The Kerala backwaters are the rather unappealing name given to the peaceful and picturesque palm-lined network of lagoons, lakes, rivers, and canals that run inland from the coast of Kerala, from Kochi (cochin) to Kollam in India.
Traditionally, the backwaters are used by locals for transport, fishing and agriculture, but today they provide a unique travel experience, one that allows you to slow down, sit back and appreciate life in the slow lane.The lush green landscape, diverse wildlife, and houses and villages that line the backwaters make a journey along these waterways seem like a journey through another world. No wonder the backwaters is one of the must-visit tourist places in Kerala. And there is no better way to explore the backwaters than to hire a houseboat (known as kettuvallams) and to spend a few hours sailing along the intricate canals observing the day to day life of the locals.
Houseboats offer a unique experience altogether. They offer you the option to witness nature in raw form, and spend some quiet time away from the commotion of cities.
When it comes to houseboat cruising and backwaters, Kerala is the most sought-after destination. The traditional houseboats of Kerala are known as Kettuvallam, which are famous for overnight stays and short backwater trips. Fully equipped with modern facilities, they also feature a bedroom, kitchen, and a balcony for fishing. Places to enjoy houseboat vacation are Kollam, Alappuzha, Kumarakom and Nileshwar. KeralaBoatstay provides hassle free booking service for your houseboat cruise packages.
There are over 2,000 house boats traveling through the Backwaters, with the majority of them departing from a small town of Alappuzha (Alleppey), known as the Venice of the East.
House boats are available at Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kasaragod. The kettuvallams were once used as grain barges, transporting rice harvested in the fields lining the backwards, but today, the boats’ sole purpose is tourism. Converted into houseboats, kettuvallams come with all the luxuries of a typical home, equipped with air-conditioned bedrooms, western bathroom facilities, dining and relaxing/viewing areas.
The boats come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some are very basic and rather small, able to accommodate 2-4 people plus crew on board. Others resemble something of a floating palace beautiful on the inside and out. Most travelers spend 1-2 nights on board, although a few have been known to linger for much longer.