Alappuzha also known as Alleppey is the Backwater hub of Kerala with interlocked canals, lagoons, backwaters ripples and shores and due to its close proximity to the Arabian sea and other geographical reasons Alappuzha is also known as the Venice of the east. Some of the places to visit while in Alappuzha are the 18th Century Krishnapuram Palace known for its mural paintings, gabled roofs, dormar windows and narrow corridors, Pathiramanal an enchanting island which is the haunt for rare migratory birds from across the globe, Karumadi Kuttan known for its 11th century granite statue of Lord Buddha, Punnapra memorial for the martyrs of the Punnapra Vayalar Communist uprising of 1946, Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna Temple known as the Dwaraka of the south, St. Sebastian's Church at Arthunkal built by the Portuguese, 19th century St George church at Edathua, Mannarasala temple of Sree Nagaraja or the serpent God, Alappuzha Beach with a 137 year old pier extending to the sea, Chavara Bhavan ancestral home of the blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Vijaya Beach Park for picnics with children’s park and boating facilities, Sea View Park with boating facility and swimming pool, Marari beach with its golden sand beach and coconut lagoon a place to relax and unwind. QST and R Block lake land reclaimed from the backwaters and Kuttanad the rice bowl of Kerala with its serene paddy cultivation and paddy fields.
Alappuzha is known for its coir products and is famous for coconut oil, pepper, cardamom, areca nut and sugar. Even though Alleppey is not a shopper’s paradise whatever is available is of excellent quality.
Tourist from all across the world visits the backwaters of Kerala and goes back with life long memories. Alappuzha offers cultural and physical entertainment for their guests like Kathakali and ottanthullal and alappuzha boat house cruise. Most of the big hotels and resorts like pagoda resort, lake resorts, and Taj kumarakom offer their own entertainments. Houseboats in Kerala provide all amenities like a hotel with additional entertainments. Alappuzha is known for its snake boat races every year during Onam festival. Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada Lake and Payippad boat race at Payippad near Harippad are the highlights where thousands of people from all around the world come there to witness these races.
Being a coastal city alappuzha is abundant with seafood delicacies. Shrimps, squids and Prawns are cooked in different varieties with a mix of coconut in every dish. Some of the non- veg dishes are Meen Molagitta Curry or smoked water fish cooked deliciously in coconut milk with chilly, Smoked fish with steamed bread and mashed potatoes, Fish molly a coconut milk sauce based fish curry which looks like stew, traditional Alleppey fish curry, Fish Peera where fish is toasted with grated coconut and tamarind sauce, Varutharacha Kozhi curry made with semi-fried chicken toasted with coconut and chilly and tapioca. For the Vegetaranians there are variety of dishes like Kurukku Kalan a thick yogurt curry with toasted banana and hot rice, thoran and Pachadi is also served with rice, Dosa, Vada, Idly and Appam are dishes for breakfast. Thali meals consisting of rice and different types of dishes on a Banana leaf is a yummy meal during lunch time. .
The art and culture of Alappuzha is somewhat similar to the rest of the state except for the folk songs sung during the harvesting and seed sowing seasons and lake songs Kumarakom. The dance form ottanthullal originated in Alappuzha and first performed by Kunchan Nambiyar in Ambalapuzha temple. Velakali also originated here and now performed in many temples in Kerala. Alappuzha has contributed a lot in the field of language and literature. Famous Malayalam poets like P.K.Narayana Pillai, Vayalar Ramavarma and Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai belong to this district.
The architect of modern day Alappuzha is Raja Keshavadas who was the divan of Maharaja of Travancore, Karthika Thirunal Rama Varma the erstwhile ruler at that time. The combination of the Maharaja and Raja Keshavadas was the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of Alappuzha. Their greatest achievement is developing the inland canals for transportation and navigation and making Alappuzha into one of the busiest ports at that time. They made further headway by attracting business from different parts of the country and abroad and encouraged them to set up their business in Alappuzha.