Alappuzha city built during the9th century on the edge of the great Ashtamudi lake. Surrounded by cashew and coconut groves, Quilon is the gateway to the spectacular backwaters of Kerala. A boat trip to Alleppey through these placid stretches of water filled with lotus and lilies and the water-birds flapping their wings as though to greet you is an out of the world experience. You can have a picnic to the huge lighthouse at Thanaserri, 3 km away too. The cantilevered Chinese fishing nets used in the waterways add the right touch of colour to the scerinity of this place. Alappuzha has a large network of canals and is a centre for backwater cruises in Kerala. Alappuzha has earned fame in the commercial world as the world's chief supplier of coir. The temples of Alappuzha represent the Kerala style of architecture. Some of the most exquisite specimens of Kerala murals are still preserved here.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race, the most colourful water sport in Kerala, is conducted at PUNNAMADA LAKE in Alappuzha on the second saturday of every August. This prestigious cultural event of Kerala has been attracting people from all over the world. Nehru Trophy Boat Race is a festival for the people of Alleppey the main attraction of which is the sportive sprits among the participants of the race. This trophy named as NEHRU TROPHY was donated by the late Prime Minister of INDIA Jawaharlal Nehru to the winners of the first boat race which was an impromptu one conducted in 1952 in honour of Panditji who visited Alappuzha
This aquatic festival fosters a sense of unity and fraternity and sports man spirit event and attaching foreign tourists also.
In the year 1952, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin. On his way to Alleppey from Kottayam he was given a roaring reception by the people of Alleppey, escorted by the huge snake-boats. Having gone through the tremendous excitement of sailing in a snake-boat popularly known as Chundan, Jawaharlal Nehru donated a rolling trophy to be awarded to the winner. The trophy is a replica of a snake-boat in silver, placed on wooden abacus on which the following words of Panditji are inscribed above his signature.
Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala, because of her wealth of paddy crops is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of bananas. Yams and cassava which accompany the rice bowl as "side dishes". This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.
Pathiramanal (14 kilometers from Alappuzha)
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is accessible only by boat.
The Alappuzha beach, with its beautiful garden on the shore, gives an exclusive sight. Imposing buildings of a colonial past overlooks the shore. The long pier which darts over to the sea is a rare sight. Dense Palm groves at one end and an ancient towering light house at the other end. Vijay Park and Sea view park are situated near the beach. Boating Facility is available in both Parks.
He 18th century Krishnapuram Palace built during the reign of the Travancore monarch, Marthanda Varma, is a double storied structure which displays typical characteristics of Kerala architecture-gabled roofs, dormar windows, narrow corridors. It houses one of the largest mural paintings in Kerala called the Gajendra Moksham. It measures14 feet by 11 feet and is at the western end of the ground floor, a walking distance from the Palace Pool. Inside is also a museum of antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. Situated 47 kms from Alappuzha on the way to Kollam, Krishnapuram is easily accessible by bus from either town..
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 diety. 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.
Arthunkal known for the St. Andrews Church established by Portuguese missionaries is near Sherthallai, 22 km north of Alappuzha.The feast of St. Sebastian is held here in every January.