Alleppey or Alappuzha as it is now called is a coastal town in Kerala
with a rich system of backwaters and canals. With over 600 houseboats to choose from, this place is a must visit when on a tour in Kerala. Its situated about 190 kms away from Thekkady
, taking about 5 hrs by road.
As we are now moving from the hills to the coast the temperature and humidity rise as we descend from the mountains. I believe for the first time in the trip we asked for the AC in the car. As you approach Alleppey, the road is flanked by backwater systems and you can get glimpses of the houseboats from some areas showing you what’s on offer. It is exciting enough and starts you imagination.
|The houseboats and backwaters of Alleppey.
From the office of Pulickattil Houseboats we were taken to one of their 2 bedroom boats. The other family were two senior ladies from Delhi and one of their sons. On arrival, the boat impresses and excites you, with traditional bamboo mats used to cover them up and make them look traditional. We were also informed that the boats were built by the respective owners in the own yards.
One settling in the boat we got our first chance to get a glimpse of what backwaters really is and how beautiful they are! Coconut trees throng both sides of each canal with small houses also lines at the banks. Each house has a small jetty and a small boat to travel, a different version of Venice I would say. Kerala backwaters have their own charm, in the way of providing an rural and a functional relationship with water. The views here are the views that Kerala tourism sells itself on and justifiably so. The captain of the boat took us for a 5 hour sailing experience. The complete route is serene and you camera shutter will tire out clicking photos.
The boys on the boat cooked a fabulous meal or sambhar and rice and then also arranged for a candle light dinner for my wife and me in the evening with wine and cake. Nothing better than some cherry on top in the form of homemade cake and port wine! Post the sail, the boat cones and docks back for the night where the crew deboard.
There is an option to go the beach which is about 9 kms away from these yards for the sunset. The sunset is beautiful here and my favorite part on the beach is a ruined jetty (as in pictures) that makes for a beautiful clicks.
|The ruined pier at Alleppey Beach
The market here is also focused for the tourists with Kerala
handicrafts and handlooms on offer.
Decent buys if you want to indulge in some traditional clothing.
The whole experience, fells like a complete package and something that you need to do at least once in your life. One of the days where you feel refreshed by the beauty of nature.
Just 2 instances of caution:
1. The booking on the boat said village tours, which is non existent. The jetty ride is tour they offer.
2. The boat stops at the same stop for the night where you started from. So might as well call your own car if you have one instead of paying for rickshaw.
All in all, enthralled by Alleppey!
With no intention of leaving Alleppey we headed to our last destination – Kovalam. We were sure in for a few surprises and joys.
I believe I have mentioned enough about the boys cooking. They sure did get a big tip as well post that.