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Alleppey :Backwaters, Beaches and Lagoons – Venice of the East

Officially called Alappuzha, Alleppey is a city in the South Indian state of Kerala. Bordering the Laccadive Sea, it is known for its wide network of interlinking, palm-fringed canals called backwaters and rejuvenating Ayurvedic resorts.

Allepey is also popular for its Houseboat cruises that pass through the serene backwaters, where you can catch glimpses of green paddy fields, choir making activities, beautiful avifauna and witness the life of locals in Kerala. Towards the shore lies the Alleppey beach in the Arabian Sea, a beautiful example of the gems you’d find along the Malabar Coast. The appeal of this beach is only amplified by the history attached to it, and a walk down the 137-year old pier is a must. Be sure to catch a traditional snake boat race in the months of August and September and try out some toddy (palm wine) at a local toddy shop for adding a touch of authenticity to your travel experience in Allepey.

Houseboats

Houseboats

Popularly known as the Venice of the east, Alleppey or Allapuzha is famous for its serene backwaters and their exceptionally scenic setting. 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.

These 120-foot-long abodes of luxury glide along the placid backwaters of Alleppey and provide you with a stunning view of endless paddy fields and swaying coconut trees as they surround you on all sides and lean over the waters as if they’re admiring their own reflection. The proximity of the lakes in this town and the dense greenery creates a perfect ambience for relaxing over a languorous cup of hot coffee.

The houseboat will always be manned by at least 3 people- a cook, a guide and an oarsman. Delicious meals are provided on the houseboats by the 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.

Alappuzha Beach

Alappuzha Beach

The Alappuzha beach, also known as the Alleppey Beach is famous for local getaways, its intrinsic beauty and a 150 years old pier which stretches into the sea. Relaxing under the palm groves and picnicking beside the beach are fantastic options available to those visiting the beach. Alleppey Beach is a host to many festivals like Sand Art festival and Alappuzha Beach Festival.
In addition to the pristine beauty of Alleppey Beach, some exciting activities and attractions are present in and around this destination. Vijaya Beach Park has amusement amenities which acts as a plus point for the people visiting the beach. It has become the synonym for amazement and amusement for visitors of all age groups. It also has an old lighthouse which is highly fascinating to its visitors. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race which takes place every year in August gives this beach another reason to become the most famous attraction in Kerela. A mixture of all of these bewitching things makes Alappuzha beach a wonderland.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, also popularly known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, is a breathtaking and beautiful bird sanctuary that is located at Kumarakom in the Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala. Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in the Kerala Backwaters, this bird sanctuary is a favourite destination for many native as well as migratory birds, which makes the place a dreamland full of ecstasy and delight for bird watchers and nature lovers. The houseboats and motor boats that are available on rent to watch birds further enhance this enrichening experience. A trip to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is thus a must while in Kerala, to explore and unravel the hidden treasures and gifts of the Earth.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread over a total area of over 14 acres on the southern bank of the Kavanar River and is managed by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The sanctuary initially developed in a rubber plantation, and was looked after by an Englishman and known as the Baker’s Estate. While neighbouring areas such as Poothanpandi Kayal and Pathirmanal are also excellent locations for spotting some rare and exquisite birds, this paradise on Earth is home to local birds like owls, cuckoos, waterfowls and herons; as well as migratory birds like the Siberian Crane. Other birds are also spotted here during their respective migratory seasons, some of which come from the Himalayas, while others flock from Siberia.

The walk through the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, jumping over the puddles and walking through the muddy paths is a unique experience in itself. The view of such a vast variety of birds pleases the heart, and tourists do not even realise how hours pass by as they just stand and watch the birds and capture them in their cameras.

Backwaters in Alleppey

Backwaters in Alleppey

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. Alleppey is the heaven for the nature lovers with the soul-soothing greenery and the backwaters. Hire your boat and get started along the flow of the stream to soak in its beauty.

The backwaters were 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, the soft, salty breeze and the lovely lush green all around. 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.

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake is a lagoon located in the district of Alleppey in the South-Indian state of Kerala. This expansive lake/ lagoon is longest lake in the country and the largest Lake in Kerala, accessible from kottayam, kuttanad and kochi. Vembanad Lake for its tranquil backwaters amidst mesmerising natural surroundings which backwater tourism what it is today. Vembanad Lake is known by different names in different regions of Kerala. It is called the Kochi Lake in Kochi, the Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad and as Vembanad in Kottayam. Locals also call it Vembanad Kol or Vembanad Kayal. One may go boating in the beautiful lagoon and explore the islands lined with lush green coconut trees. A houseboat stay is another way to explore the backwaters. The Ramsar Convention has defined the Lake as a Wetland of International Importance. The lake proves to be essential for the locals that live by the shore as their livelihood depends on the lake waters. Tourists searching for a perfect backwater destination need not worry anymore, because Vembanad Lake is the ideal backwater destination for one and all.

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