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Kerala Backwaters


Fringing the coast of Kerala and winding far inland is an intricate network of innumerable Lagoons, Lakes, Canals, Estuaries and the Deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea.

Over 900 kms of this labyrinthine water world is navigable. As characteristic of Kerala as the 600km long coastline of dazzling beaches is the dense, lush Backwaters of the state.

And while hill stations are all over the country and palm-fringed beaches too, the Backwaters are unique to Kerala. These Backwaters are both the basis of a distinct lifestyle and a fascinating thoroughfare. Travelling by boat along the Backwaters is one of the highlights of Kerala.

The boats cross shallow, palm-fringed lakes studded with cantilevered Chineses fishing nets and travel along narrow shady canals, where Coir, Copra, and Cashews are loaded into the boats. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad Lake, which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.

The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the Backwaters. Each district of Kerala is marked by the presence of the inviting Backwaters, which form a prominent part of the panoramic landscape of Kerala.

Veli Tourist Village
The Veli Tourist Village is sandwiched between the Veli Lagoon and the Arabian Sea. The lagoon here is separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar.

Facilities at the village include water sports in the lagoon and an 18-acre waterfront park with a floating bridge that connects the village to the beach.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

The southernmost district of the State, Thiruvananthapuram is bounded by the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats on the east and northeast, and the Arabian Sea on the west.

A long shoreline, with secluded, internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage give this district some of the most enchanting picnic spots. The main backwater areas of Thiruvananthapuram are Thiruvallam and Veli.
Thiruvallam Backwaters
The picturesque backwaters of Thiruvallam are located at 6 km away from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. Thiruvallam is a famous destination for backwater destinations in Kerala. Thiruvallam Backwaters are breathtaking for the spectacular Canoe Rides. The confluence of Killi and Karamana river is enchanting for the tourists. Come to the Temple of Parasurama who is regarded as the legendary founder of Kerala. Pilgrims flock to the place in large number to offer their humble prayers and take part in ritualistic practices for their great ancestors.

Thiruvallam backwaters are becoming popular as they treat the senses soothingly. The spectacular view of Arabian Sea is really magnificent. The cruise past the historical relics, wet fields of paddy and lush verdant emerald landscape where you will also get the aroma of Kerala's condiments and spices is something definitely not to be missed out. You will enjoy a memorable holiday at Pozhikara Beach which embraces Karamana and Parvathy Puthanaar Rivers affectionately never to be separated ever after.

Akkulam Boat Club
This is a very popular picnic spot with boating facilities on the lake and a children's park with a Swimming pool.

KOLLAM DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

Located 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, this historic coastline district known for its marine and cashew industries was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast and a major international trading point in days gone by.

The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style. Around 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent Backwaters of Kerala.

The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. The District Tourism Promotion Council here offers a wide range of backwaters tours and cruises.

Alumkadavu
Along the vast expanse of the Kayamkulam Lake is the picturesque little village of Alumkadavu. This village is the home of the skilled artisans who crafted the enormous Kettuvallams in yester years.

ALAPPUZHA (ALLEPPEY) DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travellers from across the world, this backwaters country is also home to diverse animal and bird life.

By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, Alappuzha has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year.

Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad.

Pathiramanal Backwaters:
According to mythology, a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight).

This little island on the Backwaters is a favourite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat. It takes 1½ hours by motorboat/30 min, by speedboat from Alappuzha.

KOTTAYAM DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

Bordered by the lofty Western Chats on the east, the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics.

Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a totally literate people have given this district the title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.
Kumarakom
Kumarakom slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and tributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web.

The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets A boat ride in the countryside offers a close look into an engaging rustic life. Skilled-fishermen launching their cockshell boats.

Large flotillas of ducks waddling down to the water from thatched houses on the banks. Women, neck-deep in water, with their waist-length hair heaped in a crown, searching for fish with their feet.

And aimless cattle grazing in lush pastureland, where white lotuses lie here and there in small, low-lying pools.

ERNAKULAM (KOCHI) DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam.

The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Kochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of the explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land.

The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.

Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on the local ferries. A conducted cruise through the winding waterways will take you to several quaint spots.

KOZHIKODE DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATERS TRAVEL

Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins, a prominent trade and commerce centre and the land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was the most important region of Malabar in days past.

Today, ancient monuments, lush green countryside, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make this district a much sought after destination.

Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options. Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are favourite places for boating.

Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam (water fiesta) is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.

KASARAGOD DISTRICT - KERALA BACKWATER TRAVEL

The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is situated on the sea coast with the Western Chats on its east and northern borders. Backwater trips on the Chandragiri River and at Valiyaparamba are fascinating experiences.

Chandragiri
Situated on the Chandragiri River, southeast of Kasaragod town, this town is known for the large 17th century Chandragiri Fort, one of a chain of forts.

It offers a breathtaking view of the river and the Arabian Sea. It is a vantage point to watch the sunset.

Chandragiri cruises:
Boat trips to nearby islands and palm groves are available.

Boarding point:
Chandragiri bridge.
Valiyaparamba
This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is fast turning into a much favoured backwater resort.
Valiyaparamba
This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is fast turning into a much favoured backwater resort.

KERALA BACKWATERS CRUISES

The most popular backwater cruise is the eight-hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha and vice versa. The regular public ferry service on this route has been suspended but tourist boats are as popular as ever.

There are essentially identical daily cruises operated on alternate days by the Private Alleppy Tourist Development Co-Operative and the State Government's District Tourism Promotion Council.

General Information

Location
Kerala.
Best Time
The time when one can enjoy the enchanting backwaters is from December through March. A visit around January15 provides the chance to see the Boat Race at Alleppey on January 19 and the Great Elephant March Jan 17 to 20.

Second Saturday of August is Nehru Trophy Snakeboat Race .

Kerala Backwaters |  Kuttanad Backwaters
Kettuvallam Houseboats
 |  Kerala House Boats


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