Alappuzha district is a district of Kerala state with its administrative headquarters located at Alappuzha city. During the 18th century the place Alappuzha was under the rule of Raja Kesavadas. In the history of the place, Alappuzha, it is mentioned that in the middle age it had good trade relations with ancient Greece and Rome. In the ancient period Kuttanad, a place in the district was an abode of the Chera dynasty and the people of that dynasty were popularly known as Kuttuvans. The district has some archaeological evidences of the early period like stone inscriptions in monuments, temples and caves which depicts its glorious history. The downfall of the Portuguese power in the 17th century led to the rise of the Dutch position in the principalities of this district. After sometimes Maharaja Marthandavarma, the ‘Maker of modern Travancore’ came to this place and interfered in the political affairs of those principalities. At that time a beautiful palace named Krishnapuram Palace was constructed and at present the State Archaeology Department proclaimed it as a protected monument. Kunjan Nambiar, a great and talented poet of that period was known as the ‘Maker of modern Alleppey’ who made an effort to make the Alappuzha, a premier port town of Travancore. The district came into existence on 17th August, 1957. Earlier the district was known as Alleppey District but it was officially changed to Alappuzha in 1990.
Dr K. Ayyappa Paniker, an eminent influential Malayalam poet, literary critic, academic and scholar was born on 12th September, 1930 at Kavalam in the district. He was honoured by many prestigious awards likewise Padma Shri, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Kendriya Sahitya Akademi Award, etc.
Geographically, the district lies at 9050'N latitude, 76034'E longitude and 1 m Altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 5.65% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 1,415 sq km. and it is bounded by Kochi and Kanayannur taluks of Ernakulam district on the North, Vaikom, Kottayam and Changanassery taluks of Kottayam district and Thiruvalla, Kozhencherry and Adoor taluks of Pathanamthitta district on the East, Kunnathur and Karunagappally of Kollam district on the South and Lakshadweep (Arabian) sea on the West. The climate of the district remains hot and humid during the summer season. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 3342.6 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 6 taluks namely Ambalappuzha, Kuttanad, Cherthala, Karthikappally, Chengannur and Mavelikkara. Moreover, it comprises 6 sub-districts, 38 towns and 52 villages. The administrative language in the district is Malayalam.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 21,27,789 out of which 10,13,142 are males and 11,14,647 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 1100 (females for every 1000 males). In the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 0.88% including -0.14% were males and 1.83% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 68.64% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,504 persons per sq. km. According to 2011 census the principal language in the district is Malayalam with 99.00%. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 18,508 including 9,390 were males and 9,118 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 16,453 including 8,726 were males and 7,726 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agriculture and marine products. The Kuttanad region in the district is popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala since most of the agricultural activities are mainly done in it. The chief agricultural products in the district are coconut, paddy, sugarcane, areca nut, fruits, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from these agricultural products helps in its economy to a great extent. Though the district is scantily industrialised but yet it has some small scale industries of coir and coir products, marine products, handlooms, different types of handicrafts, toddy tapping, etc. Coir is an important product which is basically used for manufacturing floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses, etc. Since the district is rich in coir hence it has Coir Research Institute at Kalavoor and National Coir Training and Designing Centre at Alappuzha town. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 50,30,336 lakh at current price and Rs. 36,29,056 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Net Domestic Product in the district during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 45,20,440 lakh at current price and Rs. 33,00,008 lakh at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, at factor cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 2,11,051 at current price and Rs. 1,54,071 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. The Church Missionary Society (CMS) School, the first school in Alappuzha was established by the Rev in 1816. Some its recognised educational institutions are TD Medical College, St. Joseph's College for Women, St. Michael's College, T.K Madhava Memorial College, St. Aloysius College, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 95.72% including 97.36% are males and 94.24% are females. The total number of literates in the district is 18,52,797 including 8,90,552 are males and 9,62,245 are females.
Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan, a veteran Indian politician and a former Chief Minister of Kerala from 2006 to 2011 was born on 20th October, 1923 at Alappuzha city. Since 2011 he has been serving as a Leader of the Opposition in Kerala. He is a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
During the year 2018, there were 5,11,490 domestic tourists and 95,522 foreign tourists. The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Krishnapuram Palace, located at karthikappally in the district was built by Marthandavarma. At present this palace is transformed into a museum with some antique sculptures, paintings and bronzes. Alappuzha Beach is a most admired picnic spot in the district. The beach has an attractive old light house which is greatly draws the attention of the visitors. Pathiramanal, a little island on the backwaters in the Vembanad Lake and is accessible only by boat from Kumarakom and Muhamma. Ambalappuzha Sree Krishna Temple, situated at a distance of 15 km. in the southern part of the Alappuzha is constructed in the typical Kerala architectural style with some beautiful paintings of the Dasavatharam (the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu) on the inner walls of the Chuttambalam. Pilgrims from far off places come to this temple to offer their prayers. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Arthunkal, Edathua Church, Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple, Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Chavara Bhavan and many more.