Alappuzha (Alleppey) is one of the exotic backwater sites of India's southern state Kerala. Washed by the Arabian Sea, interlocked by a number of canals and bridges, this tiny marketplace is also famous for its Nehru Trophy boat race held every year. Alappuzha attracts tourists not only by its natural beauty but also through its locally made coir products that are of a very superior quality.
Separated out from the former districts of Kottayam and Quilon, Alappuzha consists of seven taluks spread over an area of 1414 sq km. It is bounded by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks on its north; Vaikom, Kottayam, Changanassery Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks on its east; Kannathur and Karunagappally taluks on its south and the exotic Lakshadweep of the Arabian Sea on its west.
Before the Dutch took over this place, the Portuguese were the predominant rulers of this place. Later Maharaja Marthandavarma came into power and he gave ample importance to the developmental works of the place. Slowly it became a very busy commercial place attracting merchants from all over. This resulted in the establishment of a number of coir factories producing coir-related goods of quality. The first coir factory was developed by an English sea captain and soon others followed suit. The first Anglican Church was built in 1816 by the Christian missionaries whose headquarter was in Alappuzha.
Punnamada Kayal, the must-visit place of Alappuzha where the annual Nehru Trophy boat race takes place. During the month of August-September, the backwaters become crowded with thousands of spectators and a large number of competitors who come to participate in the famous Nehru Trophy boat race. The long boats, designed to resemble snakes, can accommodate 120 people, making two rows of 60 each. The energy, coordination, and the feeling of getting ahead in the competition make this game quite engrossing.
Krishnapuram Temple, the two-storied building, displays the typical Keralan style of architecture. The largest mural painting, Gajendra Miksham, is displayed in a museum here.