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Kerala Backwaters

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Intro Kettuvallams   |   Boat Races   |   Not To Forget  |   Look Beyond  |   Travellers Factoid   |  Tours

Kerala BackwatersThe palm fringed backwaters of Kerala stretch over an area of 1900 kms. The complex network of lakes, lagoons, canals and rivers surrounding the coast of Kerala forms the basis of a unique regional lifestyle, and travelling by boat along the backwaters. This is one of the highlights of a visit to the state. The boats travels shallow, palm-fringed lakes studded with Chinese fishing nets, and along narrow, shady canals where coir (coconut fibre), copra and cashews are loaded onto boats. Stops are made at small settlements where people live on carefully cultivated narrow spits of land only a few metres wide, and there's the chance to see traditional boats with huge sails, and prows carved into the shape of dragons. The most popular backwater trip is the eight-hour voyage between Kollam and Alappuzha, but most of your fellow passengers on this route will be Western travellers. If you want a local experience, or you simply feel like a shorter trip, there are local boats from Alappuzha to Kottayam and Changanassery.

We asked Peter Joseph , how he found Kerala backwaters.
“ It was an extraordinary experience. It was lovely. As you row past, you always find the people around you, washing clothes, vessels fish, rice and babies’ bottoms! They swim in the water, drink it and gargle into it.” A smile ran across his face. He further said “ What ever it was we were so near to the villages and yet so far. I recorded the entire episode of two hours and sumbitted my video to You tube. There is no place like Kerala backwaters to experience culture and nature together”

The Water boat - Kettuvallam
To unfold the beauty of Kerala backwaters, you would actually have to sail on a wooden house boat. The boat is not a ferry, it is what its name suggest a houseboat. With almost having all the luxuries of a home. A well furnished boat which is made to comfort travellers on their expedition. They are powered with an engine. Cruising the backwaters in Kettuvallams is like dream sequence which one would not like to end.

Peter on Kettuvallam “ Ya... this was big and huge. Well furnished with sofa and beds. Infact carried all the amenities of a hotel. I hardly had any problem there. I remember I used to sit in the lobby for hrs. A beautiful piece of art.”

Boat Races
Boat Races are indispensible part of Kettuvallams. Kerala boat festivals are held at regular intervals which tends to celeberate the culture of Kerala. Some of the major boat races are Nehru trophy boat race, Aaranmula Boat Race,
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, ATDC Boat Race.

Not To Forget
  • For Ornithologist, Kerala backwaters is a paradise. You would be able to see cormorants, snakebirds, herons, kingfishers,egrets and more.
  • Pick up herbal soaps, beautifully packaged in palm leaf, wooden carvings or brass miniatures of various Keralite cookings urns and measures.
Look Beyond
House-Boat in Alappuzha, Kerala Alappuzha : Alappuzha is one of the major centers for backwater boat trips. The intricate network of canals through this town has earned it the sobriquet "The Venice of the East". Small but long country boats are the taxies of the water.

Veli Aakulam Lagoon : A short distance from Thiruvananthapuram is the Veli Aakulam lagoon. Water sports, a floating restaurant, an amusement park, speedboats and other facilities make this spot a tourist attraction. The east end of the lake is flanked by two scenic hillocks.

Kollam : The charming old port city of Kollam on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake is known as the center of the cashew industry. It is one of the oldest ports of the backwaters, with the ferry to Alappuzha taking more than 8 hours.

Kozhikode : In north Kerala, the cool backwaters of Kozhikode lie waiting to be explored. This old commercial town attracts travelers for its history, wonderful backwaters and leisure sports.

Alumkadavu : Alumkadavu, in the town of Karunagapally hardly 20 kilometers north of Kollam, is where kettuvalloms are built. These huge, long and tapering barges were traditionally used to carry tones of goods, with a portion covered with bamboo and coir servicing as a rest room and kitchen for the crew. Gliding down the calm and serene backwaters in a kettuvallom, embraced by green leaves and palm, see a rural Kerala preserved through the ages, completely hidden from the road, and it is not surprising that this is called God's Own Country.

Besides these backwaters, other equally beautiful water bodies elsewhere are Veli (in South Kerala), Kadinamkulam, Edava, Anjengo, Madayara, Peravur, Ashtamudi, Kayamkulam, Kodungalur, Chetuva and Valiyaparamba (in North Kerala).

Cherishable Memories
Firstly you would never want the trip to end but it has to and when it would you would want to start with another. This is no exaggeration.

Peter “ Truly magnificent! I am stll in love with the backwaters. I would suggest all those who are planning there trip to Kerala to try backwaters.”
Kerala Backwaters
Travellers Factoid
Coming to Kerala
By Air : Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state, is very well connected to all major airports in India like Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Kochi and Calicut are other two airports connected from air to other cities in India.
By Rail : With around 200 railway stations, it is another convenient mode of traveling in Kerela. Railways connect most of the places in the state to places in the other parts of the country and inside the state. Long-distance express trains connect to almost all places outside the state like Mumbai, New Delhi.
By Road : Road traveling in Kerala is much smoother because of the good condition of he roads. Also state is connected with other parts of South India by a number of National Highways. Major modes of road transport are buses, tourist taxis, cars, and local taxis and autos.

Your Stay : Kettuvallams, Hotels in Kerala

Related Storie(s)
Kerala - God's Own Country- By Adarsh S.V
Kerala – Part of the Indian Peninsula- By tarun Rajpal
The Grassland Doctrine- By Pankaj Singhal
Best Of Kerala- By Soumya Roy
Wayanad – A Picture Perfect Place In Kerala - By Arpit Mehrotra
Tips To Make Your Honeymoon A Dream One- By Srijita Chatterjee
Snake Boat Race In Kerala - By Inam Hussain
Romantic Holiday In India- Mrinal Pandey
We are obliged that Peter Joseph a doctor in Australia, took out time from his busy schedule to give his notes

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