The tranquil backwaters of Kerala are a great place to have a relaxed vacation. The backwaters - an intricate network of lagoons, lakes and canals that lie parallel to the Arabian Sea – is so popular and is listed among '10 paradises on the world' by National Geographic Traveler magazine and '50 must-see destinations of a lifetime'.
The Kerala backwaters create a unique water world that is totally magical and exotic. This water world is a unique feature as well as the highpoint of Kerala tourism.
The Kerala backwaters are so popular that it attracts tourist both international and domestic to Kerala, God’s own country. The backwater cruise on a traditional houseboat is loved equally by honeymooners, families and backpackers. It is an exhilarating experience; away from the crowded cities, it gives you a calm ambience which helps you to forget every worry of the life.
The serene atmosphere, the stunning beauty of nature and the tranquil waters are a great combination. These lagoons and canals are bordered by gently swaying coconut and palm groves, lush paddy fields and beautiful hamlets.
You just have to relax on the deck of the houseboat sipping the cool coconut water and enjoy the views as it slowly takes you through the labyrinth of canals and other waterways.
These houseboats are the modified versions of the traditional 'kettuvallams' which were earlier used for transporting goods from one place to the other. You can hire one for a day or for an overnight stay. It is almost like a hotel with all the basic and modern amenities and the facilities vary according to the price range. It is like a floating house and the experience is totally unique.
The authentic cuisine of Kerala that includes the spicy seafood delicacies will be provided on the houseboats by the crew. You could even go for shopping at one of the small fish stalls on the banks or directly from a fisherman and the crew will cook it for you as per your request.
These cruises are not only a leisurely activity, it also gives you a firsthand knowledge of the rustic village lifestyle and could see the people engage in activities like coir-making and prawn farming.
Among all the places Alappuzha and Kumarakom are most popular for backwater tourism. Other places include Kollam, Kochi and Kasaragod.
Kuttanad region, known as the rice bowl of Kerala, is a part of the Alappuzha and Kumarakom backwaters. Kuttanad is one of the rarest places in the world where farming is done below sea level.
While you are at Kumarakom you could visit the famous bird life sanctuary there that will be a great experience. All these make backwaters of Kerala a popular holiday as well as a honeymoon destination.