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.
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.