Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. Alappuzha is the sixth largest city in Kerala with an urban population of 177,029. Alappuzha is considered to be the oldest planned city in this region and the lighthouse built on the coast of the city is the first of its kind along the Arabian Sea coast (reference encyclopaedia of Kerala in Malayalam language). Alappuzha is situated 62 kilometres (39 mi) to the south of Kochi and 155 kilometres (96 mi) north of Trivandrum. A city with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as the \"Venice of the East\" by Lord Curzon. Hence, it is best known as the \"Venetian Capital\" of Kerala for the Vast backwaters present here. Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English and Tamil are also widely spoken in the city.
Alappuzha is an important tourist destination in India. The Backwaters of Alappuzha are the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. A houseboat cruise in these backwaters is a delightful experience. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Quilon to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, on the second Saturday of August every year. This is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India. The mullackal chirap is also one of the attractions of Allapuzha which is the festive season held ten colourful days every year in the month of December.