The Kerala Backwaters are a labyrinthine system formed by more than 900 km of waterways In the middle of which there are a number of towns and cities, which serve as the starting and end points of backwater cruises. 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 which is the longest lake, 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 and agriculture.
Paddy Fields, Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape. 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. Backwaters of Vembanad is the largest of the lakes, covering an area of 200 km², and bordered by Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake’s outlet to the Arabian Sea. Alleppey, “Venice of the East”, has a large network of canals that meander through the town.
Here are few tips for a guest who is planning for a holiday in Kerala backwaters
- Alleppey and Kumarakom are the most popular spot for a holiday in Kerala backwaters even though you can enjoy the holiday in Kollam , Kasargod , Thiruvallam , Poovar and Kozhikode as well.
- Best time to visit Kerala backwaters are all through the year but if you have a choice then plan your visit in such a way as not to visit backwaters in Monsoons
- You can either enjoy a day cruise in backwaters or opt for an overnight stay through one of the world famous Kerala Houseboat package.
- When you choose a Kerala Houseboat , ensure that you choose a premium, luxury or deluxe houseboat and maximise the budget at your disposal.
- When you book a Kerala houseboat cruise for one night all meals will be served on board. The cuisine is continental, south Indian, North Indian or traditional Kerala flavored with the local specialties like delicious local fish if you are a non vegetarian.
- Houseboats pick you up at Alleppey or Kumarakom at 12 PM and lunch is served on board when the cruise starts. the cruise will go on and guests can request to stop at places of interest . At around 5 – 5: 30 PM the houseboats will be anchored close to shore as Government of Kerala doesn’t allow tourist activity as fishermen put nets in the sea. Go for village sightseeing and dinner is served at night.
- You can also request for fishing rods and do angling in houseboats and may also take canoes on rent if you want to do some canoeing and kayaking
- If you don’t have a high budget to take a houseboat on rent or for a day cruise , then don’t worry you can always opt for a shikara or a country boat.
Holiday in Kerala houseboat in Alleppey or Kumarakom backwaters will be a truly memorable experience with a mind-blowing view of canal systems and endless lagoons , Paddy fields, fishing in backwaters, small houses on small stretch of land There are villages in all over these backwater, The view of backwater birds, people working in paddy fields or people using small canoes as mode of transportation, small resorts, heritage homes are specialty of this area.