Kerala Traditional Houseboats
Houseboat Cruise on backwaters is an unavoidable part in Kerala Tourism. A houseboat cruise through curving and winding backwaters will give visitors an opportunity to explore the rustic village life like toddy tapping, to enjoy the scenic vista of nature and to have rendezvous with nature. Houseboat cruise is the major sightseeing option here and no one can think of complete Kerala travel without a houseboat experience.Backwater destinations here are truly a hot spot for honeymoon couples in their Kerala tour as they can spend time in solitude and view the captivating sights of the nature. Cruise over the scenic backwaters will ultimately take them to the unforgettable wonderment’s and heavenly natural beauty. Intricate maze of backwaters stretches over 900km nestled in pristine beautiful environs and set amidst greenery, with enchanting views of coconut lagoons, paddy fields and banana plantations are prime attractions of Kerala backwater tourism.
The backwaters mainly covers four districts of the state – Kollam, Alleppey (Alappuzha), Kottayam and Kochi ( Cochin ). The Vembanad lake ,largest backwater stretch, flows through Alleppey (Alappuzha) and Kottayam districts opens out into the Arabian Sea at the Kochi Port. The Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the backwaters, gives longest cruise on backwaters from Kollam to Alleppey.
In earlier days, Kettuvallams were used primarily for transporting cargo in rural Kerala. Now these traditional houseboats with all modern luxurious facilities, are designed to offer utmost comfort to the tourists. It is huge, slow moving boat equipped with all modern facilities such as television sets, air conditioners, etc and have become an essential segment of leisure tourism in Kerala. Kettuvallams are built with huge wooden planks bundled and stitched together with coir rope without using a single nail. Exteriors of boats are painted with a protective coating of Cashew nut oil. It requires great skill , artfulness and expertise to build Kettuvallams. Evidently it is symbolic of heritage, cultural traditions and regional identity.
Skilled artisans transform Kettuvallams to modern tourism product comfortably furnished with bedrooms, living space, bathroom, kitchen and a sun deck. Commonly one bedroom to four bedroom houseboats are available.
Ethnic house boat which floats over the rippling water gives occupants an antique experience and a holiday with difference. A houseboat ride helps to understand and witness inaccessible rural lifestyle of Kerala villages.
The modernized kitchen in the houseboat provides hygienic, fresh and delicious traditional Kerala food. An array of best of Kerala delicacies, especially lip smacking seafood, is served on board amid a tranquil, home-like ambiance.
Houseboats are classified in three categories as Gold Star, Silver Star and Green Palm by Dept. of Tourism on the basis of Safety and service standards.
Alleppey to Alleppey: Alleppey is famous for beaches, backwaters and houseboats and serve as starting and ending points of pristine backwater cruises. Alleppey is also called the hub of backwater tourism. This package starts & ends at Alleppey and the cruise will be in and around Alleppey (Alappuzha). Travelers enjoy the breathtaking views and the glimpses of life along the banks. The paddy field, the coconut trees etc lined along the backwaters, the Chinese nets etc will make you delight. Large numbers of species of birds even migratory birds are found during cruise. Alleppey Backwaters are known for its marine life ie: it is home to a large variety of fish.
Alleppey to Kumarakom: The cruise from Alleppey to Kumarakom will be one of the most beautiful and unforgettable hours in your life. Kumarakom is a unique backwater destination situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, which is one of the largest fresh water lake. Ethnic house boat which floats over the famous Vembanadu Lake takes tourists into the unique world of water and wonderment and find it as a great, joyful and thrilling experience of lifetime.The visitors can have a small nearby village walk and can visit bird sanctuary ,which is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist’s paradise. Pathiramanal backwater island is situated on the backwaters of Vembanad lake, which attracts many due to its enchanting scenic beauty.
Alleppey to Thottappally: The houseboat floats through the river pampa, narrow canals and then for a brief visit to quiet and peaceful Chavara village, which is known as the sacred birthplace of blessed kuriakos Chavara.. Houseboat pass through Champakulam- an amazing experience, which offers you, is the snake boat, which uses for the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held every year around the time of Onam. Champakulam church is one of the oldest church in India which is established in AD 427 also attracts tourists .Then hoseboat heads towards into the Karumadi canal.