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Alleppey is a veritable maze of bridges and canals, the presence of which has given it the appellation the "Venice of the East". Alleppey district stands foremost among the districts of Kerala in regard to the density of population. It also stands first among other districts of Kerala in respect of its literacy rate. The entire area of the district lies in the low land and the midland divisions, and is the only district in Kerala having no area under the high lands. Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala is in Alleppey district. The total production of rice here is almost ten percent of the total production of the State. Alleppey is the most important centre in the State for coir industry. Almost 80 per cent of the coir factories in the State are in this district.

Aleppey, came into being as a district, in the political map of Kerala on the 27th of August, 1957. Before the formation of the district, a major part of this area was of Kollam district and the rest, of Kottayam district. Though Aleppey, with its past glory has a historic tradition of its own, with its abundant trade activity. Aleppey is famous for the first labour upsurge against autocratic regime which is known as Punnapra-Vayalar agitation.

Alleppey town has earned for itself the fame of being styled as the Venice of the East. The port at this place owes its origin to the ingenuity and imagination of a great administrator of the erstwhile Travancore, Raja Kesavadas, the Dewan of His Highness the Maharaja Rama Varma. He constructed the two main canals, running parallel to each other through the heart of the town, linking the backwaters with the seashore. He brought here the Gujaratis, Kutchimemons and Parsis to start trade in hill-produce, copra and coconut oil. The port was open for foreign trade in 1792 and it remained the commercial metropolis of Travancore for over a century. The lighthouse in the western coast was put up in 1862 under the supervision of a European engineer, Mr.Crawford. Alleppey market was once the solitary supplier of coir yarn, mats and matting, coconuts, coconut oil, pepper, ginger, tea, rubber, cashew and cardamom to the world markets before the establishment of the Cochin Port. The development of Cochin harbour during the second quarter of the century marks the beginning of the decline of Alleppey market and port. The business community found better prospects in Kochi and a large number of them moved to Kochi.

Alleppey District consists of two revenue divisions, six taluks and 91 revenue villages. There are 71 panchayats in the district.


Vembanad Lake
The Vembanad lake stretching from Alappuzha to Cochin borders Cherthala, Ambalapuzha and Kuttanad taluks of this district.

Kayamkulam Lake

 Kayamkulam lake lies in both Alappuzha and Kollam districts.

The lakes are used for inland water transport of passengers and cargo.


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