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Fixed Holiday Packages
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Alleppey is the focal point of most trips to the famed backwaters of Kerala. Dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, Alleppey (Alappuzha in Malayalam) is a backwater haven with a unique crisscrossing network of canals and lagoons that spread across the center of the town. The Venetian ambience of Alleppey is enhanced by the coir-made houseboats that punt along leisurely on the backwaters. A wealth of temples and churches add character to this understated seaside resort. The Alleppey Beach is another highpoint – it is a pristine stretch of sand lacing a choppy Arabian Sea, with an old character-filled pier, about 140 years old, extending into the sea.
When Raja Kesavadasan, the king of Travancore founded the town in 1762, there was just one canal through the strip of sand between the backwaters and the Arabian Sea. Gradually he developed it into a bustling waterway, complete with shops, factories and commercial establishments on either bank of the canal. This subsequently attracted merchants from as far as Europe and America.
By the mid-19th century, the sea had ebbed a mile, creating more land along the sand strip. Soon trading vessels began to call on Alleppey. In 1859 the first organized coir factory began producing matting from coir yarn on a loom developed by an English sea captain. Soon other British company-owned weaving establishments followed.
It was in 1851 that Alleppey had the honor of housing the first post office in the erstwhile Travancore State (Kerala).In the interim, in 1816, the Church Missionary Society set up its local headquarters in Alleppey. Christ Society of India and three years later the first Anglican Church was built. The commercial importance of Alleppey saw a downward trend in the late 1920s with Cochin, popularly referred to as the Queen of Arabia, coming into prominence as a major port city.
Today Alleppey is still a major center for trade in coir products, copra (dried coconut meat) and coconut oil for cooking and Ayurvedic products. Thanks to its long coastline, it is also a center for fishing and marine products processing activities. Meanwhile, the government continues to make efforts to promote tourism in this lovely seaside resort.
Alleppey has a decent local bus service system, and is very cheap. Auto-rickshaws are available just about everywhere – a great way of commuting from one attraction to the other. Local taxis can also be availed at a reasonable cost. There are a number of car rental companies offering cars with chauffeurs or self drive. They charge close to Rs. 7 per kilometer. If you are visiting places such as Kuttanad, the mode of transport is boat, as many places in Kuttanad are inaccessible by road. Besides, there is a good ferry service to Kollam (Quilon), Kottayam, and between places that are widely used by the locals – a cheap and scenic way of getting around. Also, some attractions are so close to each other that you can consider walking over or taking a cycle-rickshaw.
Tourist Traps in the City
Houseboats are luxurious and offer a great view of the backwaters. But the size of these houseboats mostly makes them unfit for a cruise down narrow and more intimate quarters of the backwater which are still charming. They mostly meander along the very touristy stretches such as larger rivers and canals, and could miss you out on a more authentic backwater experience. Other than this, some houseboats can be a tad noisy, what with outboard motors and often generators. Mostly, houseboats cause environmental degradation since most of their garbage goes into the river. Get your cabin crew to use a waste bin, and make sure the utensils are not washed in the local water. It is disheartening to see some stretches of backwater littered with flotsam.
Whatever season you choose to visit, it is wise to carry appropriate clothing, mindful of the fact that short clothes not only risk overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun but also could offend the locals who are a tad conservative. It is ideal to bring light cotton clothing of the long-sleeved and long-legged variety, if you intend spending a longer time in the sun. Don’t forget a high SPF sunscreen. You need to take off your shoes before entering a temple, and avoid carrying leather objects inside a religious place.
An unlikely shopping destination, Alleppey is a place to find one-off coir matting and exquisite carpets – quite popular with foreign tourists. The array is pretty large and the quality fine, not to mention the prices reasonable. You will be impressed by the collection of coir products and rugs available here. It is a great chance to get a glimpse into the coir manufacturing process in Alleppey, from the coconut husk to the final rope/coir yarn stage. The local markets offer a range of coconut oil, areca nut, pepper, cardamom and sugar among other condiments. And if you are staying in this seaside resort for a longish period, don’t miss out a trip to the vegetable market, lush with farm-fresh vegetables and fruits. Keep an eye out, you might stumble upon some unique little souvenirs in the local market - a perfect gift for your loved ones back home.
Phones :Cell phone rates are one of the cheapest in the world.
There are four GSM service providers:
* BSNL  GSM Triband
* Airtel  GSM Triband
* Vodafone  GSM Triband
* Idea GSM Triband
CDMA service providers are
* Reliance Communications
* Tata Indicom
Internet: There are several internet cafes / Cyber Cafes from where you can access the Internet for sending email or uploading your digital photos.
* Reliance world offers you broadband connectivity at many locations across the city.
* Sify iway also offers broadband connectivity at different locations spread all over the city.