Kerala is the land of heavenly beauty. The land has been blessed with the vast green landscape, majestic mountains and stunning water bodies.
The intricate chain of water bodies in Kerala is collectively called Kerala backwaters. These backwaters are famous all over the world and over the years this spectacular water world has become the face of Kerala tourism.
There are a couple of options to explore the beauty of this little paradise, but the best way to explore it is by hiring a boat. A trip through the scenic waters won't go away from your mind that easily. Alappuzha, Kumarakom and Ashtamudi are famous for backwater trips and tourism.
You could hire a houseboat for a day or for night stay. Your Kerala trip will not be complete without this trip. Kerala backwaters are almost more than 800 km long and are well connected to each other with a number of navigable canals. Your boat will pass through many small towns and little villages which would serve as the perfect starting or halting points.
The landscape that surrounds these waterways is lush green that includes paddy fields or coconut and palm groves. You could either start your trip from Alappuzha which also have the moniker Venice of the East or from the nearby Kumarakom a little cluster of several islands. Other famous places for backwater cruise are Kollam and Kochi. But Alappuzha and Kumarakom are the most famous locations.
If you are taking the day trip on the houseboat then your trip will start around 11 am and will end around 5 pm. It will include the welcome drink, lunch and the evening tea and snacks. You could enjoy the trip by spending your time on the deck of the boat as the boat takes you through the labyrinth of the backwaters.
Another option is to hire it for a night. Then your trip will commence from 12.30 pm and end at 9 am the next day. The overnight trip like the day trip will include welcome drink, lunch, evening tea, dinner and breakfast should be added to the list. Your boat will dock for the night around 6 in the evening and will resume its journey in the morning hours only. You could spend the evening exploring the village life on foot and see the small fishermen travelling the lagoons for a good catch in the evening hours. Sleeping in a houseboat, the floating house in the company of the gentle sway of the Kerala backwater will be an ethereal experience.
If you are a budget traveller who doesn't want to spend money on a houseboat then you could enjoy the sites in a traditional canoe which are propelled by a bamboo pole which the locals use for transportation. You could hire it from the locals who will be more than happy to give you a ride and be your host for the day. Some resorts and guesthouses also provide this service.
Instead of large canoes, you could also hire small ones that you yourself could navigate across the small canals.
If hiring anything is not in your mind then get into a public ferry operated by the Kerala Water Transport Department they are not just cheap it will also give you a chance to interact with the local population who are quite very friendly. They are very appropriate for short journeys it will also give your trip an adventurous angle too.
Instead of resorts opt for homestays. That way you will have first-hand knowledge of life in a traditional Kerala home. The owners could even provide you with some cooking tips or classes along with mouth-watering Kerala dishes, especially tapioca and fish curry combo and the tiger prawns.
Like the backwaters, Kerala is also famous for its Ayurvedic treatments, therapies and spas. Go for a rejuvenation treatment at an authentic Ayurvedic hospital or if your resort provides this service then don’t miss it.