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General Information about Aleppey (Alappuzha)
Area:1,256 sq. km
Population:(1991 census) 1,990,603
Temperature range:18C -39 C
Best time to visit :August to march

Aleppey (Alappuzha) is a District of immense natural beauty in Kerala. Today, Alappuzha has grown in importance as a Backwater Tourist Centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year.It is also famous for boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir products. It ia also known as the Venice of The East. For a total Alappuzha experience traverse the canals on small vallams (Boats) or anchor in the middle of the backwater lakes on a Kettuvallam (rice boat converted to cozy house boats) - spend the night under the star lit sky, listening to the splash of water on to the boat.

Prime Attractions of Aleppey

Pathiramanal
This Island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat.

R-Block
This area in Kerala is very famous for its backwaters and you can have very beautiful scenes of paddy fields. This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level.This is a popular location in the Kerala tour.

Aleppey Beach
Alappuzha beach is one of the most popular spots in the district of Alappuzha. . The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. There is also an old lighthouse, which is greatly fascinating to the tourists of Kerala.

Krishnapuram Palace
Built by Marthanda Varma, it is at Karthikapally in Kayamkulam and is famous for its mural depicting the story of Gajendramoksham. In this 18-century museum you can see antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes.

Boat Race
Allappuzha Backwater is world famous for its Snake Boat Race. Boat Races usually take place at the time of Onam festival.

Some of the important boat races are:
1. Nehru Trophy Boat Race (2nd Saturday of August)
2. Payippad Jalotsavam (4th Onam Day)
3. Champakulam Moolam Boat Race (July)

Alappuzha or Alleppey  is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes.  Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerela  as one of the major centers for backwater boat trips.  

A host of boat races are held here during the harvest season ( between July and September ). 

Alleppey or Alappuzha is also known as the "Venice of the East" its was here that traders from across the seven seas came in search of black gold and souvenirs. 

Alappuzha or Alleppey is also home to Kuttanad, The rice bowl of kerala, one of the very few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Kuttanad is  a land of lush paddy fields and stretches for 75 Km sandwiched between the sea and the hills.

alleppey backwaters kerala

alappuzha backwates kerala backwaters

Kuttanad is the most beautiful backwaters region of Kerala. It is here that most of the snake boat races are conducted and a majority of the rice boat & houseboat cruises are scheduled.

Kerala's network of navigable backwaters stretches to over 900km. These serene waterways are fringed by palm grove and paddy fields and offer a striking spectacle of the rustic life.

In Alleppey or Alappuzha, the life revolves around water.  Cildren learn to swim before they walk.  They learn to row boats before they bicycle.  They learn their first lesson from the school of fish.

Situated in Kuttanad popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala, QST & R Block Kayals (backwaters) remind the visitor of the famous dikes of Holland.

A striking example of the indigenous agricultural engineering know-how, here cultivation and habitation are made possible at four to ten feet below the sea level.  For this purpose extensive land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and is protected by dikes built around it.  A leisurely cruise along the canals here is a memorable experience.

Alappuzha or Aleppey was once the busiest coast south of Mumbai, and its canals and backwaters helped in the passage of cargo - be it tea, rubber or other produces from the hills - to the sea. 

The lighthouse and the pier helped the boats ferry accross, facilitating trade in their own way.  Today, the 1000 ft long pier at Allepey beach , built in 1862 by Captain Hugh Crawford is  a mere skeleton of its past.

allapuzha backwates aleppey kerala backwaters

alepey backwater cruises, kerela backwaters

Alleppey's allure is the backwaters.  Begin with a cruise, then stroll back into the town past the canals covered with mauve hyacinths. 

A backwater cruise on the Punnamada Kayal takes you along canals past scenic islands offering sublime views of coconut and paddy fields, chinese fishing nets and toddy tappers at work. 

Alleppey or Alappuzha's beauty is not merely in its backwaters, but in the man-made islands that you will find amidst the waters.  These islands are hedged by mud walls, a haven for migratory birds, with paddy fields inundated with water throughout the year.  These fields stand below sea level.  R Block is especially famous for the fresh toddy served to guests.

Nearesh Airport - Cochin ( Kochi ) International Airport ( Travel time - 120 mins )

Nearest Railway Station - Alleppey Railway Station & Ernakulam Railway Station ( travel time - 90 mins )

Places of Interest:
Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna Swami Temple(famous for ambalappuzha paal payasam)

Kuttanad - Rice bowl of Kerala
Within the perimeter of Alappuzha, a good number of unparalleled attractions

Kumarakam/Pathiramanal
Travel to kumarakom through waters catch the dazzling sceneries of bluish mangrove plantation. The bird Sanctuary and the Silver spread of scintillating backwaters roam over the little island of the Pathiramanal.

Mannarashala/Nagaraja Temple
Situated 32 kms south of Alappuzha near Harippad. The temple is one of the most important centers of serpent Worship in Kerala.

Arthunkal Church
A rare artifice in the Gothic's style, st. Sebastian is worshipped here and the Annual Festival or perunal is famous. 22 kms from Alappuzha.

Amruthapuri/ Vallikavu
You will notice a cross section of the international cosmopolitan culture in Vallikkavu. Quilon where devotees and oriental and occidental throng to the receive the blessings of the world renowned Matha Amrithananda Mayi.This internationally famous incarnation of divinity imparts solace and peace to all by her unparalleled supremacy in the metaphysical plane. It is situated 6 Kms away from Ochira, Kollam District.

Krishnapuram Palace
An old Palace, Kings of KayamKulam Dynasty ruled from here. A museum of antique, sculptures, paintings and bronzes.The famous mural“gajendramoksham” (Blesses Elephant King.) is preserved here.

Chettykulangara Temple
Supposed to be old center of Buddhist faith, the temple is now famous for its splendid annual festival Kettukazha. 100’s of huge figures of horses and bulls made of brightly decorated wood and paper, are displayed.

Karumadikuttan
It is traditionally believed to be a statue of lord Buddha dates back to 14th century. It displays the remnants of an ancient civilization with a rich religious heritage.

Thekkady
From Kottayam (which is locatedjust 50 Kms from alappuzha) traveling around 100 km you will get to thekkady, one of the finest game sanctuaries in the state. A 2 hr journey through the profound Periyaar lake offer beautiful sights of Wild Elephants, wild boars, bison, deer and tiger.

Munnar
A 5hr ride from Alappuzha(via Kottayam) you could reach Munnar, a splendid hill resort in the western Ghats. It is a heaven with salubrious climate. There are lakes, streams and worlds rich vista of tea plantations.
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Some Exclusive Dishes directly from the Famous Toddy Shops in Alleppey.

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  • Spicy and satisfying - one of the Best Fish Head curry.Excellent Alleppey -style fish head curry, with a thick, rich gravy, succulent vegetables.It is best served with Kappa and Kallu.
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    Recipe: Machan Curry

    Ingredients:

    1 pomfret (1/2 pound to 1 pound)
    10 small okras
    1 tomato (cut into wedges)
    1 teaspoon of fish curry powder
    2 sprigs of
    daun kesum (Vietnamese mint/Vietnames coriander)
    5 tablespoons of cooking oil
    1 tablespoon of palm sugar/sugar
    Salt to taste

    Spice Paste:

    1 clove garlic
    1 stalk of lemon grass (white part only)
    4 shallots
    8-10 dried chillies (depends how spicy you like)
    1/2 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste)

    Tamarind Juice:

    1 1/4 cup of water
    Tamarind pulp (size of a small ping pong ball)

    Method:

    1. Pound the spice paste with mortar and pestle or grind them in a food processor. Set aside.
    2. Soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind pulp constantly to extract the flavor into the water. Drain the pulp and save the tamarind juice.
    3. Heat oil and fry the spice paste for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
    4. Add the tamarind juice, fish curry powder and bring to boil.
    5. Add the tomato wedges and okras and bring to boil.
    6. Add the fish, salt, and palm sugar/sugar.
    7. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
    8. Serve hot.

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    Kerala Fish Curry

    This fiery fish curry is my favorite from Kerala. It exemplifies the cuisine of this state perfectly. You will find all the quintessential ingredients of Kerala cooking in this creation: Fish, Coconut, Curry leaves, Spices (in abundance!) and Kudampuli (a dried fruit similar to tamarind). I ate this heavenly curry at Grand Hotel in Cochin and since then I couldn’t stop fantasizing about the moment when I would actually be in my kitchen creating this magical burst of flavors. In fact, I was so inspired and eager to make this recipe as authentic as possible that I even carried the traditional pot called mannchatti (translation – mud pot) all the way from Kerala to NJ to cook this fish curry. This cookware supposedly imparts a distinct flavor to the food. However, a regular nonstick pan would do just fine if you don’t have the mannchatti. Do keep some dessert or yoghurt or beer (or whatever is that cools you off) handy coz this dish is not meant for the faint of heart!

    Kerala fish curry

    What do you need:
    3 King Fish Steaks cut into halves
    1 1/2 Tablespoon Red Chilli Powder (I like to use Kashmiri or Deghi Chilli powder because it gives a bright red color without too much heat. Most Indian grocery stores carry it)
    1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
    1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
    2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
    5- 6 Fresh Curry leaves
    1 Medium Onion thinly sliced
    1 Inch piece of Ginger julienned
    3 Small Green Chillies slit in the center
    3 pieces of kudampuli soaked and softened in warm water (you can use one teaspoon of tamarind extract instead but it will change the flavor)
    3/4 cup Coconut Milk
    Salt to taste

    How to make:
    • Wash the fish steaks in cold water.
    • Season both sides with salt
    • Make a thick paste with red chilli, coriander, turmeric and a little bit of water.
    • Coat the fish evenly using some of the paste. Reserve the rest for later.
    • Heat the pot on a medium heat.
    • Add the coconut oil to the pot.
    • Add the curry leaves, onions, ginger and green chillies to the oil.
    • Fry till the mixture softens.
    • Add the remaining spice paste and mix well. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes.
    • Add the fish steaks to the mixture and the kudampuli along with the water it was soaked in.
    • Gently stir the liquid to blend well.
    • Let the fish cook for about 5 minutes.
    • Add the coconut milk and salt and allow it to simmer till the fish is completely cooked.
    • Serve with white rice. This dish is best enjoyed a few hours or even a day after it is cooked.

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    Try these Dishes at home, I promise, you will not regret..........