No matter how extensively you have traversed the world, nothing can quite compare to God’s Own Country, Kerala, your very own paradise on earth. A major reason why Kerala gets its charm is that it is set amidst the magnificent backdrop of nature.
Kerala is one of the few states in India where you’ll find the tranquil sea shores, the majestic trails of The Western Ghats as well as the charming backwaters. For any traveller visiting Kerala, the experience of Kerala backwaters tour is a must. Renting a Kerala backwaters houseboat is one of the must do things during Kerala trip.
From a list of must-visit places, one of the major attractions of this place is the Kerala backwaters. You feel a sense of serenity, calm, and thrill as you take in the placid waters and swaying palms. So if you are heading for a trip to Kerala, here is everything you need to know about its most revered attraction and the beautiful Kerala Backwaters.The best way to experience life on this waterways is by taking one of the famous Boathouse in Kerala.
Here is a brief summary of the attractions awaiting you in Kerala;
Everything about Kerala Backwaters
1. Magical Alleppey
Although you can’t really choose one favourite place when it comes to Kerala, the mystic and magnificence that exudes from the Alleppey backwaters definitely stand out from the rest. After all, it is not known as the Venice of the East for nothing. While it comes to Kerala backwaters tour, Alleppey backwaters are simply magical and serene and offer an unforgettable journey. A large part of Alleppey is located around a huge waterway, where Alleppey houseboatis available. One cannot get enough of tall palm trees, never ending waterways and the gorgeous islands located here.
Apart from the traditional boathouse of Kerala, one can also spend their time at one of the many traditional stay homes located in the villages around the backwaters. These stay homes are also an amazing way to understand and learn more about Kerala in the best way in terms of food, tradition and hospitality. A typical tour of Kerala backwaters includes a homestay and then making Kerala boat house booking for the next day.
Alleppey is the ultimate backwater cruise destination for visitors as it is linked to a number of bridges and canals. The Alleppey backwaters are the liveliest and the most sought-after place to check out when at Kerala.With a night spent at Alleppey houseboat, you’ll fall in love with the life and the charms of this pristine destination. By booking an Alleppey boat house, you also get to experience amazing Kerala cuisine. The package for Alleppey houseboat also includes a trip to nearby islands and birdwatching tour.
- Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport located 78 km away
- Places to Visit: Alappuzha beach, St. Mary’s Church, Chettikulangara Bhagawati Temple, Pozhiyoram Beach, Latin Catholic Church,
- Things to Do: Birdwatching, canoeing or kayaking in Kerala Backwaters of Alleppey, enjoy boat racing, get rejuvenating Ayurvedic spa treatments, shop for spices and handicrafts at Alappuzha Zakariya Market, relish local seafood delicacies, sail on a houseboat in the Kerala Backwaters at Alleppey
- Ideal for: Couples, Family, Friends/ Nature Lovers, people looking for a break from urban lifestyle, photography enthusiasts
To take in the bliss of Kerala backwaters, book Kerala Holiday Packages.
2. Charming Kumarakom
With mangrove forests and paddy fields that stun and leave you spellbound, Kumarakom is one of the most beautiful places in Kerala. Kumarakom is unlike Alleppey Backwaters, where the houseboats are stationed around the village. Kumarakom’s backwaters are more tranquil, considering the fact that the destination is closer to the location. The experience of Kerala backwaters tour introduces you with amazing birds who find the perfect spot to spend their time away from the human population.Unlike Alleppey houseboat, the ones at Kumarakom offer more scenic sojourns.
The country boats will easily take you on a journey through the vast canals and streams. You will certainly have an uplifting time as the soothing environs and lush greenery leaves you captivated. You will also come across a bird sanctuary during Kerala backwaters tour in Kumarakom, which showcases a variety of migratory birds.Kumarakom has some of the most luxurious Kerala backwaters houseboats which are very popular with honeymooners. Kerala boat house booking is very easy and provided both online and on spot.
- Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport located 85 km away
- Places to Visit: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Aruvikuzzhi Waterfall
- Things to Do: Ride a houseboat in Kerala Backwaters of Kumarakom, indulge in Ayurvedic massages at Maya Spa, catch a show of Kathakali or Kalaripayattu, watch snake boat race, shop for Kerala sarees and metal or wood artefacts at street markets
- You can also book a trip from Alleppey boat house to Kumarakom via water network.
- Ideal for: Family, Friends/ Nature Lovers
3. Rustic Kasaragod
Kasaragod is a beautiful, pristine village that provides backwater facilities to visitors. It is completely unruffled by the tourist activities that are largely occupied by other places in Kerala. So if you want to indulge in rural sightseeing as you go on a tranquil boat ride, this is one area that has kept its traditional essence intact.
The best of Kasargod can only be experienced on Kerala backwaters houseboat. Heading to Kasaragod will give you an up-close and personal view of the original lifestyle of locals.With some traditional boathouse in Kerala, Kasargod still maintains is raw and rustic charm.A visit to this traditional town, you can enjoy the most untouched parts of Kerala. With Kerala boat house booking, you will experience the level of tranquil beauty that it hides in its nooks and corners. TheKerala boat house rates are comparatively cheaper than the houseboats on Alleppey backwaters.
- Nearest Airport: Mangalore International Airport located 50 km away
- Places to Visit: Ananthpura Lake Temple, Ranipuram Hills, Malik Deenar Mosque, Srimad Anantheshwar Vinayaka Temple, Malom Wildlife Sanctuary, Chandragiri Fort, Bekal Fort
- Things to Do: Stroll along the mesmeric Kappil Beach, go for trekking at Kottanchari Hills, attend the Tulur Vanam festival,
- Ideal for: Family/ History and culture buffs
Recommended Read – Top 30 Things to do in Kerala
4. Enchanting Kollam
Kerala holidays help you witness some of the finest backwater destinations that exist in South India. Kollam is one such place in Kerala that never disappoints you. The blooming water lilies, canals and the peaceful chirruping of birds that you come across during Kerala backwaters tour is unlike any other destination in the world. Kollam houseboat cruises offer you the longest backwater ride that lasts for around eight hours. The houseboat ride is replete with appetising food that is freshly served by authentic cooks.
With Kerala backwaters houseboat in Kollam, you can enjoy amazing cuisines like Puttu, Kadala Curry, Ghee Roast, Appam with stew, Egg roast and a variety of fishes. When Kerala boat house offer such a serene ride and great food, you really can’t ask for anything more.
While Kollam has amazing and scenic waterways and it is recommended to make Kerala boat house booking for the best experience, a visit to the beach and enjoy the balmy environment of Arabian Sea is a must.Often it is seen that people ditch Alleppey houseboat for the local home stays and then spend their houseboat vacation at Kollam.
- Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport located 68 km away
- Places to Visit: Tengasseri Lighthouse which provides a scintillating view of the Arabian Sea and the lovely Kollam, Thirumullavaram Beach with Njayarazhcha Para or the popularly known as Sunday Rock located off into the sea, architecturally engaging British Residency, enchanting Munroe Island that can be explored via a tour through the Kerala Backwaters, Jataypara- world’s largest sculpture and an epic mythological attraction, Kollam Beach
- Things to Do: Take a look at the first suspension bridge of South India that allowed vehicles at Punalur, enjoy boating at Ashtamudi Lake which is the gateway to the gorgeous Kerala Backwaters, cheer at President’s Trophy boat race, trek at Palaruvi Falls
- Ideal for: Family/ Individuals seeking respite, mythology enthusiasts, nature lovers
5. Captivating Kuttanad
Picture Credit – paradise-kerala.com
One great fact about Kuttanad is that it lies below sea level and is the lowest place in India. Since the place is a part of the Alapuzha District, it lies at the very heart of the backwaters. Staying at Kerala boathouse in Kuttunad gets you closer to nature as it is away from town and villages. The place radiates vibrancy and tranquillity as you pass through merrily swaying paddy fields and stunning surroundings.The Kerala boat house rates are same as Alleppey and it is possible to book your stay online or through a travel agent.Most of the Alleppey boat house pass through Kuttunad.
- Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport located 104 km away
- Places to Visit: Scenic Kerala Backwaters canals and waterways, pastures bordered with winsome coconut trees and unique Heritage Agricultural System
- Things to Do: Explore the countryside, rub shoulders with the locals, checkout fishing and duck farming, taste the traditional Keralite cuisine, and relax in the tranquillity of the surroundings
- Ideal for: Couples, Family/ Nature lovers & photographers
6. Eye-Catching Valiyaparamba
The backwaters in Valiyaparamba make for one fascinating sight and it is touted as the third largest backwater area among all Kerala backwaters! It still remains untouched by humans and commercialization which is why visitors mostly head to this place owing to it serenity and untainted surroundings. While Kerala boathouse offer natural, amicable hospitality, you can also select some of the most pristine resorts and stay homes located amidst the nature. Even today, travellers can witness the traditional equipment, sellers use for their various activities.Most of the time the Kerala boat house rates come with a package that offers a trip to Ezhimala Hill Beach, Temple of MadayiKavu and Dubare Elephant Camp. The package also include traditional meals and candle light dinners for the honeymooners.
- Nearest Airport: Mangalore Airport located 50 km away
- Places to Visit: The naturally rich Ezhimala Hill Beach, holy temple of Madayi Kavu, Dubare Elephant Camp, beautiful Kerala Backwaters at Valiyaparamba, Edayilkkad Island, Valiyaparamba beach, Nileswaram Cultural Centre
- Things to Do: Boating in the pristine Kerala Backwaters, fishing at the famous Bekal town, trek at the mesmerising Hosdurg fort, spend a day at V-Pra Kaayal Floating Park, take a long walk at the mesmerising estuary into the sea, houseboat ride
- Ideal for: Family/ Nature Lovers
Hire a Houseboat
Kerala backwaters houseboat offer the best way to discover the Kerala and its scenic surprises. One can enjoy the mesmerising views of all the lush green destinations of Kerala is by hiring a houseboat. There are manyKerala boat house available so you can pick the best one for you and go on a waterway tour as you witness the interconnection between the lagoons, lakes, rivers and canals. The Boathouse in Kerala which look similar to the traditional Kettuvallams also offer you impeccable services that can be compared to a five-star hotel. Here, you are given comfortable accommodation and delectable sea food cuisine while you take in the stunning views of the scenic beauty.Kerala boat house rates vary from one place to another. Kerala boat house rates at Alleppey backwaters will be higher compared to Kollam while the ones at Kumarakom will charge you on a higher basis because of more luxurious amenities.
To check out the Kerala backwaters in its entire glorious splendour, you have to hire a houseboat. Travel agents and hotels take the hard work of organising one for you. There are boat tours for individuals, honeymooners or groups. The backwater touring packages may differ depending on the seasons. While houseboats operate at fixed schedules and are available for an overnight hire, thatched boats can also be hired for a six- to eight-hour duration. Depending upon your travel requirements and how long you want to spend time at the backwaters, you can either hire a houseboat for a day or even for a week.
Also Read – Houseboats in Kerala
The Best Time to Head to the Kerala Backwaters
Although you can visit Kerala and witness its backwaters anytime of the year, it is good to book your Kerala honeymoon packages during the month of December right until mid-January, when the weather is cold and dry and perfect for sightseeing. The honeymoon packages are perfect with a night spent at Alleppey boat house or the ones at Kumarakom, Kasaragod and Kollem. The weather in March to May is humid, but if you are someone who prefers to travel in this weather, you can always head to the Kerala backwaters. Service of Boathouse in Kerala is closed during the monsoon as the lakes start flooding but it is a good time to witness the famous snake boat race. These snake boat race are more common at Alleppey Backwaters but other places also host it.
A Kerala tourism guide is sure to offer you all of the information you need to make your holiday memorable and unique. From beautiful Alleppey boat house to the lush green islands of Kumarakom and the gorgeous sunsets of Kasargod, this guide makes sure that you don’t miss upon anything. So make sure you plan your trip well and come home with memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.
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Thomas Cook India
Thomas Cook India