Guide to Alappuzha District
Lots of information about Alappuzha... including highlights and statistics
Highlights of Alappuzha
Alleppey is the right destination where you could offer more engaging experiences compared to Kumarakom.
In Kumarakom you could engage guest only with a sunset cruise, day cruise on House boat or Ayurveda.
The bird sanctuary is not very active and its seasonal. Alleppey is known as the 'Venice of the East', one of the rare destinations much sought after for its placid backwaters, where inland waterways, emerald paddy fields (here paddy cultivation done below sea level), meandering lagoons and wide spread coconut fields treat your eyes. You are also introduced to enthralling snake boat races, where you still see the age old splendour commercial seaport. This is where the actual backwaters are.
In Alleppey, apart from Sunset Cruise or Day cruise on House boat & Ayurveda you could engage with unique experience such as:
Things to do in Alapuzzha
- Local Coir factory visit
- Heritage Walk
- Visit of Ravi Karunakaran Museum & Krishnapuram Palace
- 'Shikkara' ride through narrow canals to experience village life
- Village walk where in you could experience toddy tapping etc.
- Rice Harvesting (seasonal)
- Visit if Champakulam Church, One of the oldest churches in Kerala, the St. Mary's Church is believed to be one of the seven established by St. Thomas, the Apostle.
- Visit of Amabalapuzha Krishna temple - Ambalapuzha was the capital of Chembakassery Kings. In AD 1754, Divan Ramayya attached this Taluk to Travancore. Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Temple, built in typical Kerala architectural style, is an important pilgrim centre for Hindus.
- Visit of St. Sebastain Chruch, Arthiunkal - This church, established in 1810, is dedicated to St.George. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments.
- Visit of Alleppey or close by beach
- A day cruise on Houseboat with lunch on board
- Speed boat ride & Water Scooters
Highlights and Attractions of Alappuzha District
This is one of the most popular picnic spots in Alappuzha. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attractions of the beach. There is also an old light house which is greatly fascinating to visitors.
Simply standing on the banks, enjoy the rhythm of backwaters. Then opt for a boat cruise getting sublime views of coconut palms, paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets and toddy tapping. Request the boat pilot to arrange a glass of sweet toddy right from the palm head to electrify the system. The cruise goes past the canals and islands bestowing the picturesque and scenic views.
Boats on hire available at Boat Jetty close to KSRTC bus station. The DTPC arranges private cruise.
R and QST Block Islands:
Alappuzha’s glamour and beauty stretch beyond backwaters and beaches. Its man-made hedged islands uncover hilarious views. They are heaven for migratory birds. The surrounding water inundated paddy fields vouch for the serenity. R Block island greets the visitors with fresh toddy, The toddy shop here serves finger-biting local dishes made of prawns, crabs, clams etc. Kerala State Water Transport Department at Boat Jetty offers passenger boat service.
Kettuvallam & Backwaters:
Kettuvallam means houseboat. Houseboat is one of the most famous icons of Kerala: Kettuvallam marvels in Kuttanad’s (Alappuzha) backwaters. The slow-spaced Kuttanadu is immersed in fresh and salt-water eco-system. The lively heritage architecture, fabled backwaters, picturesque landscape and rich culture make the Kuttanad a grab of tourists. To get the best of Kuttanad, boat is the boon. A crew of cook, bearer and driver will be there in the houseboat. From single to 4/5 bedrooms, living room, en-suite bathroom, balcony and equipped kitchen – all in one – to live and sightsee. This comfortable ambling vessel comes with or without AC.
A small beautiful island in the Vembanad lake. The rice bowl of Kerala. The queen of backwaters. The mother of boats. In the world arena Kuttanad is known for its enchanting boat races. The snakeboats with over 100 oarsmen in two rows in each oar past the blue-waters with alacrity in tune with the cheerleaders at the prow prompting to be faster. The hypnotic galaxy of vanchipattu (boat songs) reaches the crescendo when the boats near the finishing point. India’s late Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, seeing the race in 1952 burst into excitement. Ignoring the security barriers he ventured for an impromptu boat race. The slogan ‘gods own country’ is not a clitche, but a stark historical fact.
on the banks of Vembanad lake in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts, is glamoured with paddy fields. The taste of rice, the staple food of Kerala, with red-hot fish curry or vegetable made with coconut and chilly lingers in the tongue for long.The rice bowl of Kerala. The queen of backwaters. The mother of boats. In the world arena Kuttanad is known for its enchanting boat races. The snakeboats with over 100 oarsmen in two rows in each oar past the blue-waters with alacrity in tune with the cheerleaders at the prow prompting to be faster. The hypnotic galaxy of vanchipattu (boat songs) reaches the crescendo when the boats near the finishing point. India’s late Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, seeing the race in 1952 burst into excitement. Ignoring the security barriers he ventured for an impromptu boat race. The slogan ‘gods own country’ is not a clitche, but a stark historical fact. The slant swishing rubber plantations, low spaced life and the deceptively calm atmosphere are real rewards to the visistors. Not only for historical importance, but also for sheer beauty. The spiders here are large as human-hand; the 20 varieties of yellow banana are highly delicious as their own.
Kuttanad has one more peculiarity. Kuttanad’s cultivation is below sea-level. The world’s rarests’ rare.Backwaters are motif for Kuttanad. No life without Kettuvallam – houseboat – the most famous icon of Kerala, in Kuttanad. Experience the Kuttanad majestically in a Kettuvallam – cruising past numerous species of boats criss-crossing the backwaters.The backwater nomenclature implies inter-connected freshwater canals or rivers feeding towards the sea through lakes. This water seasonally gets charged with saline water of sea when the sea is on rise. An ancient system of locks and sluices block the seawater to the low-lying islands, dotting the backwaters, for paddy cultivation. The islands are amazingly greened with palm fringes. In narrow canals the palms meet overheads like arches to unbox cool shades all over.
Ambalapuzha is a small town. Its fame is centered on the famous Sree Krishna temple located here on Ambalapuzha river bank. A fascinating history surrounds the deity of this temple. Once, Champakasseri king along with his mentor, Vilwamangalath Swamiyar, was traveling in a boat through the river. Their attention was drawn to a lovely sound of flute reading....Click here to see more
Mavelikkara: Mavelikkara is a small town, located 25 km from Ambalapuzha. The famous Chettikulangara Bhagawathi temple is located here. The Bhagawathi here known as Jagadambika and Bhadrakali possesses high rated miraculous powers....Click here to see more
Cheppaud: This place is situated 24 km from Ambalapuzha. Cheppaud is shot into fame due to the famous St George Orthodox Syrian Church built in 13th century. This beautiful Church was built by two prominent families of Cheppaud. It was re-built in 1952, keeping the original frescoes intact. The scenes from Bible depicted here looks magnificent.
Kayamkulam: Kayamkulam town is small. Kayamkulam’s fame is stemmed from its Lake. A number of canals sprout from Lake. The Lake is a feast to the eyes and mind. Many tourists converge to this destination. Women fishing with bamboo poles, men fishing mussels and women spinning coir are interesting common sights here. Criss-crossing boats keep the water engaged all the while.
Chambakulam: Chambakulam is a snake-boat village. The villagers’ main vocation is of making snake-boats.
St Mary’s Church here founded by the St Thomas the Apostle is one amongst the oldest in India. It was rebuilt many times and the present structure claims 500 age. It has no pews and for praying the devotees have to kneel on the floor. Hindus outnumber Christians for pray here.
Vembanad: Vembanad is famed for freshwater Vembanad Lake. Pamba Nadhi (river) and its tributaries nose-dive to this Lake. The Lake and its shores present scenic beauty attracting many visits to its fold.
Arthungal: A famous pilgrim centre of Christians in Kerala. The Church is known as St Sebastian Church. Situated at Shertalai, 22 km from Alappuzha..
Krishnapuram Palace: Situated at Kayakulam , 47 km from Alappuzha. The double storeyed palace is in Kerala architectural individuality. The palace contains one of the largest mural panels in Kerala. The ‘Gajendra Moksham’ mural measures 14 feet by 11 feet. Large collection of antiques, paintings and bronzes housed....Click here to see more
Karumadi: Krumadi is a river-side village located 4 km east of Ambalapuzha. This village has historical and geographical importance. Kollam, Pamba and Ambalapuzha Rivers enjoin here and sprout out to different directions. The 10th century granite image of Buddha, villagers divinely called Karumadi Kuttan, is located here. The image is in sitting posture. This is the testimony of Buddhism once prevailed in Kerala.
Thakazhi: Thakazhi is a village located 6 km from Karumadi. Thazhi was shot into fame due to its celebrated son, Thakazhi Shivasankaran Pillai, the late novelist. His novel Chemmeen, narrating the life of fishermen and centering on a romance and tragedy won him Sahitaya Academi Award. He was a Padma Bhushan award winner. His residence, Sankaramangalam House, acquired from his living widow Kamalakshiamma by the Kerala government has transformed into a museum where his several awards, personal effects, pen, spectacles and a typewriter are put on display.
Mannarsala: Near Harippad, 32 km from Alappuzha. The temple here is one of the most important centres of serpent worship in Kerala. On the day of ‘Ayilyam’ in September/October all the serpent idols from the nearby groves carry in process. Thousands assemble to worship the serpent gods during the festival....Click here to see more
Haripad: Haripad town is located 15 km from Ambalapuzha. A several thousands years old Subramanya Swami temple here is very famous. It has a great story to reveal. One day a Brahmin in the village had a dream that there is a divine idol in the Kadaloor Lake. He and the village chief went to the Lake in search of the idol....Click here to see more
Cherthala: Cherthala, a major coir weaving centre in Kerala, is located 20 km north of Alappuzha town. Cherthala town is small. North of the town a famous and ancient Bhagawathi temple is there.
Vayalar: Vayalar is situated about 2 km away from Cherthala. Vayalar was rocketed into fame following an agrarian revolt against land-lords in 1946. The revolt was spearheaded by the community party. It was crushed by Travancore State police . The balance sheet of the revolt was the creation of few martyrs. A Martyrs Memorial amongst bullet marked coconut palms welcomes the visitors.
Trikkunnapuzha: Trikunnapuzha is an island located south of the Lock separating the freshwater of the backwaters from the salt water of Kayamkulam region. The island on the waterway connecting Kollam to Kochi is a tourists’ destination enshrined with natural beauty and stay facilities in cottages with modern facilities.
Chakkulathukavu: This place is located 20 km from Ambalapuzha. Chakkalathukavu shot into fame because of the Bhagawathi temple here. Here, a peculiar system prevails. The feet of all the females get washed by priests on the first Friday of the month of Dhanu (December/January). On this day all female devotees visiting the temple arre considered as the incarnation of the deity, devi (Bhagawathi)....Click here to see more temple
Kumarakodi- 20 km south of Alappuzha,Mahakavi Kumaranashan, one of the greatest poets of modern Kerala and one of the Triumvirate Poets of Kerala is buried. He was the Percy Byshe Shelley of Malayalam Literature. As an brought great changes in literature and could give the clarions call for changing the society also.
Saradha Mandiram, Mavelikkara -AR Rajaraja Varma was a great poet and grammarian, The Malayalam literature is much indebted to Sri AR Thampuran. Saradha Mandiram was built by him as his residence. Now it is bought by the State Government & kept as his memorial.
Edathua Church.Situated 24 kms. away from Alappuzha, on the Alappuzha - Thiruvalla Road. Established in 1810, the church is dedicated to St George. It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal all mental disorders and other ailments. During the annual feast (5th, 6th, and 7th of May) pilgrims from all parts of South India, irrespective of caste and creed, visit the church and seek the blessings of the saint.
The Sri Krishna Temple The Sri Krishna Temple at Ambalapuzha, 14 kms from Alleppey is among Kerala's more famous ones boasting of the typical temple architectural style of the state. It is equally famed for its palpayasam - a sweet milk porridge offered to the deity. The temple's main festival occurs in March/April. It was in this temple that the 16th century poet Kunjan Nambiar staged his first Ottan Thullal, a solo dance performance with high social content.
Toddy in Alappuzh Alappuzha is famous for the coconut Toddy.The toddy business is controlled by state governmet and contractors are running the business. In toddy shops you get the local food also.
How to get to Alappuzha
By air: Nearest airports are Thiruvananthapuram (150 km); Nedumbassery (85 km).
By rail: Alappuzha railway station is a major station which has link with all the important cities in India. The railway station is easily accessible.
By road: Alappuzha is very well connected by a network of roads and transport to all the major cities and towns of Kerala and surrounding states.
By Ferry: The main boat jy on Vadai Canal is where the daily tourist ferry to and from Kollam and local boat connections with Kottayam arrive and depart.
Statistics for Alappuzha District
Area: 1414 sq.km
Altitude: Sea level
Alappuzha. Venice of the East. South of Ernakulam district. Hub of backwater tourism.
Alappuzha Beach: Located near Alappuzha town. The beach is called Vijaya Beach. Liberal entertainment facilities, including boating.
Mullackal Bhagawathi Temple: In Alappuzha town. 10 days festival in December. Also another temple dedicated to Mariamma.
Thiruvampady Srikrishna Temple: In the town. Days long festival in October/November.
Aruvakad: 8 km south of Alappuzha town. Aruvakkad Devi Temple. 10 days festival in March/April.
Aroor: Few km from the town. On NH 47.
(1) Devi Temple. 8 days festival in March/April.
(2) Ambadi Satheesh Panicker (Astrologer).
(3) Aroor Madhusudharana Panicker (Astrologer).
Cherthala: 20 km north of the town.
(1) Karthyayini Temple. Festival in March/April.
(2) A R Rajendran (Astrologer)
(3) N Ravindran Panicker (Astrologer).
(4) Parathyampallil Sasindran (Astrologer).
Varanad: Little away from Cherthala. Varavoor Devi Temple. 14 days Bharani festival in February/March.
Arthungal: Near Cherthala. St Sebastine’s Church. Famous.
Thuravoor: 8 km north of Cherthala and 25 km south of Kochi on NH 47. Thuravoor Mahakshetram. 8 days festival.
Backwaters: In town limit. Boat cruise entertainments. The cruise goes past the canals and islands bestowing picturesque and scenic views geared by coconut palms, paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets, toddy tapping etc.
R and QST Block Islands: Little away from the town. The man made islands unveil hilarious views. Haven for migratory birds. The serenity of the islands is beyond description.
Kuttanad: Near Alappuzha town. Backwaters and houseboats. Houseboat is one of the most famous icons of Kerala.
Nilamperoor: In Kuttanad. Nilamperoor Padayani (ritual dancing with effigies of gods and demons on heads).
Ramankiri: Near Alappuzha. Hari Narayanan Namboodiri (Astrologer).
Pathiramanal: Away from Alappuzha. Small picturesque island in the Vembanad Lake.
Ambalappuzha: 14 km from Alappuzha town.
(1) Famous for the Srikrishna Temple and their Palpayasam (milk porridge).
(2) Chambakulam Boat Race in June/July.
Karumadikuyyan: At Karumadi. 3 km from Ambalappuzha. Famous for a Buddha State called Karumadi Kuttan.
Haripad: 15 km from Ambalapuzha.
(1) Famous Subramnyaswamy Temple. Two festivals. In April and August/September.
(2) Jeevanam Ayurveda Hospital.
(3) Jyothishratna Brahmashree Unnikrishnan Namboodiri (Astrologer).
Karuvatta: Away from Alappuzha.
(1) Changayil Gopakumar (Astrologer).
(2) Karuvatta Sureshkumar (Astrologer).
(3) N Govindan (Astrologer).
Thrikunnapuzha: 7 km south of Haripad. Sree Dharmasastha Temple. 10 days festival in October/November.
Mavelikkara: 10 km south of Haripad.
(1) Bhagawathi Temple. 4 days festival in January/December.
(2) Chettikulangara Bhagawathi temple.
(3) K Ragunatha Panicker (Astrologer).
Sharada Mandiram: At Mavelikkara. Memoraila of great poet A R Rajaraja Varma.
Edatwa Church: 24 km south of Alappuzha. Dedicated to St George. Many throng to have healed mental disorders. Fests on May 5th, 6th and 7th.
Eramathoor: Distanced from Alappuzha. Jyothisharatnam Dr Mannar N P Krishna Pilla (Astrologer).
Kanichikulangara: Near Alappuzha. Madhu N Potti (Astrologer).
Chakkulathkavu: 18 km south of Ambalappuzha. Chakkulathukavu Bhagawathi Temple. Famous. Famed Pongala in November/December.
Mannarsala: Near Haripad. Famous for a Serpent Shrine.
Arthungal: At Cherthala, 22 km north of Alappuzha town.
(1) Famous pilgrim centre of Christians – St Sebastian Church.
(2) Arthungal Perunnal (festival) at St Andrews Forane Church.
Kayamkulam: 47 km from Alappuzha town.
(1) Krishnapuram Palace. A double storeyed heritage structure, holding one of the largest murals in Kerala , Gajendra Moksham with 14 feet by 11 feet.
(2) Varier’s Hospital & Panchakarma Centre.
(3) Jagadamma Pillai (Astrologer).
(4) K C Sreenivasan Pillai (Astrologer).
Krishnapuram: Distance from Alappuzha. S Suresh Potti (Astrologer).
Cheriyanad: Distance from Alappuzha. P Paremeswaran Namboodiri (Astrologer).
Karthikapilly: Distance from Alappuzha. Krishnanendu Ayurveda Hospital.
Alappuzha District Statistics
Basic facts about Alappuzha
Area (sq km): 1414
Population :According to the 2011 census Alappuzha district has a population of 2,121,943
Males : 1014529
Females : 1094631
Sex ratio:1050 females/1000 males
Density of population : 1492
Per capita income (Rs) : 21916
Literacy rate : 93.43%; (Male 96.27%; Female 90.82%)
Coastline (km): 821
Water bodied area (ha): 15625
Forest area : Nil
Revenue Taluks in Alappuzha
Total No of Villages: 91
Rainfall in Alappuzha (mm)
Feb : 27.2
May : 302.1
Livestock population (census 2000)
Major Agriculture Products
Coconut-------55407--------------------- 267 million