In the earlier period, Alappuzha had trade relations with countries like Greece and Rome. During the Sangam age, the place called Kuttanad was home to the Cheras who were called as Kuttuvans. The ancient history of Alappuzha can be seen from the literacy works “Unninili Sandesham”. There are some archaeological works like inscriptions on stone, monuments, rock-cut caves etc. which emphasize on the historical value.
During the period between 9th and 12th century, there was a great development in the field of religion. During the rule of the king Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayana, the Chempakasseri kingdom was at great height. In the 17th century, the Portuguese control declined and the Dutch came into power. The Dutch made great improvements in the district and had constructed factories and industries here. It was mainly used for storing spices and many treaties were signed between the Dutch and the rulers of Purakkad, Kayamkulam and Karappuram.
The Dutch also took part in the political affairs of the district. Later Maharaja Marthandavarma interfered in the political affairs. He made great contributions for the progress of the district. With the addition of kingdoms of Kayamkulam, Ambalappuzha, Thekkumkur, Vadakkumkur and Karappuram, the Dutch began to decline.
There were some improvements in the district during the rule of Dharmaraja. The Diwan of Travancore named Raja Kesava Das, made Alappuzha a main port town of Travancore. Another prominent person responsible for the development of Alappuzha is Velu Thampi Dalawa who took great effort for the development of the district.
Before, Alappuzha was combined with Kottayam and Kollam but after 1957, Alappuzha became a separate district. It was in Alappuzha that the first post office and telegraph office of the Travancore was established. The role of Alappuzha in the Indian Independence is worth mentioning. In 1946, there was the struggle of Punnapra and Vayalar. It was against the Diwan of Travancore which led to his withdrawal from the politics.