May 06, 2020
‘God’s own country’ Kerala has several priceless gems to its name. Kovalam, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Alleppey…the list is a big one! However, of all its tourist spots, Alleppey is largely an afterthought for many a visitor. This is inexplicable, since it is one of the most stunning locations in the State.
Whether this is your first visit to Kerala or a subsequent visit to the beautiful state, a trip to Alleppey is a must. There are many places to visit in Alleppey as well, so you are bound to have an excellent vacation with your family in tow, or just your partner on a romantic break. However, do plan the best time to visit Alleppey to be able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Apart from its natural beauty, there are many things to do in Alleppey, many places to see and many points to explore. First off, you must make a pit stop at all the various beaches and backwaters – these are its prime attractions. Then there are the many temples and places of worship belonging to different faiths, which are open for visiting by all. Make sure to include every point here on your itinerary, because missing out on any of them would be a phenomenal waste!
Alleppey is located at about 53 km from Cochin and is easy to reach by road. We list the three modes of transport to reach this wonderful town:
* By Air: Alleppey does not have its own airport. The nearest airport is located at Kochi. This airport is situated about 75 km from Alleppey, so you will have to hire a private car or taxi to take you to your resort or hotel. The good news is, that Kochi airport is well connected to the rest of the country. So, you have a choice of regular flights from the country’s metro cities, and there are many flights coming in from foreign countries as well.
* By Road: It is easy enough to reach Alleppey by road as well. The easiest mode is by road, using a Kerala State Transport Bus that connects the major cities in Kerala with Alleppey. You can also book tickets on luxury buses coming from other cities like Coimbatore, Mysore, Bengaluru and Chennai.
* By Railway: Alleppey has its own railway station, with many trains regularly plying from Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. You can get a connection from your hometown that stops at either of these stations and then book a further journey to Alleppey. Once at the station, you can book a taxi or have your resort send a car to pick you up.
Alleppey has a salubrious climate all year round, but there are certain times of the year when it is the best time to visit Alleppey. The tourist season here is considered to coincide with winter. The winter season, spanning the months from October to February, are considered the best time to visit Alleppey. The temperature remains moderate, and it becomes pleasant to sightsee, eat out and even stay out later in the evenings. The nights in December and January witness a sharp drop in temperature. But this is your cue to have campfires and roast marshmallows and have hot chocolate as you chat with your loved ones.
The monsoon season may also be a good time for your holiday, though it is not the best time to visit Alleppey. The rain does not fall constantly, but it is prone to heavy bursts like is typical with Kerala rainfall. The months of July and August witness the most intense rainfall, so if you are visiting during this time, you might find it tough to get transport. You might even have to change your sightseeing plans at a moment’s notice. However, those who love heavy rainfall will tell you that this is actually the best time to visit Alleppey – the entire area is covered in thick foliage and the valleys come alive as well. The temperature also drops perceptibly, though visibility on the roads is quite poor when it rains. You are advised to drive carefully during this season.
Meanwhile, it is possible to make an Alleppey trip in the summer season as well. The summer here is typically seen in the months of March to June. The heat is quite intense during this time accompanied by harsh sunlight. The day time temperature takes the mercury levels quite high. It is usual to have over 40⁰C daytime temperatures and there is less humidity with dry air. You might find it impossible to step out till early evening, which is not great for your sightseeing plans. We recommend skipping the summer season as it is not the best time to visit Alleppey, especially for young children, pregnant women and senior citizens.
Now that you are booking an Alleppey vacation, which are some of the must-visit places there? We tell you:
* Kuttanad Backwaters: Alleppey’s legendary backwaters cast their own special spell on every visitor. The Kuttanad Backwaters are a must-visit, with many canals, rivers and creeks in it. Indeed, it is one of the prominent transport waterways in Alleppey. It is flanked by tall hills and the sea on one side, and has the most romantic vibe that honeymooners will enjoy. These backwaters are also known for the wonderful paddy fields that you pass through at one point. The rivers Manimala, Meechil, Achankovil and Pampa also flow through it. These backwaters tick all the right boxes in terms of natural beauty and ambience.
* Krishnapuram Palace: This palace has always exercised a mysterious pull on historians, students of humanities and culture, and also the casual visitor who likes to look at beautiful buildings. It dates back to the 18th century and is said to have been inhabited by the royal families of the time. Today, it houses a modern museum, but its architecture is quaint and of a distinctive South Indian style. You should take pictures of its exquisite gabled roof and intricate walls along the corridors.
* St. Mary’s Forane Church: Alleppey does itself well in terms of religious places. The St. Mary’s Forane Church is one of its oldest churches, dating back to the year 835 AD! It falls under the aegis of the Archeparchy of Changanassery, and over 2000 families are allied with this parish. It runs many educational institutions in the area and its Friday Liturgy is well attended even from those outside Alleppey. The St Mary’s Festival held on the third Sunday every September is also quite famous, as is the St. Sebastian Festival – both are the best times to visit Alleppey if you want to soak in the atmosphere. The church itself is serene and gorgeous, and maintained well despite the huge passage of time.
* St. Andrew’s Basilica, Arthunkal: Since we’re on the subject of churches, we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend the lovely St Andrew’s Basilica in Arthunkal. Located to the North of Alleppey, it is a famous picnic and sightseeing destination. The church hosts a 10-day festival in December, and this is the best time to visit Alleppey. You will love the festive atmosphere and soak in the serenity of the church on feast days.
* Alleppey Beach: Alleppey is famous for its beaches. Its namesake beach is one of the best tourist spots here, and spending a day there is one of the most popular things to do in Alleppey. The white glistening sand, the clear blue water and the many wonderful vistas will all take your breath away. It is one of the most visited beaches by couples and honeymooners, and even families enjoy its peace and seclusion. While you are there, you should hop over to the interesting Sea View Park where you can take the family for boat rides.
* Karumadi: A beautiful village that has Buddhism at its core, Karumadi is a must-visit destination that you can learn a lot from. Located just a few kilometres outside Alleppey, it houses a famous Buddha statue in granite. This statue has only a right side, but it is considered a healing deity – villagers believe that the sick and infirm can get better by touching the feet of this statue. The village has done much to develop Buddhism in the region, and it attracts many pilgrims every year. Another reason to visit is that outside this village you will find some of the best restaurants in Alleppey. Try some authentic Kerala fare when you are here next.
* Pandavan Rock: You cannot miss this epic attraction in Alleppey for the world. Named after the five Pandava princes from the Mahabharata, the Rock is actually a large cave that is believed to be one of the homes of the princes when in exile. The cave is fronted by a large slab of rock which hides its entrance a little. Reaching this spot is an attraction in itself: walk over a winding trail and enjoy the views as you make your way through jungles and hills. On the way, you can stop at the famous Kallada Dam. At the site, you can find an Alleppey tourism guide to explain more about the rock and cave.
* Mannarasala Temple: Known also as the ‘Snake Temple’ this temple is one of the biggest attractions in Alleppey. It is dedicated to snakes and devotees of the Snake God throng here in large numbers. It is the biggest snake temple in Kerala, if not the whole of the country. Like other temples of its ilk, this one is also located deep into the forest. The walk is not dangerous and is quite pleasant, but it is better to have a guide or local resident with you to take you to the temple on the right route. Known to grant wishes of all those who come here to pray, the Mannarasala Temple is visited by those suffering from infertility, money or health problems, personal issues, etc. Most often, couples praying for a child visit with their offspring and a small ceremony is held to celebrate the granting of their wish.
* Alleppey Lighthouse: This massive lighthouse was erected in the year 1862, and is located about 4 kilometres outside Alleppey. The views from inside the structure are terrific, and you will be left spellbound as you take in the beauty of the region from up high. It is one of the State’s oldest lighthouses. Early evening is the best time to visit Alleppey’s star attraction, and you can spend an hour exploring both the building and the surrounding views.
While in Alleppey, book your stay at the Club Mahindra Alleppey Resort in Kerala and make the most of all the places to visit in Alleppey.
The resort is set along the beautiful Punnamada backwaters. A premium property that offers the best of material comforts set in dense nature; you will find yourself being pampered endlessly here. This Alleppey resort is undoubtedly one of the best of its kind in Kerala, and past visitors will attest to its superb décor, list of amenities, activity areas for both adults and children, and scenic views from all its rooms. Besides, you can enjoy authentic Kerala food at the in-house restaurant on the roof, and enjoy the warm hospitality during your stay. If you want a memorable holiday in Alleppey, start by booking yourself into this excellent property to reap the benefits of Club Mahindra’s famous and formidable expertise in hospitality.
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.