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The Backwaters of Allepy

If you were to dub the town of Alappuzha or Allepey the ‘Venice of the East’ you would be doing Venice a few favours. Allepey is the town where you could hang out on your way to or from the legendary backwaters of Kerala. This is the hub of the famous rice boat cruise, with about four hundred kettu vallam moored on the fringes of nearby Vembanad and Punnamada lakes.
On the second Saturday of August, Allepey readies up for its biggest day, the Nehru Trophy snake boat race. This event, first held in 1952, is based on the traditional Keralan enthusiasm for racing magnificently decorated longboats, their raised rears designed to resemble the hood of a cobra. Each boat carries 25 singers, and 100 to 130 enthusiastic oarsmen power the craft along, all rowing to the rhythmic vanchipattu, song of the boatman.

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