Kerala Backwater – What are backwaters?
The Kerala Backwaters are a part and parcel of Kerala tourism. These backwaters are formed due to the back and forth motions of sea waves, giving rise to intoxicating water bodies like lakes, canals, lagoons, deltas, and estuaries.
How will you gain access?
Trivandrum and Cochin are two international airports in Kerala. Calicut has a domestic airport connecting Kerala to the major cities of the country. Kerala has a well-laid rail-network. There are 8 National Highways and 58 State Highways linking the state of Kerala to all the important cities of the country.
What are backwater houseboats?
The houseboats or Kettuvalloms are a fantastic example of Kerala’s traditional craft. These giant structures, on an average, measure about 80 feet in length. What is most fascinating about the structure is the fact that it is amazingly devoid of nails. Yes, you will not find a single nail. The boats are shaped by tying wood planks with special coir ropes. No wonder, the boats are luxuriously made catering to the needs of the visitors. There are at least two-bedrooms with an attached bath, an open lounge, and a deck. The rooms are comfortable and hygienic. You will find a cook, an oarsman and a guide on board. There is also an opportunity of linking two or more houseboats, as per your needs, giving rise to a boat-train. Last but not least there awaits a cuisine which is so traditional and so very delicious. The meals are supplemented with freshly caught fish.
What is the average cost of a backwater tour?
The starting range of a Backwater tour package, on an average, is about Rs. 5000 to Rs. 6000 per night. However, the rate per night can go up to Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000. The package cost is inclusive of accommodation for 2 persons, breakfast, lunch, dinner, airport/railway station-hotel transfers, houseboat cruise, and all applicable taxes.
Which are the chief backwater destinations?
» Alappuzha Backwaters
Alappuzha, popular as the Venice of the East, is a district of immense beauty. The district has the Arabian Sea on its west and is home to a fair number of lakes, lagoons, and freshwater rivers. The snake-boat races, the houseboat holidays, the beaches and the coir industry of the place attracts a huge number of vacationers and tourists from all around.
» Kuttanad Backwaters
Kuttanad is known as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala”. The unique landscape and the scenic beauty of the place make it known all over. What is most interesting about the place is that farming is done here below sea level. The rivers Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil beautifully meander down the length and breadth of the place.
» Kottayam Backwaters
The mesmerizing backwaters, lush greenery and the vast expanse of rubber plantations, all combined, provide an ethereal setting for a backwater tour here. The St. Mary’s Church, one of the oldest churches in Kerala, is yet another attraction of the town. The church was erected way back in the year 1585. The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple and the Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple bear some fantastic murals and sculptural compositions.
» Kumarakom Backwaters
The Kumarakom backwaters lie to the north of Alappuzha. The quaint tiny hamlet of Kumarakom stands on the Vembanad lake. The village provides facilities like boating, fishing, sightseeing, etc. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to numerous migratory birds including Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron, and teal.
» Kollam Backwaters
The Kollam backwaters are located at a distance of 71 km north of Thiruvananthapuram. The district is famous for its marine and cashew industries. The place also has some temples built in the traditional architectural style. The very popular Ashtamudi Lake covers 30% of the town. The 8-hour long trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala.
» Trivandrum Backwaters
The enchanting district of Thiruvanathapuram is surrounded by verdant hills of the Western Ghats on the east and the northeast and the Arabian Sea on the west. The chief backwater areas of Thiruvananthapuram include Thiruvallam and Veli. The vast shoreline, the world-class beaches, the historical legacy, the backwater stretches and the chromatic cultural heritage of the district make it one of most coveted spots in Kerala.