Kerala Backwaters and houseboats
Kerala, the green and serene country, offers an amazing array of backwaters, lakes and lagoons against its landscape.
Kerala is known for its unique network of canals, lagoons, lakes and rivers which comprise the idyllic backwaters of the state.The Kerala backwaters provide a gateway to the tourists to get a feel of the rural life in Kerala. The prime attraction is the traditional Kerala houseboat or “ kettuvallam” with state-of-the-art facilities that cater to a variety of tourist needs and interests.
The backwaters are an integral part of Kerala's tourism scene. A journey through the curving and winding backwaters of Kerala is an exhilarating experience which makes you feel one with nature. The houseboats take one on a fascinating cruise at a leisurely and relaxing pace, across breathtakingly beautiful destinations in the state that are storehouses of nature at its best.
The services of the houseboat or kettuvallam are available right from Veli in South Kerala, extending across Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Kollam and Kochi, all the way up to Valiyaparamba in North Kerala.
Alappuzha is an alluring town with its lovely lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers.Referred to as the ‘ Venice of the East’, this town is laced with a network of canals and is famous for its boat races, houseboats, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha is home to some diverse animal and bird life too. The rich crop of bananas, yams and cassava is yet another feature of Alappuzha.
Kuttanad, in the heart of the backwaters of Alappuzha, owing to its richness of paddy crops, is referred to as the rice bowl of Kerala. The half hour journey by speedboat to the nearby island of Pathiramanal will reveal the range of rare migratory birds that fly from various parts of the world to this spot.
Kumarakom on Lake Vembanad , with its unparalleled boating, fishing and sightseeing facilities, makes a picturesque holiday spot in the backwaters of Kerala. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which houses exotic birds and plants is a beautiful green spot.
Tourists can take a cruise along the lake to catch glimpses of the birds. It is an ideal spot to spend the summer- with ducks, cuckoos, Siberian storks, etc. The ideally located Kumarakom is a picture perfect village and an attractive tourist destination.
Closeby are the backwaters of Kottayam. Amidst paddy fields, rubber plantations and the highlands is the charming town of Kottayam . Kottayam is popularly known as the land of lakes and latex. The entire population of Kottayam is literate and that makes it the land of letters too. Besides, Kottayam has a rich cultivation of cash crops.
The town Kollam on the Ashtamudi Lake is renowned for being the gateway to the beautiful backwaters of Kerala.The tourists have the option of going for a backwater tour or cruise that commences from Kollam. The backwater tour from Kollam to Alappuzha happens to be the longest cruise in Kerala.This town Kollam is famous for its cashew crop.
Then there is the captivating Cochin ( Kochi ) with its charming combination of landscape and seascape and its picture perfect islands like Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The little town of Fort Kochi carries reminiscences of the Chinese, Arabian, Portuguese and the Dutch travellers. Cochin is a major trade centre.
Cochin offers opportunities for pleasant cruises to the coconut plantations and the coir villages around.The Chinese fishing nets are an attraction with the tourists.Cochin is rightly referred to as the queen of the Arabian Sea.The tourists are bound to carry sweet memories of the rustic village life with its fishing and farming activities.
The capital city of the kaleidoscopic Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram is a major tourist destination. Thiruvananthapuram is a major centre for tourism, politics and industry. The soothing shoreline, beautiful beaches and the backwater stretches make Thiruvananthapuram one of the most frequently visited backwater holiday destinations for the tourists in Kerala.
The heritage buildings and historical places of interest offer variety and scope for exploration to the tourists.This city is especially attractive during the festivities of the harvest season of Onam. Thiruvananthapuram is known for its architectural planning,its greenery and its moderate climate.
The stunningly beautiful and serene stretch of the Thiruvallam backwaters is temptingly close to Thiruvananthapuram. The backwater destination of Thiruvallam makes a great one-day tour. The renowned canoe rides make Thiruvallam popular with the tourists.
You may even enjoy the water sports in the lagoon and the move to the beach from the village using the floating bridge in the waterfront park. The short village cruises using the country boats are perfectly pleasant ways to enjoy the backwaters of Thiruvallam.
On the seacoast, the backwater destination of Kasaragod offers mesmerizing trips to the enchanting Chandragiri and the vivacious Valiayaparamba. Situated on the Chandragiri river, the former is renowned for its chain of forts. The latter provides breathtaking views of the backwaters.
The boat cruises to and from Kasaragod will never fail to enchant the vacationers. While on the backwater tour,the visitors can halt to visit the well-preserved Bekal Fort which is of archaeological interest. The Pallikere and the Kappil beach at Kasaragod are excellent spots for relaxation and rejuvenation.