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…
1. Alappuzha Beach
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
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
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
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.
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.
- Distance: 30 minutes’ speedboat ride from Alleppey
- Timings: 06:00 am – 06:00 pm
6. Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple
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
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
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.
- Location: Champakulam
- Timings: 06:00 am – 06:00 pm
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
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
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
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
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.