The backwaters of Kerala, with its criss-crossing network of lakes, canals, lagoons and rivulets constitute a memorable tourist attraction in the state drawing visitors from far and wide. It forms a unique ecosystem featuring interconnected inlets, deltas, estuaries and other water sources that wind their way through the state’s interiors and ultimately drain out to the Arabian Sea. The backwaters form a salient feature of Kerala, a typical natural attraction not found anywhere else in the country.
The backwaters of Kerala constitute an ideal blend of scenic surroundings, serene ambience and cool comfort. The laidback houseboat journey through the meandering lagoons, nestling within the cosy warmth of the traditional ‘kettuvallam’ containing modern amenities is an experience in itself. These houseboats were ancient rice barges which were once utilized to transport paddy and rice to and from the low lying interiors of Kerala where extensive paddy cultivation was done.
Today’s kettuvallam is made along the lines of the rice-boat, furnished with state-of-the-art facilities that include a spacious living room, cosy bed rooms, kitchen services along with a cook well versed in local cuisine, as well as a deck for angling. Some are even equipped with conference halls that serve business purposes. The houseboats are a rage among the travelers to Kerala who, comprising families and groups of friends find these pleasure trips delightfully unique and attractive.
Backwater tours are an integral part of the travel itinerary in God’s own country. The hotels, resorts and homestays in the state have assorted tour packages that invariably include houseboat journeys of varied duration catering to differing needs and budgets. The 8-10 hr kettuvallam journey undertaken from the Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam to the Vembanad Lake of Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in the state.
Some of the popular backwater resorts can be availed at Kumarakom in Kottayam, Veli near the state capital and Kuttanad in Alappuzha. While on a houseboat, one can feast the senses on the panorama and aroma of emerald green paddy fields, luxuriant mangrove forests and lakes with blooming white lilies bordered by banks with coconut palms gently swaying in the wind. Besides, you get a feel of the rustic lifestyle of the villagers engaged in their indigenous occupations of farming, fishing, coir matting, basket weaving etc. The lesser known and yet-to-be-explored backwater spots in the state are located at Thiruvallam, Chandragiri and Kozhikode.
Backwater Tourism in Kerala......
Alappuzha Hotels, Resorts - Kerala
Kumarakom Hotels, Resorts - Kerala
Kollam Hotels, Resorts - Kerala