Lord Curzon, a British Viceroy, once exclaimed that Allepey was the ‘Venice of the East’. Situated in an extremely picturesque region composed of canals, lagoons and backwaters a few miles north of Cochin, Alleppey is a small town that is perhaps one of the earliest towns in Kerala to adopt a plan in its development –quaint streets that cross with geometrical symmetry and lined with cafes and shops, an ancient light house(the first on the Laccadive coast), bustling market places and ancient churches, mosques and temples and laid back people.
The sea off the coast of Alleppey is renowned for its abundance of prawns, lobsters, turtles and varieties of fish. The wetlands that surround Alleppey are a delightful haven to staggering numbers of migratory common teal, duck and cormorants that flock here seasonally.
Visitors to Alleppey will marvel at the annual snake boat races held at numerous venues in the region where hundreds of oars flash in and out of the water in perfect unison to the accompaniment of songs that impel gloriously decorated boats towards the finishing line. Another annual event of interest to travelers is the ‘chakara’ – seasonal maturing and arrival of vast quantities of fishes and prawns off the coast in search of accumulated masses of plankton. The catch at this time is brought to shore and sold. It is also a time of much rejoicing and celebration among fishermen and their families.