Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the shores
of the continually-warm Laccadive Sea in Kerala, south west India,
Alleppey is renowned for its network of canals, which prompted the
former Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, to pronounce this historic
and charming town "the Venice of the East".
The flat and verdant lands around Alleppey, also known as
Alappuzha, are believed to have been inhabited since before the
first century AD and by the Middle Ages had established trading
links with Greece and Rome. The arrival of Portuguese colonists in
the late sixteenth century and Dutch colonists a century later
influenced cultural, religious, economic and political aspects of
the town, whilst in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Alleppey's already diverse cultural and historic heritage was
further enriched under the rule of the British Empire.
The legacy of successive colonists is evident in Alleppey's
abundance of religious buildings which include ancient many ancient
Hindu temples and Christian and Catholic churches which include the
stunningly-decorated St Mary's Forane Church, consecrated in
A popular way to appreciate the scenic Alleppey and its
surrounding countryside is to travel the town's temple-lined canals
and serenely beautiful backwaters by boat. For ultimate relaxation,
however, little can beat reclining on one of Alleppey's pristine,
coconut-palm fringed beaches.