Ah, Alleppey!!! thou waterways like stretched arms of one’s beloved, waving coconut trees resembling the curly hair of the heroine of an epic, swinging slowly in their rhythm in the cool morning breeze, and serenity of mother nature. Alleppey has everything that will steal your heart, especially the rustic Kerala backwaters which is a network of tranquil canals and lagoons.
We started our journey from Thiruvananthapuram. Our night halt was booked near Periyar National Park at Thekkady. En route from T’puram to Thekkady, we reserved a full day for enjoying the backwaters at Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha). On the way, we slightly changed our plans and took a detour for Varkala beach. That resulted in a shortened stay at Alleppey. We reached Alleppey around 1:00 pm. The route to Alleppey was a treat to the eyes. Lush greenery on either side of the road, swaying coconut groves, flooded paddy fields, black smooth drenched curve roads… driving was never such a pleasure before. Houseboats were queued as we parked our cars. 🙂
We had booked the cruise with Ostrich Dream Cruise. We were a bit behind our schedule so we reached directly to our houseboat and started our journey. Several Brahminy Kites (a kind of fish eagle) were hovering over the water looking for fish. It was our first time enjoying the world-famous Kerala backwaters. Everything was amazingly beautiful. Our breakfast was ready. On arrival, we were served with fresh fruit juices and banana chips.
We continued to sail on the calm waterways of Alleppey for around two hours. The entire scenery was captivating to an extent beyond our imagination. By that time, we had started feeling a little hungry. Soon the cruise staff cooked and served luscious lunch for us.
After the meal, I was at the deck when I spotted a speed boat coming to us. They were two local guys on a powerboat. After negotiating a bit, I enjoyed riding the high-speed boat also. It was very much thrilling and absolute fun.
Around one and a half hours later the cruise men served us hot tea with Pakodas at the deck itself. The clock struck five and our dream came to an end. Sailing slowly, we retuned to the banks. With a heavy heart, we said a bid adieu to one of the most wonderful places, we have ever visited.
Here follows few more clicks of mine..
How to Reach
The Alleppey Railway Station (ALLP) is located about 4 km away from the city centre and connects Alleppey to other major cities of south India. From the railway station, one can easily get public or private transportation to reach the city.
There are no direct flights to Alleppey. The closest airport to Alleppey is the Cochin International Airport, which is situated at a distance of 75 km. Form Cochin International Airport, one can easily catch a taxi for Alleppey.
Alleppey is well-connected by road, to major cities in India. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs several buses to Alleppey from Chennai and Bangalore. There are many private bus operators too those connect Alleppey to major cities like Hyderabad, Mangalore, Chennai, Bangalore etc.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Allepey is the winters as the weather is mild and pleasant. The average temperature during this time remains moderate. This is the perfect time to go on a houseboat ride and explore the backwaters of Allepey. Summers are although not as harsh as northern India but warm and very humid. One should avoid visiting Alleppey in the rainy season.
Where to Stay
Definitely, for an altogether different experience, a night stay at the houseboats is the best option. Imagine waking up with waters all around your bedroom. Open the window and feel a cool morning breeze. What a morning it would be…
Apart from staying at the house boat, Alleppey being a tourist destination, has many luxury options to offer. Ramada is the closest hotel to the houseboat jetty. Abad Turtle Beach Resort, Lake Canopy, Uday Serenity Backwater Resort, Paloma Backwater Resorts, Warmth Lake Haven an island resort, Treebo Tryst Palmyra Milford, Emerald Isle, Erandia Marari Ayurveda Beach Resort, El Oceano Beach Villa, Xandari Pearl, Oxygen Resort, Lake Palace Resort, Citrus Retreats, Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort, Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere are some of the luxury resorts and hotels in and around Alleppey. Raheem Residency is a thoughtfully renovated 1860s heritage home while backpackers can try Zostel. There are numerous budget hotels and homestays too.