Alappuzha Backwaters or Alappuzha or Alleppey is surrounded by waterways and canals and is therefore called the Venice of the East. Also renowned for its coir industry, Alappuzha is famous for the beautiful backwaters surrounding it. These backwaters with water birds, flowers and greenery along their banks are a stunning sight.
The well-known backwater boat trips at Alappuzha serves ferries to Quilon and Kottayam in particular. Since Alappuzha has a peculiar geographical feature of having the water in level with the land, you get the advantage of getting a closer look at the village life on shore while on a backwater ride in a kettuvallam (houseboat). A backwater cruise on the Punnamada Kayal takes you along canals covered with mauve hyacinths past scenic islands offering sublime views of coconut and paddy fields, Chinese fishing nets and toddy tappers at work.
Alappuzha is also famous for the Snake Boat Races held here every year around the time of the Onam festival . The giant snake boats called Chundanvalloms , race against each other for the prestigious Nehru Trophy . Former Prime Minster of India Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru donated the trophy after he received a memorable reception along the waterways of Alappuzha.
The place is called backwaters because the lake water is actually fresh river water that comes down from the river and is then used for the paddy fields whenever the need be, and later the lake water as it goes ahead, merges with the ocean in Kochi.