Alleppey Backwaters

Backwaters in Alleppey, Alleppey Overview

The Alleppey backwaters  was earlier used as a mode of transportation, fishing and agriculture and have evolved over time as a tourism hotspot. The main attraction of the Alleppey backwaters is the overnight journey in the famous Kerala houseboats. These houseboats are as comfortable as any hotel room - sometimes even more luxurious, and as a bonus, you get the open deck.

Sunset viewing, bird watching, village visits, stargazing, witnessing the everyday life of the farmers and fishermen along with visiting the various regions that specialise in the manufacture of certain products like toddy, coir, handicrafts - Alleppey is a handful of an experience to have.

Alleppey is rightfully called the Venice of the East. With its labyrinth of brackish lagoons and interconnected lakes, Alleppey or Alappuzha is no less than the famous European city - neither in beauty nor in history and culture. Hire your boat and get started along the flow of the stream to soak in its beauty.

Backwaters in Alleppey Highlights

1. Wildlife

Kingfishers, storks, hornbills, swifts and many more domestic and migratory birds are easily spotted in the backwaters, making it a paradise for avian enthusiasts. Other than that, what you get to see (Read More) or experience depends on the route you choose. Keep an eye out for the most magnificent sunsets during the evenings.

2. Kayaking or Canoeing

Kayaking or Canoeing
You can also go kayaking or canoeing on your own, but you have to be sure you can control the boat. Otherwise, there is a chance you will be quite motionless in the middle of the water.

3. Alleppey Backwaters Tour (DTPC Boat)

Alleppey Backwaters Tour (DTPC Boat)
From the tourism department, backwaters tours are conducted by the government. The Alappuzha-Kollam 8 hours' trip departs at 10:30 AM every day and costs INR 300 per head. It covers Kumarakody, Alumka (Read More)davu, Kayamkulam Lake and other attractions. The other tour departs at 11:00 AM for Kuttanad and covers Kumarakom. It costs INR 150 per person. The boat fares vary from one company to another, and also on the size of the vessel you choose.

4. Houseboats in Alleppey, Alleppey

Houseboats in Alleppey, Alleppey
A vacation to Kerala is incomplete without spending some relaxing time, cruising through the backwaters of Alleppey. You can sit back and relax as you enjoy the magnificent setting of beautiful coconu (Read More)t fringed waters, paddy fields and lovely sights of the human-made islands. 

Time Required : 1-2 days
Entry Fee : INR 1500 onwards

5. Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Alleppey

Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Alleppey
One of the most exciting events to be held in Lake in Appleppey is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which is a yearly competitive boating event held on the second Saturday of every August, during the Onam (Read More)festival. The most popular event is the Snake Boat Race, which is a thrilling event to watch as well as participate in. 100-120 feet long canoe-like boats make serpentine movements through the water, thereby popularising the name.

Read More on Backwaters in Alleppey

Alleppey Houseboat Routes

The boarding point for houseboats is usually the Punnamada Lake, the venue of the Nehru Boat Race. The costs of renting the houseboat differ with the type of houseboat you are looking for- budget-friendly, deluxe or luxury boats and the package you opt for.

There are a number of routes that you can take while visiting the Alleppey backwaters to go around the water streams, and mainly Lake Punnamada. You stay the night aboard enjoying the beautiful starlit night before the cruise drops you to your destination.

Alleppey round trip
This round trip of Alleppey or Alappuzha takes you around the legendary lake Punnamada, as you enjoy the soft waves and small hamlets lining both sides of the backwaters. They are covered with their staple green paddy fields and the trademark coconut trees. It takes you to the romantic ambience of Lake Vattakayal where you can spend the night aboard the cruise.

Alleppey to Kottayam
The houseboat cruise trip is probably the most exotic and picturesque one among all. It starts from Alleppey and takes you amidst the most serene areas of the backwaters. This is the perfect opportunity to stay disconnected from the rest of the world and enjoy the nature's bounty that backwaters region of Kerala has to offer. On this trip, you can also witness the toddy farmers at work in the areas that lie below sea level. Toddy is a slightly alcoholic popular drink in south India made from palm trees.

Alleppey to Mankotta
The Mankotta trip takes you to those villages of this region which specialise in coir making. It is one of the most important small industries of Kerala and witnessing the procedure first-hand is a fascinating experience.

Alleppey to Thottapally
Alleppey to Thottapally cruise takes you on a religious and cultural trip. Along with the scenic beauty of the backwaters, this one also takes you to the 400-year-old Champakhulam Church which is one of the 7 churches established by St Thomas in Kerala. It also includes the Ambalappuzha temple of Lord Sri Krishna.

Alleppey to Kumarakom
The Alappuzha to Kumarakom route is perfect for bird watching and witnessing the local villagers at their daily practice of fishing. Exotic migratory birds as well as local ones flock around the salty waters of Alleppey covered with water lilies and create a beautiful scene to behold.

Alleppey to Kidangra
The Kidangra route from Alleppey takes you on a trip through the famous Vembanad Lake and Pathiramanal Island. Both the journey and the places are extremely beautiful experiences for the tourists.

Alleppey to Alumkadavu
This trip offers two-night cruises as well. On this one, you can visit where the story of houseboats all started. Earlier in history, the houseboats, or Kettuvallams as they say, were manufactured by some of the clans who lived in Alukmadavu. This cruise will take you back there and the cruise officials present aboard might also tell you a couple of folklore about it.

Cruising on houseboats in Alleppey is the latest and probably the best addition to the list of ways you can enjoy the mesmerizing natural beauty of this quaint little town. Alleppey is gifted with a unique crisscrossing network of canals that runs throughout the town which allows you to access and explore the entire area while you're relaxing on your houseboat. It is manned by at least 3 people- a cook, a guide and an oarsman. Delicious meals are provided on the houseboats by your in-house cook which are a local favourite. The guide keeps you posted of all the important landmarks you pass and the oarsman makes sure you have a wonderful time cruising along the calm backwaters.

Best Time To Visit Backwaters

If you want to see the boat races, you will have to visit during the Onam, which takes place in the beginning of August. Otherwise, October to April is a good time. Avoid the summer and monsoon months, because with a scorching sun or showering clouds over your head, you will not be able to enjoy the houseboats trips much.

Must Try Cuisine

Alleppey has many places where you can taste the local cuisine. Ditch the regular restaurants and explore the authentic cuisine of the backwaters - shrimps, lobsters, the variety of seafood, coconut rice, chicken chettinad and definitely banana chips and toddy - do not miss out on these.

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