My First Houseboat Cruise in the Enchanting Kerala Backwaters
I had my first Houseboat cruise in the enchanting Kerala Backwaters in Kerala, India.
That was about noon time when we arrived at Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha). Known as the Venice of the East, Alleppey is a popular tourist destination in Kerala, India because of its backwaters. Alleppey is also considered as one of the best places to visit in August in India.
The place was 62 kilometers to the south of Kochi and 155 kilometers north of Trivandrum. Alleppey is a city blessed with picturesque canals, enchanting backwaters, beautiful beaches, and amazing lagoons.
A nice welcome at the Kerala Backwaters
The heat was scorching when we arrived, but we have forgotten it’s burning sensation when we were welcomed by the traditional drumbeaters of the Place. At the office of the Lakes and Lagoons – one of the operators of Houseboats in the place, we were given a great reception with some leis and fresh coconut juice. After a short while, we boarded a boat which brought us to our respected Houseboats.
I was included in the group of 3 French-speaking bloggers together with 2 other French journalists who covered Kerala Blog Express 3 on its first few days. I should say they were all kind and charming as they really try to speak in English each time I was around. So thank you, Arnaud, Celine and Els, and 2 French journalists. I had a great time with you during our Kerala Trip, but most especially during our cruise.
Houseboats cruising the Kerala Backwaters
Gathered from our guide, the lifeline of Alleppey is its large inland network of huge canals. The place is famous for its historic Aranmula Snake Boat Race held every second Saturday of August, every year. Hence many tourists find this place as one of the best places to visit for the said month.
The Nehru boat race takes its name from India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated it in 1952. The event is a famous activity in the place like a snake – boats, each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind.
experience sunset at the Kerala Backwaters
According to our guide, Kerala Backwaters act as a vital waterway for the transport of goods, people and their products are often the only links between isolated villages and crowded towns. Kerala’s backwater stretches over 1500 kms, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons, and lakes from north to south. I was fascinated with the unique geographical feature of Alleppey having the water in level with the land. This gives the advantage of getting a good vista of the village life on shore while cruising on a backwater.
I was enthralled seeing the Palm lining the narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields; the hectares of lotus flowers were sights to behold. While cruising I can’t help but to take several pictures of flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains a great testimony of the unique charm of Kerala. How can I forget to experience the sunset while on the houseboat?
various houseboats at the Kerala Backwaters
Houseboats of Alleppey
Cruising in a Houseboat or ” Kettuvallam ” through the enchanting Kerala Backwaters is an experience which I like the most in my entire Kerala trip. I was fascinated by seeing country boats of various types crisscross the path with local and international tourists. It was a unique experience as this is as close as one can get to feel the vibrant life in the countryside of god’s own country.
It is interesting to note that the houseboats which gave so much popularity about Kerala are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages to the towns. It is said that with the construction of more roads and bridges and the coming of more large ferry services, these Kettuvallam gradually went off the scene. A ride on a houseboat is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.
the interior of the houseboat where we stay during our Kerala Backwaters escapade
A houseboat is about 67 feet in length and has a width of around 13 feet in the middle. But what makes the houseboat really charming was the materials used in it such as bamboo poles and mats, coconut fiber ropes, coir carpets, etc.
The houseboats which accommodated the 4 of us bloggers and 2 French journalists was owned by Lakes & Lagoons. The houseboat has very comfortable air-conditioned rooms and dining area. It has a private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen, and toilet. The houseboat has a three-member crew – a chef, driver & cabin assistant. After we have settled, we treated a traditional Kerala lunch offering, of course, the local specialties.
I cannot help but mention the hospitality and charm of the crew who made our cruise truly special. I remember the time when I need to say “no thank you”, each time they would come and ask should we need some food or snacks while we were having our cruise.
ducks abounds at the backwaters of Kerala
About Lakes And Lagoons
Lakes & Lagoons is the first & only ISO 9001 – 2008 certified Houseboat Tour Company in Kerala. With a fleet of more than 21 luxury Houseboat, Lakes & Lagoons offer the best backwater cruise journeys.
LAKES & LAGOONS
DTPC Building, Pallathuruthy, Sanathanapuram P.O, Alleppey: 688 003
Tel: 0477 2266842 / 843 / 844
Fax: 0477 2266845
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
some of the bloggers at Lakes and Lagoons (photo credits: Kerala Tourism)
with other International bloggers..cruising at the Kerala Backwaters