Imagine over 900 km of waterways where the backwaters of Kerala present several arteries of waterways connect rivers, lagoons, canals, and lakes that glisten as though someone has tossed a handful of crushed diamonds upon the water’s surface.
Now imagine the beauty of nature in all her glory as you cruise through the estuaries drinking in the scenery where peace and harmony abound. Visualise a location where succulent green rice paddies flank the banks of the inner waterways, where the locals affectionately call this haven, the Venice of the East.
For a once in a lifetime river and canal experience giving this destination its due, the grandest way to explore the resplendent backwaters of Kerala is by houseboat or Kettuvallom which was and still is a vital means of transport. In the early days, the boats were basic but today they are a more convenient means of transport.
For the tourists, the house boats are a luxury with a capital L. They’re supplied with modern living offering a holiday with a special touch. And as you cruise a river on a 35 meter long, 5 meter wide houseboat constructed of romantic bamboo with it’s own kitchen, balcony and bathroom, what more could you want?
The locals offer meals and the experienced crew members are happy to recommend dishes that will pique your culinary tastes as you explore the gorgeous towns on the edge of these emerald enhanced waters with verdant growth along either bank.
Kerala Houseboat tours have packages that accommodate a range of requirements. You book your tour according to the number of bedrooms you prefer and if you wish to accommodate a large group or family and friends, your options abound.
Your budget is well thought out and with a choice of luxury to deluxe or even a standard houseboat, you are assured of absolute enjoyment.
Prices range from the highest Gold and Silver Star rating offering facilities that can vary from Rs 4500 for a 2 person package up to Rs 6000 for 4 people and gives you a backwater cruise for an entire day.
Peak season is from December through to January and costs are inclined to rise a little, however, each cruise includes a complimentary drink, meals, afternoon tea and snacks while you enjoy the peace of the villages as you glide by the flora and wild birds and the sunshine that sets upon the water at dusk.
Planning your trip is recommended in order that you can experience as much as possible. There is much to see and much to learn about this paradise that appears hidden from the rest of the world.
Tour the Cochin waters where one of the natural harbors dwell and where traditional custom lives and abounds. Cochin is remarkably stunning and having been included in the top ten most beautiful places it is worth a visit on your river house boat cruise.
Consider Kasaragod where rice is harvested and the Arabian sea sits west with the Western Ghats on its east. The landscape protects four islands where streams feed the backwaters of Kasaragod where civilisation hasn’t spoiled the tranquility with the hustle and bustle of production.
Kollam is where temples and monuments remind you of architecture that was treasured. Extending from Ashtamudi Lake, you’ll enjoy a house boat cruise that glides past lush countryside, offering views of mesmerising nature at her most exotic. You’ll share the scenery with colourful birds, some that are local and some that have migrated to these incredibly beautiful waterways where water lilies and lotus float upon the surface.
What about overnight in the picturesque backwaters of Kottayam where 1500 acres of fertile land is abundant with coconut groves and paddy fields, where farming and harvesting takes place below the level of the sea. Your house boat passes through Vembanad Lake then Punnamada Lake where a vast and unique race of people offer a lifestyle so simple it is stunning. Cruising from April to September, avoiding the peak seasons but the warmer weather will afford you a house boat experience of a lifetime in splendour and style.
National Geographic Traveler has given a top 50 to the Kumarakom backwaters that link canals and lagoons in this paradise where fishing villages align the verdant banks. The rice paddies are irrigated by Vembanad Lake which traverses Kumarakom town. Popular for it being home to water fowl, the recommended time to explore this rich area is August and September when you can enjoy the Onam Festival. Learn to dance as the locals do as the town comes alive as it prepares to welcome the demon king, Mahabali, who offers prosperity, happiness and joy among the people.
Popular with honeymooners are the floating villas together with the house boats that visit the backwaters of Kodaikanal. Houseboats particularly, provide privacy as they glide past some of the most beautiful scenery in all of creation. You’ll enjoypalm-fringed shores and spice plantations that take away your breath as you cruise the waters past delightfully quaint villages where the locals can be seen going about their daily chores. With plenty to do, you’ll have time to visit the museums, the gallery and the beach.
Aboard a luxury houseboat, the turquoise waters of the backwaters of Thiruvallam are the epicentre of beauty, the ultimate discovery where one can indulge in water sports on the Veli Lagoon or cruise the Thiruvananthapuram backwaters where vegetation is an abundant forest. The Arabian sea if fed by this waterway comprising rivers and canals. The Vembanad Lake is about 200 sq km and hosts an array of wildlife being the most vast of the backwaters. Enjoy the tranquility whilst paddling a canoe and then enjoy the Thiruvallam temple, the Padmanabhaswamy temple, and everything in between the Veli tourist village and Kanakakkunnu Palace.
With so much on offer, choosing a houseboat that accommodates as many or as few people is easy. You’re presented with a broad range of house boat packages offering services that will allow you to fully relax while everything else is taken care of.
Whatever you do, enjoy a Kerala HouseBoat and cruise the turquoise jewel of the Kerala Backwater for a once in a lifetime memory you’ll never forget.