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. 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. 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. 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.