DIKE TOWN - Rivers / backwater were diked and canals were protected on either sides by dikes and town was established Inland waterways taken from the sea or river into the interiors Straight alignment of built fabric along the dikes and a landmark such as a tower, a church or a windmill, built to terminate the vista Dykes and canals provided a valuable central space and a setting for public buildings
Evolution Of Settlement in
Prepared by Nipun Patel
Master in urban & regional planning,
Department of Architecture, M.S. University, Vadodara
• Alappuzha is a landmark between
the broad Arabian sea and a web
of rivers flowing into it.
• Situated from 58 km away from
Cochin(Ernakulam) and 230 km
away from Calicut in south
• Since landing in Calicut in 1498,
the Portuguese started playing an
influential role in this area
(Alappuzha). They began by
spreading Catholicism and
converting already existing Syrian
Christians into Catholics.
• In the 17th century, as the
Portuguese power declined, the
Dutch gained a predominant
position in the principalities of this
district. They built many factories
and warehouses for storing pepper
and ginger, relying on several
treaties signed between the Dutch
and the Rajas of Purakkad,
Kayamkulam and Karappuram.
EVOLUTION OF ALAPPUZHA
• As the prominence of this place
increased day by day, in 1762, the
Dewan of Travancore, Raja
Kesavadas established a town
called Alappuzha to encourage
trading and commercial activities.
There were two canals through
the strip of sand between the
Arabian Sea and Vembanad Lake.
• Both banks of the canals were
dotted with several commercial
establishments, shops and
factories. This attracted merchants
from other parts of India to the
Settlement Morphology of Alappuzha Town
INDUSTRIAL CLUSTERGODOWN CLUSTER
DESIGN OF CANAL
• The width of main canals
is 30-35m while the
width of sub canals is 8-
• While the depth of main
canal is about 10m and
sub canal is 3m
Leiden – a paradise of interwoven canals and built
Schematic section through Alappuzha canal stretch
• Also the alternative
constructed for the
river water to reach the
sea, the original down
river (stream) water
section served as an
outer harbor and the
up-river section acted
as an inner harbor
Damming at Alleppey
•DIKE TOWN - Rivers / backwaters
•Canals provides a valuable central
space and a setting for public
buildings across on both sides.
Alappuzha canal stretch
Leiden canal stretch
DUTCH TOWN PLANNING
PRINCIPLES OF ALAPPUZHA
Larger buildings at prominent places is the
symbol of secular authority
Landmarks – Church Towers
• Alignment of building blocks
parallel to the canal and placement
of a landmark to terminate the vista.
• Important crossings are accentuated
by citing a religious building along
the canal front.
• Limiting the width of water way by techniques in
stone and timber construction
Higher degree of homogeneity in building style and street architecture
Streetscape - Leiden
Streetscape - Alappuzha
Streetscape - Leiden
• Back in 1859 a 302 meter long
sea bridge and light house which
can spread its light up to 20 Km
was commissioned . canals and
roads are created to facilitate
inland transportation and to bring
goods from the shipyard to the
• Thus the town became one of the
busiest trade centres, which had a
port along the Malabar Coast.
Traders travelling to the
destination from across the world
came in search for souvenirs and
• In the early first decade of the 20th Century the Viceroy of the Indian
Empire, Lord Curzon made a visit in the State to Alleppey, now Alappuzha.
• Fascinated by the Scenic beauty of the place, in joy and amazement, he
exclaimed, “Alappuzha, the Venice of the East”. Thus the sobriquet found
its place in the world Tourism Map.
• The development of Cochin as a natural harbor in 1928 diminished
the importance of Alleppey town as a business hub. After the formation of
Kerala state after independence of India increased the popularity of Cochin
town as a harbor. Because the industries in Alleppy are centered around
Allppey port, it was diminished as the Cochin port became a popular
destination for ships.
FORMATION OF ALAPPUZHA
• On 17th of August 1957, the Alappuzha district was formed by carving out
some regions of Kottayam and Kollam district.
• It is assumed that the name of Alappuzha was derived by the geographical
position and physical features of the place which means ”the land between
the sea and the network of rivers flowing into it”.
• As the time passes, commercial activities decreases in Alappuzha and
slowly this place is transferred the to tourist place.
• Alappuzha is famous for house boats and back waters.
• Current population of Alappuzha is 174,164 which is sixth largest district in