Have you ever travelled from one island to another on a houseboat? Have you ever visited backwater villages and sampled the lifestyle of villagers? Have you ever explored marine life through a boat? Kerala provides you with an opportunity to experience wonderful relaxing holidays on its backwaters. Kerala backwaters are included among the 1001 attractions of the world !!
Kerala backwaters is fed by 44 rivers, divided into small lakes, lagoons and canals. Cities like Ernakulam, Kumarakom, Kollam and Kottayam for a base. While floating along the backwaters of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, you can see a number of Siberian Storks, Egrets, Herons, Darters and Kingfishers. Several ornithologists choose this spot for backwater cruising to see unique migratory birds. You can also visit alleppey, Vembanad Lake for an enchanting experience. Here, on a boat journey, you can witness a unique farming system which is done below sea level. Backwater cruise also offers you the pleasant view of the local people who are busy in carrying out their traditional occupations, such as farming and fishing on the fertile banks of the backwaters.
Houseboats (Kettuvellams) are considered best for holidaying on the backwaters. These boats were traditionally used to transport rice and other grains. As backwater tourism evolved with time, these boats were converted into luxurious boats for tourists. Today, these boats are equipped with all the amenities like bedrooms, A/C, Bathrooms, small Kitchen etc. You may need to book the houseboat in advance, or ask your guide for the same, as there is always a high demand of them. These backwaters comprise of a totally unique ecosystem. The freshwater from the rivers when meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea, it offers a different kind of vegetation. Backwaters are the habitat for mudskippers, frogs, crabs, turtles and otters.
While crossing Kannur district in North Kerala, on your Kettuvellam, you can see the villagers performing Theyyam, a popular traditional & ritual dance. At Punnathur Kotta in Guruvayur, you can see elephants playing on the banks of backwaters. Kerala becomes alive during Onam festival (August-September), widely popular for the snake boat races. The backwaters are fully packed with snake boats during the ten days of this festival.
While on a backwater cruise, you can also go spice shopping at Kumily, tea shopping, Kasargod saris and pottery from Nilambur. Houseboats are the best options to stay in, otherwise you can choose from a wide range of hotels. A variety of fish, crabs, prawns and other sea food items along with traditional & spicy Keralite dishes are served on the houseboats.