Alleppey lies 77 kilometres from Ernakulam Town and was during its heyday a commercial hub and became a major port of the erstwhile Travancore State. The town came into its own during the period of Velu Thampi Dalawa when the port was fully established. The Commercial Canal, which was built by the Dewan connected the Vembanad Lake to the Beach and became a waterway to transport goods from the Port. As trade increased more canals were built creating more waterways, so much so that Alleppey earned itself the sobriquet, `Venice of the East’. Sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and the Vembanad Lake on a four kilometer wide stretch of land, Alleppey’s claim to modern day fame is for playing host as an entry point to Kerala’s famed backwaters. Houseboats, motor boats, country boats ply from the canals and the Vembanad Lake, ferrying tourists across the many lagoons making tourism one of the major economic revenue and employment generators for Alleppey. Traditional industries like coir, about two centuries old, paddy cultivation and fishing are still the major earners for many people in and around this beautiful town.