Kerala, famously known as the ‘God’s own country’ has a number of places to offer rich natural beauty with abundant flora and fauna, culture and heritage, delicious food and the warm hospitality of the locals. Among such places is Alleppey or Alappuzha , which is often regarded as the Venice of the East by travellers from around the world. A splendid paradise of nature full of coconut trees, small alleys and backwater canals, sky-blue lagoons, gorgeous little houses and lip-smacking sea food is what Alleppey is all about. While there are many places to visit in Alleppey, you must explore the ones that are really untouched and worth visiting.
The experiences that Alleppey offers to its visitors, leaves them yearning to return back to this little paradise in Kerala. Also, the small cruise houseboats are something you should not miss while you are in Alleppey. And with the increasing number of foreign tourists coming in, there are quite a few hostels around Alleppey to stay in dirt-cheap money and meet different people.
Let us now take a look at the best time to visit Alleppey.
Best time to visit Alleppey
Although Alleppey is a year around destination, given below is the month wise weather chart to help you plan your trip along with the best time to visit.
- November to February- Winters are the best time to visit Alleppey without a doubt. The weather during these months is quite pleasant to explore Alleppey on foot as well as to go on a houseboat ride.
- March to May- This is time of peak summers in Alleppey. Due to the extreme heat, a lot of people do not visit Alleppey during this time. If you want to visit Alleppey in summers with less crowds, then these are the ideal months to do so.
- June to September- June marks the beginning of monsoons in Alleppey. Although it is not possible to take a houseboat ride during this season, you can sit back and relax in the peaceful nature in Alleppey during monsoons. Also, make sure you carry an umbrella or raincoat with you.
How to Reach Alleppey
Alleppey is accessible from all of the major cities connected with air, rail and road. Let us take a look at how to reach Alleppey.
- By Air- The nearest Airport is the Cochin International Airport at a distance of 75 kms. The airport is well connected to most of the major cities of India. You can either book a cab or get on a bus to Alleppey from the Airport.
- By Rail- The nearest railway station is the Alleppey Railway Station and is well connected with the cities of Trivandrum and Cochin. From the railway station, you can reach the main city by auto.
- By Road- Alleppey is well connected by luxury buses from all the major cities across Kerala.
Let us now take a look at the 11 absolutely incredible places to visit in Alleppey. There are also direct luxury buses operating between Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore and Coimbatore to Alleppey.
Distance of Alleppey from all the major cities in India
- Mumbai to Alleppey- 1472 km/ 26 hrs By Road
- Bangalore to Alleppey- 594 km/ 12 hrs By Road
- Delhi to Alleppey- 2771 km/ 48 hrs By Road
- Chennai to Alleppey- 739 km/ 13 hrs By Road
- Kochi to Alleppey- 53 km/ 1.15 hrs By Road
Alleppey is quite popular for its delectable cuisine. Let us take a look at the few things to buy in Alleppey along with the best food items that you can savour here.
Places to Shop in Alleppey
- St. Thomas Fine Arts in Alleppey is a one stop shop to get numerous things. May it be a souvenir you want to take back, or small artifacts and handicrafts made of intricate designs, St.Thomas Fine Arts is your one stop shop to do so.
- Canal Bazar– Canal Bazar offers a unique experience of shopping the spices. You will nearly get the all kind of fresh spices here put up on display in different colors. Also, you get a variety of chips including banana, jackfruit and tapioca.
- Floating Triveni – Offering you an unique experience of shopping on the boat, Floating Triveni is market you can buy variety of clothes.
Places to Eat in Alleppey
- Halais Restaurant– If you really want to have some delicious shawarmas and mouth watering kebabs, Halais is the place you should go for in Alleppey. Located centrally in the city, Halais is a perfect choice to satisfy your taste buds.
- Cochin Majlis– If you want to spend some time late night with your family or your loved one while having sumptuous dinner, go to Cochin Majlis.
- Himalaya Bakery – One of the most places in Alleppey, Himalaya Bakery is among the gems in Alleppey. From cakes to croissant to pastries, you geet mouth watering delicacies here.
- Avees Puttu House– If you come to Kerala and do not have Puttu, your trip is surely incomplete. Avees Puttu House in Alleppey is one such place to have mouth watering puttu. Puttu is basically layered steam rice covered with coconut and served with gram or lentil chutney.
Top 10 incredible places to visit in Alleppey
1. Kuttanad Backwaters
Popularly known in South India as the ‘Rice bowl of Kerala’, Kuttanad Backwaters are a real treat to the eyes. Consisting of shimmering waterways, canals, rivulets, lakes and rivers, Kuttanad is a beautiful tropic region in Kerala. The whole area is surrounded with numerous hills and sea giving its visitors some of the unique vistas.
The paddy fields of Kuttanad are quite popular. They are huge in size and interlaced with backwaters which provides incredible sights to witness. The interesting part of Kuttanad being that, the farming here is done below the sea level. The travelers who are interested to learn more about agro-farming and agriculture tourism in Kerala need to visit Kuttanad at least once.
Kuttanad is also quite popular for its meeting point of four rivers- Meechil, Achankovil, Pampa and Manimala where you can laze around the complete day by the beautiful scenery. Thus, Kuttanad is easily among the top incredible places to visit in Alleppey. If you are in Alleppey and want to spend a day relaxing by the pristine backwaters, Kuttanad is the perfect option to do so.
Things to do- You need to visit the paddy fields here to experience the true culture of Kerala and learn more about agriculture. Visiting the four rivers.
Quick Tip – While you visit Kuttanad, make it a point to stay in a homestay to experience the local life up close at least for a day.
2. St.Mary’s Forane Church
If you wish to see one of the exquisite churches in Alleppey, it is without a doubt the St.Mary’s Forane Church. Dating back to nearly 835 AD, known for its numerous events and educational institutions. The church is currently said to be housing around 2500 families and is one of the biggest and most popular churches in Alleppey. Also, it is among the places that are frequently visited by a large number of tourists.
The church organizes two fests every year dedicating to different occasions and sees a large number of locals coming in for the feast along with the Darsons Samooham, which is an association playing a pivotal role in the organization.
While you can visit the church in a day usually, if you happen to be in Alleppey during the feast, do not miss visiting the church. The whole church decorated with lights and fireworks with grand feasts and regal look makes it worth visiting, while you are in Alleppey. Thus, St.Mary’s Forane Church is easily among the best sightseeing places in Alleppey.
Things to do- Explore the church to witness the grand architecture, experience the grand feast during the festivities.
3. Krishnapuram Palace
Undoubtedly among the best tourist places is the Krishnapuram Palace. If you wish to gain an insight into the lives and times of people living in South India along with their age old culture and traditions, Krishnapuram Palace is a perfect place to do so. Spending a whole day at the palace in Alleppey is sure to rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.
The palace is now a palace along with a museum that has the abundant history of South India. Initially, being the foothold of the Travancore Kingdom, the palace was built by Anizham Thirunal Marthanda Varma in 18th century. The architecture of the palace consists of different narrow corridors and dormer windows with the beautiful gabled roofs and other areas that will remind you of the classic architecture of South India.
The palace is currently maintained and run by the Archaeological Department of Kerala. Thus, while you are in Alleppey and you wish to indulge yourself into the history of lives and culture of South India, then you must visit the Krishnapuram Palace.
Things to do- Explore the museum to know more about the culture and history of South India.
4. Alleppey Beach
Easily among the top incredible places to visit in Alleppey is the famous Alleppey Beach. Glistening sound of waves, crystal clear blue waters, white sands, enchanting sunrise and dreamy sunsets is what Alleppey Beach is all about. The beach with its vast and endless stretches is quite popular among solo travelers, couples and families as well .
Also, the remain of Alappuzha Sea Bridge is also what makes the beach quite popular among tourists and explorers. The bridge that now stands in a broken state, still tells the story of how Alleppey was an important port during older times. This bridge was used to transport the goods to the ships during earlier times.
The beach is in close proximity to the popular parks such ass Vijay Park and Sea View Park where you can spend some time lazing around. Also, BIshop’s House which is another tourist spot here is located in the close vicinity of the beach.
Thus, the Alleppey Beach serves as a perfect getaway location in Alleppey to unwind yourself. With the vast stretches of beach and clean coast along with the pristine blue waters and white sand, Alleppey Beach is undoubtedly among the top incredible places to visit in Alleppey.
Things to do- Laze around on the beach, Explore street food on the beach, Explore and visit the old sea bridge and the lighthouse.
Quick Tip:- Alleppey Beach is among the perfect destinations for the couples to spend their honeymoon time at. Alleppey Beach offers a number of resorts and sea facing hotels.
Karumadi is a tiny little village located at a few kilometers from Alleppey. The place is quite popularly known for the history and development of Buddhism as a religion. Also, it has a black granite statue of Buddha which is quite famous among the explorers who come visit Karumadi.
There are numerous stories related to the missing hand of Buddha Statue. Some of them state that the left hand is missing as it was cut off while other say it was broken over a period of time. These stories make the visit to the statue even more worth.
Many legends surround the statue of Buddha saying it has numerous mystical and magical powers. As we know, how Buddha was known for his wisdom and philosophy, visiting the statue is more or less visiting the Buddha himself.
A number of travellers who are ill come down to touch the feet of the statue as it is believed to have the miraculous powers of healing. Thus, while you are in Alleppey, do make it a point to visit the village of Karumadi and the Buddha statue. There are numerous local restaurants and eateries around serving you some of the best culinaries of Kerala.
Things to do- Visiting the Buddha statue, exploring the lanes of the village of karumudi.
Don’t Miss – The Buddha Statue at Karumadi is something you must not miss while you are in Alleppey. The fact that the left hand of the statue is missing along with the folktales and stories connected to it is worth visiting.
6. Marari Beach
If you want to unwind yourself completely, then Marari Beach is a perfect place to visit in Alleppey. Marari is quaint little sleepy village near Alleppey. What makes it even more distinct and attractive over other places is the rich culture and traditions followed by people even till date.
The beach is quite popularly known for its pristine blue waters and white sands. While you are here, experiencing sunrise and sunsets is quite a thing to do. The beach is also famous among the couples and honeymooners who need the perfect solace from the crowds. Also, the beach is rated among the top five hammock beaches by National Geographic Survey.
The Marari Beach is said to provide travelers with the unique and offbeat experiences than most of the places in Kerala. It offers you the perfect solitude away from the crowds to unwind with the abundant natural beauty around.
The village by the sea is a place where you can go to learn more about the culture and history of Kerala. There are a few strict rules that need to followed while you are at the beach, as the whole are is Ecologically preserved well .
While there are a few restaurants and cafes here, where you can enjoy sumptuous meals, the local cuisines at one of the houses is what makes it special. Thus, while you are here, Marari Beach is among the best places to visit in Alleppey.
Things to do – Lazing around the beach, exploring the village life around.
Quick Tip– While you are here, visit and stay at one of the home stays here to truly experience the culture and traditions of Kerala.
7. Pandavan Rock
Deriving its name from the famous epic of Mahabharata, the Pandavan Rock is among the popular tourist attractions in Alleppey. The place has numerous stories linked to it told by the locals and interesting enough for you to visit the place at least once. It is widely believed that this place has a cave where the Pandavas had stayed during their exile period.
As of now, the cave is no more accessible to people but the rocks serves as a beautiful backdrop for a day picnic spot. You need to walk all the way to the rock cutting through trails. The trail is full of different trees and gives you some of the mesmerizing views of the hills around.
During the walk to the Pandava Rock, the famous Kallada Dam is also visible and you can take a detour to the dam for some time and then come back to visit the rock.
Thus, while you are in Alleppey and want to spend a free day, do make it a point to visit the Pandava Rock to indulge yourself in a hike along with the chance to spend in nature. Pandava Rocks is easily among the best tourist spots to visit in Alleppey.
Things to do- Go for a day out picnic, Explore the forests nearby.
If you are someone who is into bird watching, there is a perfect place in Alleppey to do so. Pathiramanal which literally means “Sands of the Night” is a small island near Alleppey popularly known for the bird watching. It is located in the backwaters of the Vembanad and is bird-watchers paradise.
The island is said to have about 91 local species of birds and 50 migratory species of birds. The location and geography of the island is quite scenic which makes it a perfect place to observe birds and water body. The island is inhabitable making it less crowded for you to watch the birds in perfect solitude and harmony with nature.
The island being an inhabitable place lake a few basic qualities though which includes benches for tourists to sit, washrooms or places to eat food. Also, the place being a quite small one can be toured in around an hour.
The whole experience of boating across Vembanad is quite enchanting with the beautiful views of the marshy waters, boats and small houses tucked into deep forests. Also, the exploration of island on foot is something you must not miss while you are here.
If you happen to visit the island during the perfect season, you will be welcomed with the chirping of different birds in the forest. Thus, Pathiramanal is undoubtedly among the top incredible places to see in Alleppey.
Things to do- Experience the audant migratory birds here, Laze around by the lake.
9. Vembanad Lake
One of the places in Alleppey that you must absolutely visit is the famous Vembanad Lake. It is Kerala’s longest lake and is also considered among the largest in all of India. Numerous canals in Alleppey and other places empty their canals in to this lake making its expanse really big. SInce the lake is quite big and connected to many of the districts in Kerala, it has different names to it in every different district.
There are quite a few islands that dot its length in Kerala. You must experience boating in this lake to witness the true beauty of backwaters of Kerala. The Kumarakom tourist village is a project developed by Government to offer visitors the chance of exploring the lake in a houseboat as well as staying in one. Imagine yourself floating in the magnificent lake early morning, while the birds chirp outside your boat and you sip a cup of coffee or tea while sitting in your houseboat. The whole experience of staying in a houseboat at Vembanad is something that cannot be explained in words.
If you happen to visit this lake during August, you will be lucky to see the popular Snake Boat Race that takes place here. Hundreds of boats line up in this lake for a race that is held once annually and is no less than a spectacle you must not miss. Thus, while you in Alleppey, Vembanad lake is certainly among the best tourist attractions that you must visit.
Things to do- Stay at least for a night in the house boat at Vembanad to relax, Enjoy a boat ride through backwaters.
10. Ambalapuzha Temple
The temple is undoubtedly among the most rewarding places in Alleppey to visit. While the temple is the oldest Krishna Temple in Kerala, it is also the oldest in all of India. Built somewhere around 15-17th century, the temple has quite a unique architecture to it. Also, it has a soothing ambience which will instantly calm you down and make you simply want to sit for hours in the premises of the temple.
Since there is no entry fee for the temple and everyone is allowed to enter, Ambalapuzha Temple sees a lot of foreigner tourists as well. The inner sanctum of the temple is beautifully decorated with the paintings of Lord Krishna and the other incarnations of Lord Vishnu. There is also a quite huge mandapam outside where you can sit and absorb the energy of the temple while you are there. The temple holds a great importance in the Vaisnava tradition and is also known as the ‘ Dwarka of the South’ by many people.
When you are visiting the temple, do not forget to have the popular sweet milk porridge- Palpayasam. People visiting from all over the world, love this prasadam. Every year during March and April, the temple holds an annual festival which you must not miss. Ambalapuzha is undoubtedly among the best tourist spots in all of Alleppey making it a must visit.
Things to do- Visit the temple to witness the architecture, Do not forget tasting the delicious prasadam, relax in the temple area.
In the end, Alleppey with its charmingly beautiful canals and backwaters, pristine blue water and white-sand beaches, delicious food, sky-blue lagoons and warm hospitality of locals is a perfect place to unwind yourself. You will surely feel like traveling and lazing around in the “Venice of East” as they say.