haripad.com/)
- Padanilam Parabrahma Temple - a famous Parabrahma temple located 14 kms from Mavelikkara.