Alappuzha ( pronunciation ), also known as Alleppey, is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. Alappuzha is a city and a municipality in Kerala with an urban population of 174,164 and third among the districts having highest literacy rate in Kerala. In 2016, Centre for Science and Environment rated Alappuzha as the top cleanest town in India followed by Mysuru & Panaji 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 Laccadive Sea coast (reference encyclopaedia of Kerala in Malayalam language). The city is situated at a distance 28 km from Changanacherry, 46 km from Kottayam and 53 from Kochi and 155 kilometres (96 mi) north of Trivandrum. A town 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 known as the "Venetian Capital" of Kerala. Malayalam is the most spoken language. It 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 can be booked. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Quilon to the South. it is 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 for ten days every year in December. Other attractions in Alappuzha are Alappuzha Beach, offering a views of the Laccadive Sea, Pathiramanal , Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, St. Andrew's Basilica, Arthunkal, Mannarasala Temple, Chettikulangara Devi Temple, Haripad Sree Subrahmanya Swamy temple, Krishnapuram Palace, Thakazhy Sree Dharma Sastha Temple, Mullakkal Temple, Padanilam Parabrahma Temple, Edathua Church, Alappuzha CSI Christ Church (oldest Anglican church in Central Kerala) and Champakulam Valia Palli. Alappuzha is home to the Punnapra-Vayalar uprising against the British and also the revolt against the Feudal raj. Communist Party members were killed by the army of the diwan, 200 people at Punnapra on 24 October and more than 150 at Vayalar on 27 October. The total loss of life is allegedly estimated to be more than a thousand. Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. The Coir Board was established by the Central Government under the provisions of the Coir Industry Act, 1955. A Central Coir Research Institute is located at Kalavoor.
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