Alleppey or Alappuzha, often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, id one of the major centers for Kerala backwater boat trips. A well-known base for the boat cruises on Kerala backwaters; it is served by ferries to Quilon and Kottayam in particular. It is one of the best known ports along the coast of Malabar. The peculiar geographical feature of Alleppey is the fact that here water in just in level with the land, which provides a closer look of the villages and the traditional lifestyles of its villagers while cruising on the backwaters. The ‘kettuvallams’ or the houseboats of Kerala sail through the enchanting backwaters of Alappuzha winding its way through the palm-fringed narrow canals, paddy fields and neat tiny hamlets along side the canals that offers some of the most enchanting views of rural Kerala. One can also see Chinese fishing nets, flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds close at hand. The highlights of Allepey are Kuttanad, the 75-km long network of rivers, canals, lakes, lagoons and tiny streamlets between Quilon and Cochin akin to a tropical land of canals.
They are lined dense tropical greenery and constitute the rice bowl of Kerala because of the sprawling paddy fields. This is the one of the places in the world where farming is done 1.5-2 m below sea level. Inland waterways flowing above the land level are unique feature here while the rich crops of banana, Cassava and yam add to the quaint charm of the region. Famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fishes and lakes, Alappuzha has earned fame as the world’s chief supplier of coir. QST and R BLOCK Kayal are other highlights of the region showcasing agricultural engineering skills of Kerala with extensive areas of land that have been reclaimed from the backwaters and protected by dikes all around them. Pathiramanal is a delightful little island between Thanermukkam and Kumarakom, 14 km from Alleppey and is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. One can see the beauty of the island while cruising through the area.