Leisure Travel with Kerala Backwaters

Kerala Houseboat

Kerala Houseboat

The backwaters of Kerala are unique and unlike anything in the world. The backwaters are a network of canals, lakes, deltas and estuaries of 44 rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. These backwaters make their way through a number of towns and cities and so one can get to see the village lifestyle.

I had a keen desire to tour along the backwaters of Kerala amidst the greenery and see the rural and real life of Kerala and what more could be better than a cruising the backwaters on the houseboats. These canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport.

Fishing villages, tribal hamlets, people carrying on with their day to day work – scenes like this are abundant. These backwaters are the main source of livelihood for the people living on the shore here. The fish caught from its waters, the paddy, coconut and other crops harvested along its banks, the boats they build and use to transport them across the backwaters are all its part.

The must see backwaters in Kerala backwater tour are:

Alappuzha- Is the major backwater destination. Kuttunad, the rice bowl of Kerala, is the centre of attraction here. This is perhaps the only place where farming is done on land below sea level. You can also step out of the boat and visit the village craftsmen while they are working.

Kerala Backwaters

Kerala Backwaters

Kumarakom- Kumarakom Backwater provides splendid views of coconut groves, mangroves and paddy fields. The highpoint of your journey will be reaching the Pathiramanal Island.

Kochi- Kochi has one of the best natural harbors in the world. All the islands here are interconnected by a network of backwaters canals and lakes. Cruising through them and viewing the Chinese fishing net, particularly during sunset, is an amazing experience.

The Kerala Backwaters are also a venue for the annual boat races that take place in the different parts of the state. If you happen to visit during July to September you can also witness as huge boats rush past each other to win the competition.

Posted on March 12th, 2014 by Caper Travel  |  Comments Off

Kumarakom Backwaters Cruise: Water World Paradise

 Kumarakom Backwaters
Kumarakom Backwaters

After visiting popular tourist destinations of Cochin, Periyar, Munnar we headed towards Kumarakom for backwaters cruising. This is one of the centres of backwaters cruise and tourists comes here in great numbers to enjoy cruise on the pristine waters. The Kerala Backwaters are interconnected network of rivers, lakes, inlets, lagoons, canals etc. which form 900 km of labyrinthine waterways system. They are perfectly combined together to form one of the best parts of Kerala tourism.

At Kumarakom we were received by the hotel representative who took us to the Houseboat or the Kettuvellam called Saint George which was named after it’s owner and captain James George. It has large bedroom attached with bathroom and a hammock on deck. It is equipped with a sophisticated living room which gives exhilarating views of nature that makes the cruise worthiness and memorable for lifetime.

Kerala Backwaters has its own significance. It is an irrigation system of Kerala which prevents the saltwater river to de-fertilise the paddy fields. The canals are lined by stone walls and fringed by coconut palms. Backwater destinations are known for its glorious environment which is full of scenic beauty. While on backwater cruise one can see the mesmerising views of bright green rice fields and small homes with steps down into the river. As the boat moves the views of scintillating natural beauty is awe aspiring. It gives the true ambiance and mighty pleasure to be in the God’s own country.

Houseboat silently passed through the serene and scenic natural ambiance which engrossed me completely. The most fascinating part of this cruise was when the houseboat crossed the Kumarakom Bird sanctuary which provided us an opportunity to watch the exotic birds flying over the boat. This place is a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. We halted our houseboat for two to three hours so that we can enjoy this mesmerising environment at its best. Fluttering wings and mellifluous tunes of teal, cuckoo, wild duck, egrets, herons and darters are like a nature utterance which makes us speechless.
Kumarakom backwaters is a water world paradise where one can see the epitomization of nature’s beauty. Emerald green paddy fields, coconut grooves, azure blue waters, mangrove forests are the elements of backwaters which make this place an enchanting and an incredible destination of Kerala.

Posted on January 28th, 2010 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Exploring Uncharted Land in Kerala

 Kerala House Boat

Kerala House Boat

Come January, and I arrived at Mangalore airport (Karnataka). This trip of mine was especially organized to explore lively Kerala backwaters, heavenly greenery, interesting wildlife and multi-coloured festivities. I hired a taxi to Kasargod (50 km) and headed to the northern Kerala. As I had observed in Kerala travel guide, the local people were busy with the celebration of Kerala Gramam. After a quick shower, I headed for the fair, where I came across traditional houses, bright & colourful attires, traditional cuisine, superb handicrafts and many such items.

The best part with my stay at Kasargod was backwater cruise. Being a history buff, I also visited sites like Bekal Fort, Madiyan Kulom temple, Ananthapura Lake Temple, Chandragiri Fort etc and captured them in my camera for a lifetime. While enjoying my backwater cruise, I also had a closer look at the dense greens of Kasargod, which provide a home to about 24 species of the rarest of mammals, 200 species of birds and about 100 species of butterflies. While leaving Kasargod, I visited the market area with my guide and bought a few coir products, handlooms and tobacco products for my friends.

My next halt was Cochin, but en route I spent a relaxing day at Wayanad –the land of Spicy Hills. Though I paid a short visit to the famous Edakkal Caves and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and clicked a few bisons, elephants and deer playing near the lake, but rest of the day was at leisure. My hotel was at close proximity to the tea / coffee & spice plantations, there fore the air was filled with refreshing fragrance.

The next morning, I reached Cochin – the Queen of the Arabian Sea by train. Located between the Western Ghats and Arabian Sea, the city is blessed with spotless natural beauty and serves as an important trade centre too. I was booked in a luxurious houseboat (traditional Kettuvallom). Apart from exploring the best of aquatic life and living of villagers along side the serene waters, I also relished various traditional dance forms, music and the sweet dish ‘Payasam’. I spent a couple of hours at an ancient Ayurveda & Yoga resort to rejuvenate my senses. During my entire tour, I found the coastline of Kerala dotted with canopies of coconuts, gorgeous greens, balmy beaches and the breathtakingly beautiful backwaters.

Posted on December 10th, 2009 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off

Kerala Backwater Tourism: Beauty,Excitement, Fun & Relaxation

Kerala Backwater
Kerala Backwater

I tell stories not to promote places, rather to inform the readers about the wonder destinations and to develop interest of people about places to see in India. Therefore, I am not just another wanderer – I am the God’s man! And this story is about the journey of the God’s man to the God’s own country – Kerala. Steeped in greenery and natural beauty, the state offer countless fascinating attractions. It was a seven day trip during which I explored picturesque beaches, virgin landscapes, ancient temples, enchanting wildlife sanctuaries, aromatic spice/tea plantations etc. But the best part was, undoubtedly, Kerala backwaters.

The green state of Kerala is blessed with 44 rivers and a superb network of canals, lakes, lagoons and estuaries. These are the places where the true Kerala lifestyle can be enjoyed at its best. A Kerala backwater tour can take you through all these fascinating attractions and let you enjoy traditional Kerala art forms. On my tour to Kerala, I was booked in a luxurious houseboat that offered me a pleasant sail through palm trees, pandanus shrubs, leafy plants and bushes.

The traditional houseboat or Kettuvallom was simply another heaven to me. That eco friendly boat, built with bamboo poles, coconut fibre, ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. offered me the bet facilities like a star rated hotel. It had proper bedroom, attached bathroom, power backup, sitting area, kitchen and sun deck. Moreover, I was provided with a cook and an assistant. So my journey was awesome with authentic seafood delicacies prepared by the cook and the interesting facts about Kerala served before me by the assistant.

We started our journey from Kollam, popularly known as ‘Swapnadesh’. The houseboat first took me to Alappuzha / Alleppy that is always compared to the watery city of Venice. There I visited some of the ancient architectural wonders and temples. On my visit to Kuttanad, I explored beautiful lakes, canals, rivers and rivulets. This was the time when I captured a number of colorful birds in my camera. My next halt was Kumarakom, where I enjoyed the cruise on Vembanana Lake and indulged in some of the common water sports.

Located alongside the coastline, Kasargod is a nice destination with immense natural beauty and shopping options. I found some good handicrafts & sarees for my mother at reasonable rates there. On my backwater tour in Kerala, my last destination was Thiruvallam, where I enjoyed the relaxing canoe rides.

After the complete tour of this green state with all the attractions, I realized that Kerala backwaters definitely serve as the perfect medium to explore waterways and have a closer look at the local villagers, their traditions and living. As Kerala backwaters are connected to almost all the major cities of the state, important from tourism point of view, they offered me wonderful opportunities to have a glimpse of culture, history, adventure, beauty and traditions of Kerala.

Posted on November 13th, 2009 by Jagjit  |  Comments Off