Alappuzha (Malayalam: ആലപ്പുഴ)also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the List of places known as Venice of the East by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Alleppey has a wonderful past. Though the present town owes its existence to the sagacious Diwan Raja Kesavadas in the second half of 18th century, district of Alappuzha figures in classical Literature. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala with the unending stretch of paddy fields, small streams and canals with lush green coconut palms , was well known even from the early periods of the Sangam age. History says Alappuzha had trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome in B.C and in the Middle Ages, as well as with other parts of India. Alappuzha has a lighthouse, which is a major tourist attraction. The white sand beach is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the sea and sun
As of 2001[update] India census, Alappuzha had a population of 177,079. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Alappuzha has an average literacy rate of 84%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 49% of the males and 51% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Soon after Alappuzha was developed as a port by the Diwan Raja Kesavadas, the town started functioning as the main commercial centre of the state of Travancore. Export flourished from the port. Spices like pepper were the main export items. Thachil Mathoo Tharakan a close confidante of the Diwan pioneered the export of timber. Domestic trade was also active. Many traders from Gujarat came and settled down here to do trading, leading to the presence even now of a Gujarati community in the town. Later coir (different kinds of rope made from coconut fibre) became a major product of the town, both for local and world markets.
Alleppey / Alappuzha is now the hub for backwater tourism in Kerala. House boats locally called "Kettuvallam" are available on hire on a daily basis as well as for longer duration to take visitors on the old waterways. These house boats in general have 2 bed rooms and attached bath rooms. Some of the boats have the bedrooms fitted with air conditioners. A routine trip includes food cooked on board in the traditional Kuttanad style. The leisurely cruises show a microcosm of life on the water side with breath taking views of the water, land, birds and human habitations. Alappuzha is a centre for coir industries. The unique distinction of Alappuzha is that, it is the only district in Kerala without forest. Alappuzha is bordered by Pathanamthitta and Kottayam districts on east, Kollam district on south, Ernakulam district on north and the Arabian Sea on west.
The picturesque CSI Christ Church in Alappuzha town was built in 1818 by the first CMS (Church Missionary Society) missionary to the erstwhile state of Travancore, Rev. Thomas Norton. It was the first Anglican Church to be established in Travancore. The Poomkavu Church is situated in the out-skirts of Alappuzha, and is a famous destination for Christian Pilgrims. Other Famous religious destinations are 1. Mullackal Raja Rajeshwari Temple 2. Mannarasala Temple 3. Champakulam Church 4. Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple 5. Edathua Church 6. Salafi Juma Masjid Mosque 7. Kottamkulangara Vishnu and Devi Temple 8. Kalarcode Major Mahadeva Temple 9. Pathiyamkulangara Sree Bhagavathi Temple 10. Pazhveedu SreeKrishna Swami Temple
Snake boat races are the most significant traditional event in Alappuzha. These spectacular regattas are usually held between August and October, and involve long thin boats powered by up to 120 oarsmen. The most famous snake boat race are the Nehru Trophy Boat Race and Champakulam Moolam Boat Race.
Alappuzha district has a proud educational history. The district have more than ten Arts and Science Colleges,One Medical college (T.D. Medical College) in government sector, Engineering colleges and Polytechnics. The first school in Alleppey, the CMS (Church Missionary Society) Compound School (near the CSI Christ Church), was established in 1816. The first Higher secondary school in Alleppey was Leo X11th Higher Secondary School(Formerly known as Leo X11th English Medium High School)started at the lag end of 18th century ie,1888.S D V English Medium Higher Secondary School is a premier institution in Alappuzha for pre-graduate education.University Institute of Technology (U I T) and Sanathana Dharma College (S D College) are the institution for common people to study under Kerala University.