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Kerala Backwaters

The backwaters are a unique contribution of Kerala to the world and is found no where else in the world. This is a network of lakes, canals, estuaries and delta’s of 44 rivers that flows into the Arabian Sea from the Western Ghats. These backwaters are a self-supporting eco-system teeming with aquatic life. These Kerala backwater canals connect all Kerala backwater villages together and are still used for the local transport for the villages. Kerala backwaters become a much-wanted thing in life.Over 900 kms of these intricate water worlds is navigable. The Asia’s largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the ‘Vembanad Lake’ (Alleppey / Alappuzha) which occupies

3 districts ( Alleppey / Alappuzha , Kottayam , Cochin / Kochi ) and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.

National Waterway No. 3 from Kollam to Kottapuram, covers a distance of 205 km and runs almost parallel to the coast line of southern Kerala facilitating both cargo movement and backwater tourism. The Ashtamudi Lake, literally having 8 arms and covers a major area of Kollam district in the south is the second largest and considered the gateway to the backwaters.

The backwaters have a unique ecosystem - freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In certain areas, such as the Vembanad Kayal, where a barrage has been built near Kumarakom, salt water from the sea is prevented from entering the deep inside, keeping the fresh water intact. Such fresh water is extensively used for irrigation purposes.

Many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.

Throughout the coastal areas of Kerala backwaters are endless stretches of lakes, lagoons and ponds connected by a network of canals. A huge expanse of estuaries formed by 41 west-flowing rivers, the backwaters stretch to over 1,000 miles. The Kerala backwater routes date back over the centuries and have been long used for all transportation needs, in particular trade in coconut, rubber, price and spices. Today, these waterways link remote villages and islands to the mainland and nerve centers of the coastal area. They also form an ideal highway for the thatched roof houseboats of Kerala, a colorful and unique navy of floating hotel suites, suitable for cruising the backwaters in sybaritic decadence.

The tourist on a Kerala houseboat is mobile, and can swim whenever he wants in the clear water. With the houseboat having the advantage of in board / out board engines and also punting by bamboo pole manually, The tourist on board gets to see ancient temples, Venice-like waterways, flanked by a blanket of emerald palms, antique palaces, etc. The largest of these Kerala backwater lakes, the Vembanad, which opens into the 200 square km in area. Backwater on 100-km-long Alappuzha to Kollam prestige run floating in liquid history and passing through enchanting antiquity -laden, tradition-rich state", St Thomas, the Apostle (A.D 52), and Marco Polo, the famous traveler (A.D 1292), had taken the route on ancient times. A typical sight on the backwaters of Kerala, where men move around in small country boats to reach their respective destinations and also to indulge in various backwater based vocations. These backwaters are their lifelines, and they row their boats daily to keep their hearth warm, an intricate network of waterways extending from south to Alappuzha (Alleppey) and Kollam (Quilon), Kumarakom play an intrinsic part in the lives of those who live along its banks.

The most exciting thing about the backwater tourism is undoubtedly the ‘Kettuvallam’ (traditional houseboat) which has now become the hottest tourism product / desitinations today in India. They are constructed with great skill and meticulousness by tying huge planks of jack wood together without the use of a single nail and coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. These are country crafts over 60 feet to 100 feet in length that have been converted into houseboats some even possessing up to 1 bed room houseboats , 2 bed room houseboats , 3 bedrooms with attached baths. With 30% of the land area covered by water, the visitors to Kerala backwaters will be able to have a close encounter with the backwater village life of the local people while cruising along, visiting interesting places scattered around the waterways in Kerala.

Houseboats can run more than hundreds of kilometers of backwaters to explore. Today, appropriately called houseboats they have furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, living rooms, kitchenettes and even balconies for angling. Sections of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm leaves open out to provide shade and allow an uninterrupted view of the backwater country. The houseboats are either poled by local oarsmen or powered by engines. All of them have a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and a guide. Gliding along the calm and serene backwaters flanked by green palmgroves, watching rural Kerala is a unique experience to any visitor.

The Kerala Government has ensured that all environment-protection measures are taken at the very inception of houseboat tourism. The houseboats are classified into Gold star Houseboats and Silver stars Houseboats , Green Palm Houseboats based on their service and quality standards and progressively, the aim is to make all Kerala houseboats eco-friendly (no dumping of any type of sewage in the backwaters) by giving them a special classification, the Green Palm Houseboats.

Shorter Backwater Trips / Cruises

Kerala Backwaters between Alleppey / Alappuzha and Kumarakom /Kumarakam in central Kerala is most popular with backwater tourists. The other popular and shorter option is to cruise around the bustling backwater settlements of Alleppey and Kottayam near Kumarakom.

Longer Backwater Trips / Cruises

Kerala backwater cruises is Alleppey / Alappuzha - Kollam , Alleppey / Alappuzha - Alumkadavu , Alleppey / Alappuzha - Kochi / Cochin / Thannerrmukkom. Alappuzha - Aqua tourism

With the Arabian Sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers crisscrossing it, the District of Alappuzha is a spot of immense natural beauty. Referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world, this backwater 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 unique characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. The rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad is perhaps the only place in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Paddy cultivation below the backwaters:
The paddy fields in these backwater regions of Alleppey stand below the sea level where cultivation occurs. Cultivation and habitation are made possible by indigenous agricultural engineering know-how at four to ten feet below the sea level. Extensive land has been reclaimed from the backwaters and is protected by dikes built around it. The similarity between the backwaters of Kuttanad and the famous dykes of Holland is often noted.

Pathiramanal island (Backwater) and Kumarakom Bird Santuary
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is accessible only by boat. Snake Boat Races Kerala

Alappuzha Nehru Trophy Boat Race at Punnamada (2nd Saturday of August) Alappuzha Tourism Boat Race (9th January) Pulinkunnu Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race (last Saturday of August) Champakulam Moolam Boat Race (Moolam day of Midhunam - July) Payippad Jalotsavam (4th Onam day - August/September) Neerettupuram Boat Race (Onam - August/September) are some of the important races.

Others snake boat races: Karuvatta snake boat race, Thykkoottam snake boat race, Kumarakom snake boat race PulimkunnuKaruvatta Boat Race, Haripad Mannar Boat Race etc..,,

HOUSE BOAT PACKAGES
Kerala Honeymoon Package with Deluxe house boat at alleppey
03 Nights 04 Days-

Welcome drik
03 Star Accommodation
Honeymoon Cake
Candle light Dinner
Bedecoration

Rs.10999.00.more details.
Kerala House Boat Package with Super Deluxe house boat at alleppey
03 Nights 04 Days-

Welcome drik
3star deluxe Accommodation
Sightseeing
Candle light Dinner
Bedecoration

Rs.13999.00..more details
Kerala House boat Package with Luxury house boat at alleppey
03Nights 04 Days-

Welcome drik
04 star accommodation
Sightseeing
Candle light Dinner
Bedecoration

Rs.17999.00... more details
Kerala House boat Package with Premium house boat at alleppey
03 Nights 04 Days-

Welcome drik
05 Star Accommodation
Honeymoon Cake
Candle light Dinner
Bedecoration

Rs.20999.00..more details
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