The Kerala backwaters are one of the wonders of nature. The interconnected chain of lakes, freshwater rivers, lagoons and canals are considered as a paradise for those who love nature. A trip through the scenic backwaters of Kerala will be carved in your memory forever. Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Kochi and Kollam are the most famous backwater destinations of Kerala. The backwaters of Kannur and Kasargod districts are least exploited and they are also slowly becoming part of Kerala's backwater tourism.
These places are also blessed with copious natural beauty and have numerous small uninhabited islands.
Alappuzha got its moniker 'Venice of the East' due to these scenic backwaters. You can either start your cruise from Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Kochi or Kollam; all these places offer houseboat and other river cruise services. Those who truly want to enjoy the beauty of Kerala should go for a houseboat ride. These houseboats are modeled on the conventional 'kettuvallams' which were earlier used to transport food grains and other goods from one place to the other. They are literally floating houses as these houseboats offer most of the modern amenities of a good resort.
If you are planning to go for a houseboat cruise then try to reach your access point before noon, then only you would get enough time to enjoy your trip. While you are on the cruise enjoy your surroundings while you sip the tender coconut drink and relax on the deck. Not only the trip the mouth-watering seafood delicacies the crew will prepare for you will be one of the highlights of this cruise. You can also ask your crew to make a quick stop over at a small fish or vegetable stall along the banks and choose the things you want the crew to prepare for you.
A cruise through the labyrinths of canals and waterways enjoying the exotic food and the sights will definitely help you feel refreshed and energised. If you want completely vegetarian food or has any other specific requirements then you should inform it to the crew beforehand. Your houseboat cruise itinerary will depend on your tour operators. Some will organise quick stopovers at the important places which are historically and culturally relevant. You can also go for swimming and fishing in specific areas allowed by the crew.
If you are staying overnight, you can go for a walk along the nearby hamlets as the houseboats will be anchored for the night at about 6 in the evening to 6 am as the law prohibits night movement due to tidal waves. You can also enjoy the locally brewed toddy at the toddy shop while the houseboats are anchored for the night and can treat yourself to special dishes there. Don’t forget to try the signature dish ‘kappa and meen curry’ (tapioca and fish) while you are there.
As the highlight of the houseboat ride is keeping away from all the worries and tensions of the world, please try to keep your Smartphones, laptops and other gadgets away for some time and enjoy the company of nature.