Activities of interest
Backwater Cruise - take a Boat ride
Alappuzha is the gateway to the inland water ways of Kerala. Cruise through small canals pasing paddy fields, villages and small water lodged town-ships to enjoy the scenic beauty and to get a glimpse of the unspoiled rural life of Kerala. Backwater boat cruises are conducted by Alappuzha Tourism Development Co-operative Society.
Place Distance Journey Time
1) Alappuzha-Kottayam 29 kms 3 & 1/2 hours
2) Alappuzha-Ernakulam (Alternate days) 74 kms 7 to 8 hours
3) Alappuzha-Quilon (Only one trip) 85 kms 8 hours
4) Alappuzha-Champakulam 16 kms 1 & 1/2 hours
The important ones are given below
If you are not interested in a longer ride in a House boat, there are smaller boats available for rides lasting 3 to 4 hours. They take groups tours and you might have to wait until they fill up. Some of the boats have double decks and the top deck provides good views. You can also rent by the hour "Shikara" which are smaller boats. These offer a comfortable seating and an open view of the surroundings.
Snake Boat Races
Alappuzha is known for its Snake Boat races and one of the prestigious competitions glorifying this tradition is the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race. Held on every second Saturday of August, the competition is named after Jawaharlal Nehru who also inaugurated the event on 1952. To compete for the cup, one must ride in a snake boat which approximately carries over a hundred persons. Boats are available for rent for tourists who want to take a closer look at the event.
Ride a House Boat - Alappuzha is also well known for its house boats
Alappuzha is inlaid with channels that support its thriving backwater tourism. Many tourists that come to Alappuzha take a houseboat cruise along the backwaters. Houseboats can be rented for 12 Hrs to few days and there is a new hop-on, hop-off service through remote backwaters in a shared-houseboat. They come equipped with well furnished bedroom, sit-outs, kitchen and modern bath and toilet facilities. Some of the house boats even sport an air-conditioner, though most people prefer a calm cruise with lanterns which add to the rustic feel. The houseboats are manned by drivers and a cook. From the boat one can observe the everyday village life of people, stop for toddy (traditional mildly alcoholic drink made from coconut sap) with grilled prawns, watch birds, and relax in the middle of the lake. It is nice to go towards Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, where rice farming is done below sea level.