Ferry through the Kerala backwaters is how you should totally consider getting (in part) from Alleppey to Thekkady (or Thekkady to Alleppey) when you are backpacking Kerala and you’ll be passing through Alleppey!
Thekkady is a destination in the hills of the Western Ghats, a mountain range that’s older than the Himalayas.
The main city in this region is Kumily, and it’s also home to the Periyar National Park and tiger reserve.
There are lots of different things you can do at Periyar, including taking a boat ride and going for a wildlife safari by jeep.
There are also tea plantations around Kumily too.
When you’re trying to get from Alleppey to Thekkady, is getting there by ferry a good option?!
As with all things, it depends on your priorities!
For the best things to do in Alleppey and the Kerala backwaters on a budget, see canoe, kayaking, more ferry rides (with options for Varkala and Munnar similar to Thekkady), and more about public transportation in Kerala and travel to Alleppey.
If your travels will take you to other parts of India too, also see the guide to backpacking 2 weeks in North India.
So, let’s first take a look at your different public transportation options to get from Alleppey to Thekkady!
How to get to Thekkady from Alleppey
- Alleppey to Thekkady taxi: 4 hours
- Alleppey to Thekkady train: not an option
- Alleppey to Thekkady bus: 4-6 hours
- Alleppey to Thekkady via Kottayam ferry + bus: 8+ hours possible
Alleppey to Thekkady by taxi
Time: Around 4 hours
If you don’t mind spending a little bit of extra money and you want to go for convenience, it’s also an option to go from Alleppey to Thekkady by taxi.
It’s a thing for tourists to hire a car with driver to get from place to place even when the drive is several hours long.
In the case of getting to Thekkady from Alleppey, the drive will probably be around 4 hours.
According to this Alleppey Beach guesthouse in 2018, the cost of a taxi from Alleppey to Thekkady is probably around 4,000 rupees (US$60).
Alleppey to Thekkady by train
NOT an option
There is no train station near Kumily.
And trains in this area generally run north – south, so traveling east to Thekkady from Alleppey by train isn’t really an option.
Alleppey to Thekkady by direct bus
Time on bus: 4-6 hours
According to the aanavandi website, there are a few timings for direct buses that you can take from Alleppey to Thekkady.
These timings are meant to give you an idea, and shouldn’t be used as an absolute!
These are the listed Alleppey to Kumily bus timings:
If you are going in the opposite direction there are some timings for direct buses from Thekkady to Alleppey too.
These are the listed Kumily to Alleppey bus timings:
Note that these are local government buses so they do make a number of stops, but these buses wouldn’t require a transfer. Get on the bus at Alleppey, and then get off in Kumily!
Now… the BEST way to get to Thekkady from Alleppey by public transportation…
Alleppey to Thekkady via the Kerala backwaters!
Why would you want to spend a possible 8 hours to get to Thekkady when you can get there in 5 hours?!
Because… when in Kerala!
Kerala is most famous for the backwaters, and Alleppey is the most famous hub for the backwaters. So it’s only fitting that you leave Alleppey (or arrive to Alleppey) by way of the backwaters! 😉
How to get to Thekkady from Alleppey via ferry
- Take a ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam (3 hours)
- Take a bus from Kottayam to Kumily (4 hours)
- Take a rickshaw from the Kumily bus station to your Thekkady guesthouse!
1. Take the ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam (3 hours)
These are the Alleppey to Kottayam ferry timings:
While this boat schedule is listed on the government waterways website, it can also be a good idea to confirm the boat timings with the guesthouse that you are staying at.
Now, here’s a look at what your day might look like on the ferry!
Get on the ferry to Kottayam at the main Alleppey ferry station
Find a seat that will give you some great views!
Take in the backwaters!
Take in some more backwaters!
Arrive at the Kottayam ferry station!
2. Take the bus from Kottayam to Kumily (4 hours)
Kottayam to Kumily by bus
The Kottayam bus station is about a 15 minute walk from the ferry station.
You’ll also likely find rickshaws waiting for you at the ferry station too.
When you get to the Kottayam bus station, head straight for the “station master” office or ticket counter. This is where you will get a reliable answer about when the next bus to Kumily will be.
Next, wait for the bus that you need to take!
Buses in Kerala tend to not have English signs on them, so you may have to ask around about which bus to take. A bus to Kumily might have a sign in English too since it is a popular tourist destination though.
Then, once your bus comes, enjoy your ride to Thekkady!
3. Get a rickshaw from the Kumily station to your Kumily guesthouse
Once at the Kumily bus station, you will probably be ready to get to your guesthouse after a long day!
There will likely be plenty of rickshaws waiting for you at the Kumily bus station ready and willing to take you to your guesthouse!
How to get to Alleppey from Thekkady via ferry
If you are going in the opposite direction from Thekkady to Alleppey, you may consider:
- Take a bus from Kumily to Kottayam (4 hours)
- Take a ferry from Kottayam to Alleppey (3 hours)
- Take a rickshaw from the Alleppey ferry station to your Alleppey guesthouse! (Go for a beachside guesthouse!)
HAPPY ALLEPPEY TO THEKKADY TRIP PLANNING!
To have the BEST time in Alleppey, be sure to take a look at the best things to do with one day in Alleppey!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!