Alleppey is notoriously famous for the natural beauty that it has been bestowed with. Backwaters, being the most popular attraction, have been pulling the maximum number of tourist to this southern town. Calm backwaters and houseboats are two attractions, heavily overshadowing all other attractions of Alleppey.
Though they are must-have experiences for everyone traveling to Kerala, Alleppey has some other interesting shades too. The humble and quaint town is silently waiting for eyes of a true nature lover; waiting to give you sights you will behold and cherish, forever. Here we are uncovering the experiences that include, and also go beyond backwater cruises and houseboats that every tourist keeps talking about.
1. Stay in Kuttanad and capture the south Indian village life
Apt for: Nature lovers, photography enthusiasts
Kuttanad is about dense paddy fields, waterways, coconut lines, fishing, duck farming and spice cultivation. It is famously called the Rice Bowl of India. It is also the lowest point of India and to your surprise, you will be able to explore what farming 4-10 ft below sea level means! Declared as one of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, the rustic, rural life in and around Kuttanad will take you into a different dimension of modern developing India.
Major attractions: The Heritage Agricultural System, beautiful waterways and canals, and coconut lined farmlands
Things to do: Explore around, interact with the natives, try the local cuisine, and laze around in peace.
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2. Grab that cam and go birdwatching while you Canoe or Kayak
Apt for: Bird lovers, photography enthusiasts
So the backwaters of Alleppey are home to the rarest and most exquisite migratory birds on earth. Stork Billed and White Throated Kingfishers, White Breasted Waterhen, Black Drongo, Asian Palm Swift, and Jungle Myna would be ready to pose for your camera shutters, anytime.
Now, all of this can be done while you canoe or kayak in the same beautiful backwaters of Alleppey. There are dedicated birdwatching tours that can be clubbed with canoeing or kayaking packages.
Book with: Kerala Kayaking
Kayaking charges: INR 4,000 onwards
3. Explore the beaches and behold the sunset from a lighthouse
Apt for: Nature lovers, peace seekers, photography enthusiasts
This is about a visit down the history lanes. The beach line in Alleppey is named Alappuzha – a landmark in the maritime history of India. It has a pretty and quaint, left-alone lighthouse that gives you the most amazing views to capture. Also, the beach has marine items, coir produces and a 137 years old pier that extends into the sea.
Things to do: Boat racing, relaxing in soothing surroundings, archeological exploration
4. Rejuvenate with Ayurveda and Spa pampering
Apt for: Tired urban souls
Ayurveda in Kerala needs no introduction, and so do the spa offering resorts. There are several resorts that promise Ayurveda treatments for chronic and rare illnesses. How effective they are is subjective, but the spas and massages here certainly guarantee ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation that is borderline divine.
Spa charges: INR 1,000 onwards
5. Relish some spiritualism at the temples and churches around
Apt for: Devotees, history buffs, photography enthusiasts
So, the birthplace of Ayurveda and God’s own country can never be visited in complete essence without spending a few minutes or hours at the splendid temples and churches in Alleppey. The backwater town is a testimony to the prosperity of Christianity and Hinduism. There are temples and churches – quite a lot – that have maintained the heritage and traditional values of the region. St Mary’s Church, Nagaraja Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, St Andrew’s Florence Forance Church, Ambalapuzha Krishna Temple, Latin Catholic Church are among the popular religious places to visit in Alleppey.
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6. Go, shop some at Alleppey’s famous markets
Apt for: Shopaholics
Do not even think of getting out of Alleppey without spending some moolah at exotic South Indian jewellery, little trinkets, and Alleppey’s typical handicrafts and artefacts. The spice country sells its best from the lot in Alleppey. And the prices are one of the lowest in South India provided you are good at bargaining. The maritime products are also one of the most sought after products in the region.
Where: Alappuzha Zakariya Market
Things to shop: Spices, South Indian handicrafts, fresh fish
7. Witness the practising sessions of Snake Boat Races
Apt for: Fans of traditional Indian sports, photography enthusiasts
Come August and Alleppey is full to inches by people who come here to watch the Nehru Trophy Boat Race. The race is ferociously beautiful, no doubt. But due to the rush and overcrowded stands, only a handful of crowd gets to enjoy the real thrill. So visit Alleppey around June, when the practise sessions are on and one gets to interact with the rowers. You can sit, click photographs and get to know the history about this historic sport in India.
8. Swim through the sunsets at Pozhiyoram beach
Apt for: Swimmers, peace seekers, nature lovers, photography enthusiasts
So the deal here is that the beach is small and waves come in real hard. It is a bliss to swim around and capture the sunsets – through a lens, into the eyes or by some words. This beach can be reached by a rickshaw ride from the main town. And only if you make it in time, you are in for a delight – the red sun melts down into the waters while the chinese fishnets frame some of the most amazing silhouettes you will ever get to see.
9. Stay in a Homestay
Apt for: Peace seekers, backpackers
Enough of resorts and hotels. While in Alleppey, go off the track and try spending a night or two at some of the best homestays in Kerala(blog to linked). The homestays are simply about the most personalised vacations – quaint, serene, splendid and cherishable. They not only acquaints you with some of the most wonderful human beings but also with the historical heritages and the effort it takes to maintain them.
Tariff: INR 5,000 onwards
Must Read: 10 Surreal Resorts In Alleppey
10. Splurge on the authentic seafood, homecooked
Apt for: Foodies
The region is gifted with rich flora and fauna. Hence, the cuisine is delicious, easy to afford and most importantly – authentic. Try some shrimps and prawns, grab a bite of the normal south indian delicacies and taste the difference. Do not miss a chance to go fishing and get a fish or two for yourself to cook. Chettinad Chicken and several other curries of chicken will leave you craving forever. And, yes – do not forget to munch upon some banana chips.
11. And of course, go on a date with the darling backwaters
Apt for: A must do for all those who are visiting Kerala for the first time.
Now that you have scrolled till here, read our version. You will never be able to forget once you play victim to the scintillating aquamarine treat to your eyes. There are canals – narrow canals – snake like canals – crawling through the paddy fields. And you are brought to this romance by the cupid itself – the houseboats. These houseboats are, actually, resorts-on-float. There is chef onboard, an attendant to serve and a personal sailor – frown only if you feel poorer.
Tariff: INR 6,500 onwards
Further Read: 10 Charming Places To Visit In Alleppey
Tell us, after doing all of these at Alleppey, that it is much more than what’s said and written.
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