Cruise Along the Backwaters of Kerala

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India has been known for its beautiful mountain resorts, historical tourist attractions and pristine beaches. However, this is not all that India has to offer. Aside from all these, the country’s southwest region has something more to make India a must-visit place. The backwaters of Kerala will also amaze the visitors here and impress the traveler with its magnificent man-made and natural canals and its colorful lagoons that are wide enough for you to discover its richness.

 Kovalam, Kerala from Sunish Sebastian

Kovalam, Kerala from Sunish Sebastian

There lies five other lakes and thirty-eight rivers that flow to the Arabian Sea in this region. Water is found everywhere here between small scattered islands in India. These backwaters are initially the primary sources of fresh water and is also resided upon by different groups and classes of marine wildlife. Through time, the Kerala backwaters have been the main attraction for tourists who wish to explore India in a new and unique way.

 The Story of Vembanad - Desktop Calendar from

The Story of Vembanad – Desktop Calendar from

If India, as mentioned, has a lot to offer, so does the three backwaters that make it up. The most visited among the three is the beautiful Vembanad. The area covers the Kottayam and Ernakulam disctricts, the Alapuzha and is also home to the longest lake in South Asia named the Vembanadu Lake.

The Alappuzha area is composed of the scenic and largest canal and lagoon areas. As mentioned, it has been a tourist’s favorite destination zone.

Kumarakom, similiar to that of the Alappuzha has also been on every traveler’s top places to visit in India especially the ones who are bird enthusiasts. It houses a bird sanctuary and also celebrity vacation houses. The other two primary backwater areas in town are the Astamudi Lake and the Kannur-Valiyaparambu Backwaters. All of which are sure to enhance the Indian experience with a serene swerve along its waters while enjoying the beauty of nature.

 Kettuvallum on the Backwaters from Shabbir Siraj

Kettuvallum on the Backwaters from Shabbir Siraj

What better way to maximize the exploration of these waters than by going aboard a boat for a day or two. The boats cruising along the Kerala Backwaters are not just taking you to these tourist destinations but are also and attractions by themselves. This mode of transportation has been popularly used by locals and has been the traditional way of going about the waters of India. It is named as Kettuvallums or roof boats in English. They have been measured to have been about seventy feet in longitude and may take thirty tons of weight aboard. Being the traditional way of traveling the waters, this type of vehicle has been made of wooden planks combined together by coconut materials to hold them in place. Talk about tradition!

Much like all other means of transportation, the Kettuvallums have also had their fair share of innovation through the years. Now, it’s not only used to transport goods and people, but have also been used as a tour vehicle to entertain the travelers who visit the waters of Kerala. Turned into house boats, these have amenities fit for tourism such as bedrooms, kitchens, toilets and even bars equipped with a boat crew and a kitchen staff for the guests to enjoy the cruise like it was just by a hotel. Innovation has really prepped up this type of transportation because the guests may not only experience the beauty by sight-seeing,  they also have the luxury of eating along or having drinks as they do so. Convenient, isn’t it? You wouldn’t have to wait for the vessel to reach land and buy your necessities because everything you’d need in this trip would just be an order away by the counter!

The more modernized and larger Kettavullums are owned by prestigious companies. They are usually air-conditioned with observation decks built with multiple storeys so that more people can come on board as if it were a cruise ship, not a traditional vessel made of just the ordinary raw materials. Some of which even offer halls or specialized spacious rooms for meetings, conferences and parties. This way, people can really experience a full-on cruise-style tour… but it would be best if you were to take this cruise aboard the traditional Kettavullums to experience the pure and natural way of what these backwaters provide. It would be more unique and cultural if it were by simple  means, wouldn’t it?

 House Boat ...... from Ranjith Shenoy

a House Boat …… from Ranjith Shenoy

There are wide arrays of cruise packages that a number of tourism companies and groups in Kerala offer. The prices of these trips would vary depending on which season you would book. Usually, the cruises would give you the pleasure in choosing which places you would wish to drop by, especially if you wanted to visit the most essential, historical and cultural landmarks around the backwaters. Some even allow you to take a dip by the waters at specific spots while your cruising! Exciting, isn’t it?

Some of these cruises would last about twenty-two hours. However, it is given that these boats would be anchored from eight in the evening until the early morning of the following day since night sailing is legally cautioned for the safety of the passengers. If you wanted to have a shorter length of time to cruise, it would also be possible to book for an eight-hour cruise.

So what are you waiting for? Book for a cruise in Kerala and experience the other side of India that will surely take your breath away and know that this place is a must-visit tourist destination where you’ll never ever get bored! Truly, it would be all worth it!

For hotel bookings and reservations in Kerala, click here.

For cruises in Kerala, click here.

For flights to Kerala, click here.

For more information on travel destinations and vacation activities, click here.

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