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Kerala Backwaters

The cruise along the palm fringed waterways of Kerala in a luxury houseboat is the most enchanting holiday experience in India today. The beautiful backwaters are the very essence of Kerala and have become the biggest tourist attraction all over India. It's an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas of 44 rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea and make up the 900 km backwater network of Kerala which is navigable. The backwaters of Kerala, meandering inland lakes networked by the canals stretch to over 1900 kms. The boat trips across these tranquil stretches is a unique experience in Kerala. A cruise on the lovely backwaters is a must for every visitor coming to Kerala. Water crafts traveling at a leisurely pace along narrow shady canals and palm fringed lakes provides a close-up view of ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves, which were preserved through the ages and completely hidden from the road. It is indeed a first hand introduction to the sublime scenic beauty of the Kerala countryside. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad Lake which flows through

 

Backwaters in Kerala

 Alleppey
 Cochin
 Kasaragod
 Kollam
 Kottayam
 Kozhikode
 Kumarakom
 Trivandrum

Alleppey or Alappuzha and Kottayam and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port. The Ashtamudi Lake, literally meaning having eight arms which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest backwater stretch and is considered as the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The most popular backwater tour is from Kolllam. The eight hours trip between Kollam and

Alleppey or Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. Thiruvallam, the serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalam is famous for its canoe rides. The backwaters mainly cover four districts of Kerala Kollam, Alappuzha or Alleppey, Kottayam and Kochi. Some of the famous backwaters in Kerala are in Kollam, Alleppey or Alappuzha, Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram and Kumarakom. The Vembanad Lake is located at Kumarakom, about 16 kms. from Kottayam and a famous backwater tourist destination. The Kumarakom Tourist village offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages.

Kerala Backwaters

 

Kettuvallom
Kettuvalloms or ‘boat with knots’, are the traditional giant country crafts of Kerala, which are about 80 feet in length. It took great skill and meticulousness to construct these giants by tying huge planks of jack wood together with the coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Not a single nail is used in the making of Kettuvalloms. These boats were earlier used for transport and cargo. Today, these boats have been converted into exotic and luxuriously furnished houseboats, the most exciting tourism product in India for leisure trips. These houseboats have all the comforts of good hotels and are becoming very popular among tourists. The Kettuvallom usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising of oarsmen, cook and guide. Come and check into the houseboat for the most amazing experience of your life.

 

Along the Kerala Backwaters

Tender Coconut

Fresh, sweet tender coconut is the most popular beverage in Kerala. 100% natural, it is most nourishing. Sweet toddy or madhurakallu is another beverage extracted from the coconut palm.

Resorts

There are quite a few resorts along the backwaters which also offer houseboat cruises. Many of them are heritage homes, the traditional family mansions of Kerala.

Kerala Backwaters

Food
The backwater delicacies form a cuisine by themselves. There are a few halting points where you can enjoy the cuisine.

Jetty

Highways and railways are generally located away from the waterside. These can be accessed from the jetties by bus, taxi or auto rickshaws.

Ayurveda

Kerala's ancient Ayurvedic regimens are offered by many of the backwater resorts.

 

Snake boat races
The boat races of Kerala are exciting events that bring to life the tranquil backwaters. 16-20 snake boats manned by 125 oarsmen and a team of singers participate i each event. Snake boat races are usually held during the Onam festival.
 

Sanctuaries and picnic spots

The extensive water bodies support a wide range of birds. Kumarakom and Kadalundi are favorite haunts of migratory birds. The backwaters are also excellent for picnics.

Coir village

Kerala Backwaters

The coir making is a primary occupation of the backwater folk. Entire villages engaged in the coir manufacture can be seen along the waterside.

 

Kathakali
Cultural evenings are arranged at several spots along the backwaters by resorts and houseboat operators. Kathakali is the classical dance drama of Kerala and favorite among the tourists.

Boat building

At places like Alumkadavu you can watch the houseboat and snake boats in the making. These traditional houseboats are made by tying together huge planks of wood.

 

Kerala Backwater Tours

Churches, Temples, Mosques
Kerala has some of the oldest churches in the world, dating from the time St. Thomas, the Apostle arrived here in 70 AD. Many of these can be seen along the backwaters in Kerala. The temples are also common  along the backwater trail. Both the Dravidian gopuram style and tiled Kerala style temples can be seen. The centuries old monuments on the waterside form picturesque sight.

 

Backwaters in Kerala
Backwaters in Alleppey || Backwaters in Cochin || Backwaters in Kasaragod || Backwaters in Kollam || Backwaters in Kottayam || Backwaters in Kozhikode || Backwaters in Kumarakom || Backwaters in Trivandrum

 

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