Alappuzha -- the name means “broad river” in Malayalam -- is famous for its backwaters, houseboats, boat races, temples and seafood. These attractions have earned it the moniker “Venice of the East.” Founded in 1762 by Raja Keshavadasan, Diwan of the princely state of Travancore under Maharaja Raja Rama Varma, it is considered to be the oldest planned town in the region. This year Alappuzha, formerly known by its Anglicised name of Alleppey, celebrates its 250th anniversary. Yahoo! reader J MADHU RANTHAKAN presents a compilation of captivating images of this enchanting town.