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city, southern Kerala state, southwestern India. It lies on a narrow land spit between the Arabian Sea and Vembanad Lake, south of Kochi (formerly Cochin). Alleppey's port was opened to foreign trade by the British in the late 18th century to end the commercial supremacy of the Dutch trading post at Porakad, 10 miles (16 km) away. The city's economy is based largely on the coconut. Coconut oil is milled there, and coir ropes, mats, and carpets are manufactured and exported. Black pepper is also produced. Sometimes referred to as the "Venice of India" because of its extensive canals and rivers, Alleppey has a growing tourism industry. The town lies on the main road between Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum). It has rail service, and a network of canals connects it to Trichur to the north and to Thiruvananthapuram to the south. The anchorage, situated about 1 mile (1.6 km) offshore, is protected by a mudbank. Several colleges affiliated with the University of Kerala are located in Alleppey. Pop. (1991) 174,666.