Introduction to Alleppey Backwaters

Alleppey Backwaters, also known as Alappuzha Backwaters, are a network of interconnected canals, lakes, and rivers located in the southern state of Kerala, India. These backwaters are renowned for their serene beauty, lush greenery, and unique ecosystem that attracts tourists from all over the world.

Location and Geographical Features

Alleppey Backwaters are situated along the Malabar Coast of Kerala, which is a state in the southwestern part of India. The region is known for its tropical climate, abundant rainfall, and picturesque landscapes. The backwaters cover an extensive area, including Alappuzha town and nearby villages, forming a mesmerizing maze of waterways that meander through coconut palm-lined shores, paddy fields, and small islands.

History of Alleppey Backwaters

The history of Alleppey Backwaters dates back centuries when these water bodies were used for transportation, trade, and fishing by local communities. During the colonial era, the British developed the backwaters for navigation and established settlements along the banks. Over time, the backwaters became a significant part of Kerala’s cultural heritage and a major tourist destination due to their natural beauty and cultural significance.


The geography of Alleppey Backwaters is characterized by a network of canals, rivers, and lagoons that form a unique ecosystem. The Vembanad Lake, the largest lake in Kerala, is a central feature of the backwaters. It serves as a hub for various activities such as boating, fishing, and birdwatching. The backwaters also consist of smaller water bodies like Punnamada Lake, Pathiramanal Island, and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, each contributing to the region’s ecological diversity and scenic charm.

How to Reach Alleppey Backwaters

Getting to Alleppey Backwaters is an exciting adventure! Here are some ways you can reach this amazing destination:

By Air: If you’re coming from far away, flying is the quickest option. The nearest airport to Alleppey Backwaters is Cochin International Airport, which is about 78 kilometers away. Once you land, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Alleppey. It’s a scenic journey that gives you a glimpse of Kerala’s beautiful countryside.

By Train: Trains are another convenient way to reach Alleppey. The town has its own railway station, Alappuzha Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities like Kochi, Trivandrum, Chennai, and Bangalore. You can board a train from any of these cities and enjoy a comfortable ride to Alleppey.

By Road: If you prefer road trips, you can reach Alleppey by bus or car. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates buses that connect Alleppey to various cities within the state. Private buses and taxis are also available for a more personalized journey. Driving to Alleppey allows you to explore the scenic routes and make stops along the way.

By Water: One of the most exciting ways to reach Alleppey Backwaters is by boat! Once you’re in Alleppey town, you can board a traditional Kerala houseboat, also known as a “kettuvallam.” These houseboats offer a unique experience as you cruise through the backwaters, surrounded by lush greenery and tranquil waters. It’s like living on water for a day or more!

Top Attractions in Alleppey Backwaters

  1. Houseboat Cruises: One of the top attractions in Alleppey Backwaters is the houseboat cruises. These traditional kettuvallams offer a unique way to explore the scenic backwaters, passing through lush greenery, small villages, and serene waterways.
  2. Vembanad Lake: The largest lake in Kerala, Vembanad Lake is a major attraction in Alleppey. Visitors can enjoy boat rides, fishing, and birdwatching while admiring the stunning views of the lake and its surroundings.
  3. Nehru Trophy Boat Race: Held annually in August, the Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a thrilling event where teams compete in traditional snake boat races. It’s a must-see spectacle that showcases Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivities.
  4. Alleppey Beach: Located near the backwaters, Alleppey Beach is a picturesque stretch of golden sands where tourists can relax, take leisurely walks, and witness stunning sunsets over the Arabian Sea.
  5. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Situated close to Alleppey, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a paradise for birdwatchers. It is home to numerous species of migratory and resident birds, making it a delightful spot for nature enthusiasts.

Tourist Activities

  • Houseboat Stay: Experience a memorable stay aboard a houseboat, complete with comfortable accommodations, delicious Kerala cuisine, and enchanting views of the backwaters.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Adventurous travelers can explore the narrow canals and hidden corners of the backwaters by indulging in canoeing or kayaking tours.
  • Village Tours: Discover the local way of life by taking guided tours to nearby villages, where you can interact with villagers, learn about traditional crafts, and savor authentic Kerala hospitality.
  • Ayurvedic Treatments: Relax and rejuvenate with traditional Ayurvedic treatments and massages offered at resorts and spas near the backwaters.

Best Time to Visit Alleppey Backwaters

The best time to visit Alleppey Backwaters is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is pleasant with cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall. This period is ideal for houseboat cruises, outdoor activities, and exploring the backwaters without the discomfort of heat or humidity.


Alleppey offers a unique shopping experience with its bustling markets and traditional handicrafts. Visitors can shop for:

  • Coir Products: Alleppey is famous for its coir products such as mats, rugs, and handicrafts made from coconut fibers.
  • Spices: Explore local spice markets to buy authentic Kerala spices like cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Traditional Artifacts: Purchase souvenirs like wooden carvings, Kathakali masks, and traditional Kerala sarees known as Kasavu sarees.

Nearby Destinations

  1. Kochi (Cochin): Approximately 53 kilometers from Alleppey, Kochi is a vibrant city known for its historical sites, cultural diversity, and bustling markets like Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.
  2. Kumarakom: Located about 33 kilometers from Alleppey, Kumarakom is famous for its backwater resorts, bird sanctuary, and scenic beauty, offering a tranquil retreat for nature lovers.
  3. Marari Beach: Situated around 16 kilometers from Alleppey, Marari Beach is a pristine and less crowded beach destination known for its serene ambiance and palm-fringed shores.
  4. Thekkady: About 138 kilometers from Alleppey, Thekkady is renowned for Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, where visitors can enjoy wildlife safaris, trekking, and boating amidst lush forests and wildlife habitats.