Aluva (formerly Alwaye) is the second largest town in Greater Kochi City and an important commercial town in Kerala. The town is famous its festivals, large river banks and temples. Many of Kochinites (people of Kochi, as popularly known), do prefer to live in Aluva, while working in Ernakulam City, considering quiet cityscape, waterfront facility and presence of large commercial areas.
Aluva, is well known for its large river banks of Periyar River. The town is divided into two halves by the river, making the commercial town towards southern side of river and residential areas towards northern side. The Shiva Temple, located in river banks is the main attraction of the town, due to the traditions and legends associated with it. The temple gets submerged under river, during moonsoon season (May–September).
Aluva has a major historical significance. The town ceded to Travancore Kingdom by Kochi Kingdom as part of Travancore-Kochi Treaty of 1790. Due to which, the town became a first major defence line for Travancore-Kochi Kingdoms from any external aggressions. The Northern side of Aluva (Travancore Aluva), thus became famous for its extensive Nedumkotta lines (Frontlines Fortifications) of Travancore Army, whereas Southern Aluva (Cochin Aluva) turned into commercial port which received boats and ferry from Travancore's High ranges loaded with spices and other commodities of high value.
The formation of Modern Aluva started, when H.H Maharaja Chitra Thirunal, then-the Maharaja of Travancore started his industrialization program in 1930s, making Travancore Aluva, one of the major centers for various industries. More than a dozen heavy industries were opened, creating the largest industrial belt in Kerala. A large bridge across Periyar made easy connectivity between Cochin and Travancore sides of Aluva, which helped the town to grow and diversify its economy into non-agrarian areas.
After independence, both sides of town merged into a single municipality and merged into Ernakulam district. Again, Aluva got a shot in the arm, when Kerala's largest private bank - The Federal Bank made the town as its Headquarters. Several small and medium sector financial institutions soon started its operations from this town, boosting its local economy. In 1990, Aluva was included into Greater Kochi Area, making it part of Kochi City and satellite town of Ernakulam.
Aluva is well connected by air, road and rail from all parts of the country
Cochin International Airport (COK IATA), is just 15 km from the town center and thus Aluva is the nearest town from the Airport. Regular domestic and international connections are available from the Airport.
Aluva railway station (IR Code: AWY) in the town, is the second largest railway station in Kochi UA after Ernakulam South. All passenger, express trains bound to southern Kerala do have a stop in this station. Some leaflets/websites still refer the town's old name (Alwaye).
- 1 Aluva railway station (ആലുവ തീവണ്ടി നിലയം).
Rajiv Gandhi Central Bus Station is one of the largest Bus terminal in Kochi UA. Regular private and KSRTC Bus connect from all parts Kerala to this station. Apart from this, daily passenger bus of Karnataka RTC and Tamil Nadu's SETC do connect from places like Mysore, Mangalore, Bangalore, Trichy, Coimbatore, Salem, Palani, Kodaikanal etc.
Privately operated Inter-state bus to Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore, Mumbai etc. do have stops in various points of Aluva town.
Aluva is one major stop for National Waterway 3, scheduled to open by August 2010 which connects to Thiruvananthapuram in south and Kottapuram (Thrissur) in north.
Autorikshaws charge ₹15 per km. Bus are cheaper at ₹7.00 for three km.
- 1 Aluva Palace (Kadavu Kottaram), Palace Rd. Once the summer palace of Travancore Royal family, today its one of the largest archeological palaces in Kerala. Built in English-Travancore style, the palace offers one of the best views of river. The tranquility, offered by large palace gardens and verenadas offers an unique romantic mood. A part of the palace is Government Guesthouse.
- Marthanada Varma Bridge (Aluva Palam), NH 47. The Marthanada Varma Bridge is considered as icon of the town. Though nothing special about this bridge, this bridge was the first bridge laid across the mighty Periyar. The design soon became model for several similar bridges in Kerala.
- Mangalassery Papal Seminary.
- 2 Shiva Temple (Manalpuram), Manalpuram Rd. The Shiva temple of Aluva is one of the most famous Shiva temples in south India. Legend says, the idol (Lingam) has risen out of the sand of the river bank, naturally. Thus the idol was located in the river channel, hence used to get submerged under the river most of the year, except during summer season. However for past few years, the volume of the river got reduced drastically, thus one can see the idol throughout the year, except during monsoon season (May-Sept), when volume in the river increases multi-fold. There is no formal temple structure, rather a make-shift structure made out of weaved palm leaves and bamboo sticks. The most celebrated event is the annual Shivarathri festival, when thousands all over Kerala and other parts of India rush to the temple. This season is famous for post funeral rites of Hindu known as Shraddhham or Tarpanam, done in banks of the river.
- Shivarathri Manalpuram.
- Uliyanoor Temple. Uliyanoor Temple is a historical Temple believed to have been built By Perunthachan
The Aluva Sivarathri festival is the best time to shop in Aluva. It boasts of the largest cultural fair in the state. There will be One month long sale of various products along with the fair. For Clothing, Aluva has exclusive outlets of Reebok, Raymond, Reid & Taylor. Several other local dress boutiques are located inside the city. Seemas Textiles operate a 7-floor big textile showroom in Aluva.
- Amma Pothi Parcel Point, Companypadi Aluva. Once parcel contains Naipathil, Pepper chicken and an egg.
- Bambino Cafeteria, Hospital Junction (1 km), ☏ . Daily 1–11:30PM.
- Chicking Restaurant, Thikavukochi, ☏ . Daily 9AM–9PM.
- Indian Coffee House, Sub Jail Road, ☏ . Daily 9AM–9PM.
- Kamath's Restaurant, Harihara, ☏ . Daily 8AM–9PM.
- New Thalassery Roaster, Market, ☏ . Daily 9AM–6PM.
- Shenoys Restaurant, Kunnathery Thikavu (1 km), ☏ . Daily 7AM–8PM.
- Surya Hotel, Pump Junction, Railway Road (1 km), toll-free: . Daily 9AM–10PM.
- Swamy Vegetarian, Near Railway Station.
- Muthalali Dosa Shop (On Aluva Paravur Road). 100 year old restaurant famous for Dosa, Kappa, Pappad, Tea and Onion Chammanthi. Breakfast and dinner is available. The shop remains closed during lunch time. ₹50 per plate.
- The Grand Restaurant, Grand Junction. Vintage restaurant popular for their crisp parottas.
softdrinks There are lot of shops offers different type of fruit juices and bottled soft drinks. Tea shops you can find it very easily. They offers snacks like banana fry (pazampori), vada like. Two or three vegetarian restaurants offers offers veg. meals with more than 5 or 6 currys and they serve you good south Indian masala dosa also.
- Premier Bar, Periyar Nagar.
- Aroma Hotel, Near KSRTC, ☏ , . ₹260.
- Hotel Mahanami, One km from Railway station (Ask for old PWD Rest House). ₹1,200.
- Madaparambil Residency, Sub Jail Road, Near Railway Station, ☏ . Check in/check out 3PM. ₹160.
- Manjooran Hotel, Near Railway Station. ₹120.
- Periyar Riverside Hotel, ☏ . good rooms ₹800.
- Railway Retirement Room. ₹300.
Aluva is not a safe town. All the mafia gangs of Kochi are Alwaye-based. Though they are not targeted at tourists, taking some caution is advisable. Going to ATMs is a little bit risky in Aluva, especially at night. Some of the ATMs in Aluva are guarded by armed policemen. Unlike in other parts of Kerala, they may ask you to write down your mobile number before entering the ATM.
There are plenty of internet centres available. Wire line and wireless internet connections available. Reliance offers 3.1 Mbit/s Broadband service in city call 9349040010