Alleppey also known as Alappuzha, this charming seaside community is considered to be the oldest planned town in this region. The lighthouse built on the coast of the town is the first of its kind along the Arabian Sea. it was often described as the one of the places known as “Venice of the East”. With over 900 km of casually twisting waterways varying from 5 to 50 meters across, the Backwaters of Kerala are indeed an unforgettable environment. Located at sea level at the edge of a great watery jungle, the area around the town is a haven for bird watchers and those seeking a green paradise as their surroundings.
Houseboat cruises: A cruise on a houseboat through the Backwaters of Alleppey is by far the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. Locally known as a Kettuvallum, a houseboat from this region is a spacious craft built from local woods and fibers that contains one to three bedrooms and an open air sitting room for guests as well as an onboard kitchen. Visitors can hire the boats for a peaceful day trip around the waterways or for an overnight cruise where the lumbering craft ventures far north into the quieter channels, pulling up to a serene palm covered pool to dock for the night. The crew prepares fresh meals along the way and stops are often made to allow visitors to stroll into historic buildings and shop at the local markets.
Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary: This large park is set high in the Cardamom and Pandalam Hills at the southern end of the Western Ghats and is notable as major tiger and elephant reserve. Most of the land is evergreen rain forest with smaller portions consisting of damp leaf forests, eucalyptus plantations and grassland. 62 different kinds of mammals have been recorded in Periyar, including tiger, elephant, gaur, sambar deer, barking deer, mouse deer, Indian wild dog, mongoose, fox, leopard, langur and the rare lion-tailed macaque as well as 45 different kinds of reptiles and 320 species of birds. The tiger population is estimated at 53 and the elephant population varies between 900 and 1000. Those visitors seeking numerous types of flora will find that the reservation counts nearly 2000 kinds of flowering plants (145 of them orchids) and 170 different species of ferns. The Periyar reserve is considered as one of the best managed reserves in India. Guests are permitted only in specific areas, namely Lake Periyar, allowing the wild animals free reign in much of the sanctuary to encourage natural behavior and breeding. Still, the lake has proven to be full of opportunities to view a multitude of animals from the decks of the sightseeing boats that tour both the open waters and the narrow inlets of the lake.