Referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’ by Lord Curzon, Alleppey is known for its backwaters, beaches and canals. But, the city is more than rustic Kerala backwaters and houseboats. The temples and ancient sites are an absolute delight for history buffs and anyone who loves art. If you are longing for a relaxed vacation away from the crowd, amidst nature, get ready to fall in love with Alleppey or Alappuzha, its other name. And to help you plan a memorable getaway, we list prominent places to visit in Alleppey. Read on…
Places to Visit in Alleppey:
|Alappuzha Beach||Marari Beach|
|Punnapra Beach||Vembanad Lake|
|Pathiramanal||Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple|
|Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple||St. Mary’s Forane Church|
|Pandavan Rock||Revi Karunakaran Museum|
1. Alappuzha Beach, Alleppey
Also known as Alleppey Beach, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. The scenic beach has a 150-year old pier merging into the sea. Alappuzha beach hosts many festivals including the famous Sand Art Festival. While the beach is loved by visitors who want to spend some quiet time, the place is also a hit among adventure lovers. You can try surfing, parasailing, and other activities on the beach.
2. Marari Beach, Alleppey
Turquoise water, golden sand, and palm trees at the backdrop make Marari an ideal retreat for a beach vacation. If this isn’t enough to excite you, Marari beach was named among the top five ‘Hammock Beaches in the World’ by National Geographic Survey. You can try deep-sea fishing, surfing, parasailing, and water-skiing at the beach.
3. Punnapra Beach, Alleppey
One of the most secluded beaches in Alleppey, Punnapra Beach is a serene getaway. The pristine waters and golden sand add to the beauty of the place. If you want to spend some quiet moments on an Alleppey vacation, there couldn’t be a better place than Punnapra Beach. We recommend that you try the famous Ayurvedic massage of Kerala on the beach to rejuvenate body and mind.
4. Vembanad Lake, Alleppey
The longest lake in India, Vembanad Lake flows across several districts in Kerala. It is called by several names including Punamada Lake, Kochi Lake, and Vembanadu Lake. Among the major highlights of this lake is Kettuvallams (houseboats), numerous resorts along the banks and the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race.
5. Pathiramanal, Alleppey
Pathiramanal means ‘Sands of the Night’. A small lake island on the backwaters of Lake Vembanad, it is an ideal spot to observe birds. There are more than 91 species of local and 50 species of migratory birds. Explore the island and you will be surprised to find yourself surrounded by some rare species of birds and chirping sound coming from everywhere. Read also – Romantic destination in India
- Distance: 30 minutes’ speedboat ride from Alleppey
- Timings: 06:00 am – 06:00 pm
6. Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple, Alleppey
Also called ‘Dwarka of the South’, Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple is said to be built between 15th – 17th century AD. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple is one of the oldest shrines in the region. The main deity in the temple is Parthasarathi, which is another name for Lord Krishna. The idol is carved out of black granite and has a conch (shankh) in the left hand and holds a whip in right hand. The temple has traditional Kerala style architecture and is famous for its unique prasad – Pal Payasam, a milk and rice pudding.
- Timings: 03:00 am – 12:00 pm; 05:00 pm – 08:00 pm
7. Mullakkal Rajeshwari Temple, Alleppey
Also called Mullakkal Bhagwati Temple, the temple is open for people of all religions, castes, and faiths. A perfect example of Kerala-style architecture, the temple has an open roof shrine called ‘sanctum sanctorum’. There’s also a small pond inside the temple and a separate shelter for elephants. The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Rajeshwari, and other gods including Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna.
- Timings: 04:30 am – 10:00 am; 05:00 pm – 08:00 pm
8. St. Mary’s Forane Church, Alleppey
With construction dating back to 427 AD, St. Mary’s Forane Church is amongst the oldest Syrian Catholic churches in the country. The rich history, architecture, and legacy of the church attract several tourists every day. The architecture of the church is a mix of Syrian and Portuguese designs. The church is believed to be the reason for the restoration of friendly relations between Jacobian Syrians and Catholics. The church is also famous for being home to 2500 families. Click here to know more about places to visit in July
- Location: Champakulam
- Timings: 06:00 am – 06:00 pm
9. Karumadi, Alleppey
Karumadi is a small village which is famous for a 3 ft. tall, half broken statue of Lord Buddha; the left-hand side of the statue is missing. This black granite statue that is believed to be dating back to the 11th century was abandoned in a nearby stream and recovered by a British official named Sir Robert Bristow in 1930s. It is said that the statue has healing powers and anybody who touches the feet of the statue gets rid of their illness.
- Timings to visit Lord Buddha’s shrine: 09:30 am – 04:30 pm
10. Alleppey Lighthouse, Alleppey
One of the oldest such structures of Kerala, Alleppey Lighthouse was also the marker of busiest ports and trade centres in the state. The lighthouse was constructed during the reign of Marthanda Varma II, and the tower was installed in 1862. The lighthouse offers a 360-degree view of the Arabian Ocean, and one can easily spend hours enjoying the infinity feeling.
- Location: CCSB Rd, Civil Station Ward, Alleppey
- Timings: 03:00 pm – 4:30 pm
- Entry Fee: ₹ 20 for Indians; ₹ 50 for Foreign Nationals
11. Pandavan Rock, Alleppey
Pandavan Rock derived its name from Pandavas, the five famous brothers in Mahabharata. It is believed that Pandavas stayed inside the cave during their exile. The walk till the rock is quite interesting and it is an amazing place to spend time with family. The stunning view of hills and forests surrounding the rock serve as the perfect backdrop for photography.
- Location: Urukunnu, Alleppey
- Timings: 06:00 am – 10:00 pm
12. Revi Karunakaran Museum, Alleppey
Revi Karunakaran Museum was built by Betty Karunakaran, in memory of her husband Revi Karunakaram – a leading industrialist and businessman. This privately owned museum has an amazing collection of Swarovski crystals, Murano glassworks, sculptures, and Tanjore paintings to name a few. Also, there’s a ‘Kerala Room’ in the museum with more than 3800 exhibits to represent the growth of Kerala over these years.
- Location: CCSB Road, Alleppey
- Timings: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm (Closed on Monday)
- Entry Fee: ₹ 100
13. Thumpoly Beach, Alleppey
Does your tired urban soul need the sight of warm, golden sands, dotted with lofty palm trees? Then, a visit to Thumpoly Beach is recommended. Definitely among the best places to visit in Alappuzha, it has a picturesque stretch of rocks too, which adds character to this scenic place. A popular hub for the local fishing community, this beach is where you can spot many birds, relish authentic seafood at a shack, or play with the waves. A leisurely stroll and photography sessions can refresh you too.
14. Krishnapuram Palace, Alleppey
Boasting the quintessential architectural style of Kerala, Krishnapuram Palace is a gorgeous 18th-century affair. Dormer windows, a gabled roof and narrow corridors lend it uniqueness. Once the property of Maharaja Marthanda Varma of Travancore, this palace (also includes a museum) is currently under the Kerala State Department of Archaeology’s care. Soak in the serenity of the large pond inside the palace, which is believed to conceal underground escape paths from enemies. Spare some time to admire a Bible written in Sanskrit, a double-edged sword called Kayamkulam Val, and the stunning 154 sq. ft. Gajendra Moksham mural.
- Location: Oachira Rd, near Krishnapuram, Kayamkulam
- Timings: 09:30 am to 04:30 pm (Monday closed)
- Entry Fee: INR 10 per adult, INR 5 per child, INR 25 per still camera, and INR 250 per camcorder
15. Triveni Floating Market, Alleppey
A bright red and white chequered boat on tranquil waters – makes for a pretty picture right? That is exactly what Triveni Floating Market, among the top places of interest in Alleppey, is. If you have seen or heard of the floating markets in Indonesia or Bangkok, you know what we are talking about. Since waterways are a major mode of transport in Alleppey, this floating market promises retail therapy of a whole new kind. Owned by the state government, it supplies everything from groceries to stationery items to toiletries. In fact, people from around 12 districts shop from here. You can binge on prawns, fish curry, or even banana chips as you float and shop.
- Location: Vembanad Lake
- Timings: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm
16. Champakulam, Alleppey
Widely acclaimed for the Moolam boat race or snake boat race held here, Champakulam is a charming village that delights the senses with lush coconut groves and paddy fields. The River Pampa divides the village into two, and is dotted with cosy houseboats for a quaint experience. A visit to St. Mary’s Forane Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in the country, can soothe your soul. An open-air cross made of rock, some archaeological artefacts, and some rock inscriptions are sure to intrigue history buffs.
- Location: Kuttanad
17. Punnamada Lake, Alleppey
A picturesque extension of the Vembanad Lake, Punnamada Lake’s popularity lies in the Nehru Trophy boat race conducted here. Since it is held during the festival of Onam, tourists from different parts of the country visit the lake for a grand sight. Pallippuram, Pathiramanal, and Perumbalam are the islands surrounded by this lake. This is one of the beautiful places to visit in Alleppey in 2 days. So, apart from capturing its beauty on your camera, you can rent one of the houseboats that float on this lake, for an unforgettable time.
- Location: Kuttanad
18. Andhakaranazhi Beach, Alleppey
While this quaint and clean beach sees tourists every now and then, it is still an unspoilt getaway that entices with its peaceful atmosphere. A part of the coastal village of Andhakaranazhi, it is frequented by fishermen, and you can often see large nets spread out to dry. An aerial walkway leading to the beach offers memorable sunset views and is a great spot for feeling the breeze in your hair. Just a word of caution – the water level can be unpredictable. So, if you are not too sure, stick to lazy strolls on the warm sand.
19. Kuttanad Backwaters, Alleppey
Famed as the Rice Bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad is a gorgeous green haven, which you can admire, soak in and photograph during a gentle boat ride on the backwaters. On the way, you will come across the Munroe Lighthouse at Pallom, which is an architectural wonder, followed by fields bursting with red and white water lilies. The journey will also open your eyes to how far agricultural engineering has come in India, when you see farmlands that are 10 feet below sea level. Mind you, these farmlands have all been reclaimed from the Kuttanad backwaters. Remember to stop at one of the restaurants dotting the banks, to dig into freshly fried or curried fish. No wonder, Kuttanad backwaters are one of the best places to visit in Alleppey for couples.
- Best Time to Visit: October to February
20. Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Alleppey
Counted among the oldest and biggest temples in Kerala, Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy Temple is believed to have been built before the Kali Yuga. The reigning deity is Karthikeya, eight feet tall and with four arms. The temple’s architecture is worthy of note as well, as it has four gopurams or ornate entrances, a circular sanctum, and a pond that takes up 5 acres of land. It is among the largest of its kind in Kerala. You might also come across beautiful peacocks on the premises, as they are protected here. The festivals celebrated at this temple are based on the Tamil calendar.
- Location: Haripad
- Timings: 04:00 am to 08:30 pm, all days
- Entry Fee: Free
21. Andrew’s Basilica, Alleppey
Built in the 16th century by Portuguese missionaries, St. Andrew’s Basilica is St. Sebastian’s largest shrine in the world. Countless pilgrims flock to the church in January to participate in the grand annual feast of St. Sebastian, which is known as makaram perunnal as well. A statue of St. Sebastian, crafted in Milan, was placed in the church in 1647. It depicts the saint’s arrow-struck bleeding form to remind devotees of the suffering he bore to embrace Christianity. The architecture of the church, the beautiful and serene interiors, as well as the Rosary Park, which is dotted with sculptures narrating the story of Jesus Christ, makes the place a top tourist attraction.
- Location: Arthunkal
- Timings: 06:00 am to 06:30 pm, all days
- Holy Mass timings –
- Sunday – 05:30 am, 07:00 am, 09:00 am, 11:00 am, 05:00 pm
- Weekdays – 05:30 am, 07:00 am, 05:30 pm
- Thursdays – 05:30 am: Holy Mass and Novena to St. Sebastian, 07:00 am: Holy Mass
- Entry Fee: Free
22. Chavara Bhavan, Alleppey
Dedicated to Elias Chavara, a 19th-century Catholic pastor, Chavara Bhavan is a holy shrine where you can seek spiritual bliss and pray. The beacon of light at this shrine is about 250 years old, which impresses visitors. You can take a look at Elias Chavara’s native residence here as well, if you wish to know more about his life and roots. Since the shrine is situated in the Kainakary village, surrounded by water, the only way to reach it is by taking a boat.
- Location: Kainakary village
- Timings: Mass: 07:00 am and 04:30 pm (all days) and Holy Mass and Novena: 04:30 pm (on Saturday)
- Entry Fee: Free
23. George Forane Church, Alleppey
Not just pilgrims, but architecture buffs too will fall in love with St. George Forane Church, situated on the banks of a River Pamaba tributary. Counted among the popular places to visit in Alappuzha, this sprawling white structure with a quaint red roof closely resembles medieval Europe’s churches, which makes it completely worthy of photography. The surroundings are aesthetically landscaped and the atmosphere is tranquil. This church is a part of the Archeparchy of Changanassery and is a parish of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church too. Strong belief in St. George’s healing powers inspires many devotees to visit it at the time of the Saint’s feast, which goes on from 27th April to 7th May, every year.
- Location: Edathua
- Timings: 06:00 am to 08:00 pm, all days
- Prayer Timings: 06:00 am and 07:00 am (all days, Fridays – 04:00 pm too) and
06:00 am, 08:00 am, 10:00 am and 04:00 pm (Sundays).
- Entry Fee: Free
24. The Harbour Restaurant, Alleppey
Feel the cool and salty sea breeze on your face while you dig into yummy seafood and chug down chilled beer at The Harbour Restaurant. Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines are on offer here, to suit every palate. Operated by Raheem Residency, this restaurant appeals to your senses with its relaxed, casual environment and sea view. Try and sample their grilled prawns, squid soup or fish curry with coconut rice to delight your taste buds. You can also go for mini meals if you want a taste of many things.
- Location: Right next to the Alleppey Beach, Sea View Ward
- Timings: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, all days
- Cost for two: INR 500 onwards
25. Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Alleppey
Surrounded by verdant greenery, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple is one of the unusual places of interest in Alleppey and attracts those who worship the snake god, Nagaraja. You are sure to be fascinated by the 100,000 snake images that adorn the paths leading to and surrounding the temple. Couples who yearn for children visit this popular pilgrimage to seek blessings and conduct thanksgiving events too once a baby is born. They often offer snake images to the temple as a sign of gratitude. Another major highlight is the turmeric paste available on the premises, as it is believed to have significant healing powers. Mannarasala Ayilyam, a special festival, held here in September and October, sees a lot of visitors too.
- Location: Haripad
- Timings: 05:00 am to 12:00 pm and 05:30 pm to 07:30 pm, all days
- Entry Fee: Free
A trip to Alleppey is absolute bliss! So, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip, book a hotel in Alleppey and get ready for a vacation that will rejuvenate your mind and tantalize the taste buds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alleppey:
Q: What are the things to do in Alleppey for adventure seekers?
A: Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in an array of water activities in Alleppey like surfing, parasailing, kayaking and water skiing.
Q: What are the Alleppey activities that shouldn't be missed?
A: When in Alleppey, you mustn't miss out on a backwater houseboat cruise, watching a beautiful sunset at the beach and rejuvenating with Ayurvedic massages.
Q: Which events are worth attending in Alleppey?
A: The Ambalapuzha Temple Festival and Nehru Trophy Boat Race are two of the most important events in Alleppey that are worth attending.
Q: What accommodation options are available in Alleppey?
A: Alleppey has hotels, resorts, homestays, cottages and the best of all, houseboats for tourist accommodation. For budget hotels in Alleppey, check FabHotels.
Q: How to reach Alleppey from other Indian cities?
A: You can fly to Cochin International Airport (83 km) and from thereon, take a bus or train to Alleppey. Alappuzha Railway Station handles many passenger and long distance trains from cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. From nearby cities, the best way to reach Alleppey is by bus or car.
Q: What is the cheapest way to travel between attractions in Alleppey?
A: Alleppey has an excellent bus service and it is cheap too. Auto rickshaws and taxis are also available at cheap rates.
Q: When is the best time to visit Alleppey?
A: The best months to visit Alleppey are from November through February.
Q: Which food items in Alleppey are a must-try?
A: Kerala sadya, puttu and kadala, idli and sambar, Malabar biryani, fish curry, idiyappam, ela ada, semiya payasam, meen curry, Kozhi curry, cheera parippu thoran, pulissery and Thalassery biriyani are some of the must-try local delicacies in Alleppey.