Alleppey Travel Guide

Planning a vacation in South India?
Don't forget Alleppey !
The name explains it all- Alleppey: A small happy town. Alleppey is situated in the coastal area of Kerala. This place is known for beaches and backwaters.
The perfect place to have the 'Houseboat Experience'. We've seen it in the movies, now lets see if its true ! Alleppey is home to 800 houseboats. The South Indian colors come alive here, it becomes hard to find an ordinary white colored house. Houses, Houseboats, clothes and banners are bright and vibrant in colors. All this reminds me of a song sung by The Beatles, 'Lucy in the sky with diamonds' that starts with- Picture yourself in a boat in a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies..... 
Houseboats in Alleppey- Siddharth Kothari

Lets not get diverted to music, how can one forget houseboats ?
Being made for tourism, all houseboats are beautifully crafted and named. All tourism companies usually feature a houseboat picture in Alleppey on their pamphlets ! To be honest, houseboats are an excitement for a few hours and then they become boring, after all its just another houseboat......
Its not worth booking a houseboat for an overnight stay, as they dock the houseboats on the shore at night. After 6:00 pm they remain stationary to avoid accidents in the middle of the river. To be honest, once you're in the houseboat, it's just a houseboat. While experiencing the houseboat adventure, you come across many tiny islands. They are worth visiting. You can always ask the sailor to stop by one of those islands and have a look around. Long rows of plantations and flowers on the island all add to the feel of the place.
Houseboat blends with the shades of nature

"Houseboat View"
"Shades of nature"

The Alleppey Beaches and Backwaters- 
Alleppey is known for its beautiful backwaters. Actually this town, interestingly has a beach on its one end (facing the Arabian Sea) and the backwaters run along its length and breadth. The other end of Alleppey faces the silent Vembanad lake. Despite being a tourist destination, the beaches are clean and not crowded. This, is where you can spend a lot of time just watching the waves coming in. Many movies are shot here. Rows of houses are built along the backwaters. Lots of beautiful lazy resorts line the backwaters.
A beach in Alleppey

Lets not forget that Alleppey is a part of India's most literate state- Kerala. People around here are quite friendly and the concepts of equality of occupation are well spread among the masses. I happened to wave my hand to hire an autorikshaw (A local 3-wheeler Taxi) to find a good restaurant to dine in. Suddenly, an auto-rickshaw driver caught my action and came to us. I told him that we were looking for a restaurant. All he said was-"Hop on".
He made no mention about the fare, which was a matter to worry about as it was now upto him, how much he would charge us.
However, the worry didn't last long. He took us to a decent restaurant and when we got off, I asked," How much is it?"
"Low price, No problem, sir"
"Is 40 okay?"
"Even 30 would do"
Hearing this we felt satisfied and handed him a Rs. 50 note without any hesitation. Such tiny incidents enhanced my stay in Alleppey. 

If Modi's ideas are being implemented anywhere, it has to be Kerala. The railway stations in Kerala have to be the cleanest ones compared to the others that I've seen in India. They are well adorned with flowers and tiny plantation nets along the platform. Waiting for the train in the burning March heat, I was trying to keep myself busy. Just then, a bystander threw a biscuit wrapper. My eyes were fixed on it, just then another traveler picked it up and threw it in the dustbin. THIS, is something hard to find in other parts of India. I felt guilty, for not being the one to pick it up. It seems that many of us have misunderstood John Lennon's saying.
"You may say, I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one,
 I hope some day, you join us, and the world, will live as one"
Many of us follow a similar thought-
"Cleanliness....hmmm....quite right.... But how much can this tiny thing dirty the environment? besides that, I'm not the only one doing so........."
If we keep this in mind, our country will never progress. This thought can only be eradicated by 100% literacy and that is exactly what the Government of Kerala did. By investing in human resource, Kerala has now become a much cleaner and better place to live in.
Alleppey Railway Station

Alleppey railway station

If you happen to book a vacation here, trust me, do not book the Hotels online. Since most of them are built along the backwaters, the pictures of the resort can be very misguiding. People often book the resort, just after they have a glance at the pictures and come to know they face the backwaters ! Hotels and resorts often turn-out to be very different from what you see on the internet.
The best way to select the right hotel would be to hire a ferry boat and roam around, and whenever a decent resort is spotted, stop by and check it out! In this way you can't go wrong and the search for the right place becomes interesting...............

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