Alleppey (or Alappuzha) is a quaint town based in the thriving Indian state of Kerala, initially when I arrived here it was my intention only to stay a day or two to launch from into the mesmerising backwaters of Kerala, however when I first arrived here, I was instantly overwhelmed by just how kind, generous and peaceful the people of this beautiful town are so I extended my stay by a few days to immerse myself in this beautiful and thriving town.
Economics & Education
From an educational perspective, the people of Alleppey are some of the most educated people in India, holding one of the highest rates of literacy and numeracy in comparison to other regions within the country. In addition to high education levels, Alleppey, along with Kerala as a state is thriving economically thanks to their Agriculture, Tourism and services industries, and are one of the leading states in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.
The Children in Alleppey, from what I witnessed, were fluent in both English in their native tongues, the Children receive education and are incredibly well mannered, this surprised me immensely as thanks to my travels in Northern India and large cities such as Delhi and Kolkata, I witnessed young children working, begging and loitering on the streets instead of obtaining an education.
Without question Alleppey is a natural beauty, not only is it one of the main tourist launching points to the beautiful Backwaters of Kerala, but it also is home to Alappuzha Beach, a beach that provides the most spectacular view over the Arabian sea. I found myself taking long afternoon strolls along the Alappuzha Beach absorbing it’s cleanliness, natural beauty and the interactions between locals, tourists and the many beachside vendors that occupy space upon this pristine coastline.
As I have mentioned in my previous post, the Backwaters of Kerala are nothing short of breathtaking, often these backwaters are likened to the canals of Venice, having never been to Venice I personally can’t draw on any experience, but as a lover of all things Indian, I could almost guarantee that these Backwaters offer so much more beauty, diversity and culture than those of Italy.
Amazing Food Experiences
One of the things that develops with a passion for travel is a passion for food, I haven’t always been a ‘foody’ in the traditional sense, but the more I travel, the more excited I get about trying new and exciting cuisines, flavours international dishes. Whilst I am a vegetarian and traditionally quite a fussy eater, there is nothing I love more than walking around local markets and sampling local and street foods. Alleppey and Kerala are the home of Indian health (well healthier) eating, traditional Keralan food is traditionally based on Coconut Milk or Oil as opposed to the highly fatty cholesterol ladden ghee based products of Northern India. The food is incredibly fresh and an orgasm for your tastebuds, I have particularly enjoyed indulging in the Vegetable Curry’s of the South which are so delectable and very healthy, perhaps the thing I enjoy the most about eating in this region is how I don’t feel so bloated and unhealthy after a meal like I do when eating Ghee or Dairy based Indian Meals.
The Architecture & Landscapes
One of the sad things about travelling through India, is despite being home to some of the most beautiful old buildings and structures, they generally aren’t maintained very well and over the course of time and weathering, these beautiful building are often start to deteriorate. Whilst Alleppey isn’t an Architectural paradise, it certainly offers some beautiful old buildings to enjoy from a photographic perspective.
India is a traditionally Hindu country however in Kerala there is respect and prevalence of many religions, since I have been here I have met Hindu’s, Christian’s and Muslims, they all get along together in harmony and respect each other as people, not just based on their faith. This element of Keralan life has been surprising and refreshing as religion is quite often the catalyst for conflict, whereas here, I have sat around and chatted to locals who have been friends for years, despite their occupation, income or religious ideologies.
Whilst most people would only visit Alleppey for a day or two to launch into the Backwaters of Kerala, I would actually recommend staying slightly longer, it’s a great place to relax and refresh free from the hassles that larger cities in India presents, it’s well connected in terms of transport with many bus, train and ferry routes established between major cities and locations. Alleppey as a destination seems to have just the right balance between culture, history, beauty and western tourism without the negative elements that come with westernised tourism, if you want to party, this certainly isn’t the destination for you, however if you want to see something amazing, check out Alleppey.