Backwaters and Houseboats Kerala
Kerala backwaters are a unique nature and are
found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes,
canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain
into the Arabian Sea. Backwaters of Kerala are a self-supporting
Eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The Canals
connect the villages together and still used for local transport.
Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.
Houseboats in Kerala - A Unique lifetime experience
means stitched boat. They are 70 feet long, made with wooden planks,
joined and stitched together with coir (coconut Fibre) ropes
and painted on the outside with cashew nut shell oil or fish
oil. A distinctive feature of the Kettuvallam (Houseboats) is the
design suggesting the possible Chinese influence. These Kettuvallams (Houseboats) were
used for transporting huge quantities of heavy materials from
one place to other. In certain areas Kettuvallams (Houseboats) are
still used for transferring Coconut Husk, Sand and other goods.
In earlier days since all places were not well connected by
roads, Kettuvallams (Houseboats)
were the main source of transportation through the Kerala
backwaters. It took long journeys ranging from 5 to 6
days, sometimes weeks even to transport things. Boatmen rarely
stopped along the waterways for meals. Their diet consisted of
freshly caught backwater fish, like Karimeen (pearlspot) and Kalangi.
Non perishable staples such as lentils, local large grain "red"
rice and inexpensive spices like coriander, ginger, dried chillies,
turmeric and black mustard seeds were packed by them before embarking
on a journey. Boatmen used to stay in the Kettuvallam which
had all the basic facilities.
equipped with all modern facilities and requirements are called
Houseboats. The houseboat has a living
room, a sunbathing deck, and bedrooms
with attached European style bath and a kitchen.
The boat has solar lamps and fans. Without experiencing and enjoying
a houseboat cruise, the trip to Kerala will not
be a complete one.
Talking of a Kettuvallam ride, The National Geographic
Traveler says, "It is astonishingly romantic to
watch the sunset from one kettuvallam among several, while the three
boatmen hang lanterns and a pearly glow fades behind the scrim of
palms... Waking at dawn, we find ourselves surrounded by hundreds
of fishermen's skiffs on immense Vembanad Lake. It’s like
time travel into a quiet morning of another century."
No Television, No Phone to disturb you, and Natural AC for you
to relax and enjoy the beauty of God's own Country.
The boat moves by an outboard engine of 25 HP (which does not make
much noise), enroute visiting villages to see coir making, local
tea shops, paddy fields, temples,
beaches etc. till sunset. At night
the boat is anchored at a beautiful and quiet part of the lake.
Sumptuous and lip smacking Vegetarian as well as Non Vegetarian
Kerala dishes are prepared onboard.
1) Aleppey round 2) Aleppey-Kumarakom 3) Aleppey-Kottayam 4)
5) Aleppey-Allumkadavu 6) Aleppey-Quilon