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Backwaters in Kerala

Kerala is a distinctive state in southern India with a complex network of canals, lagoons, lakes, and estuaries. When we hear the word Kerala, our minds immediately transport us to a houseboat in Kerala's well-known backwaters, where we sip coconut water and eat plantains. The big coconut palms and the beautiful green surroundings serve as the backdrop. The fantasy of taking a houseboat cruise across the backwaters of Kerala might easily become a reality. The backwaters provide the greatest freshwater supply for Kerala. They are home to a diverse range of boating choices and a rich bed of marine flora and fauna.

The Kerala backwaters are the palm-fringed network of lagoons, rivers, canals, and lakes that run inland from the Kochi coast to Kollam (Quilon) on the Malabar Coastline. Its main entry point is cocooned in Alleppey in the Alappuzha district, which falls midway between Kochi and Kollam and is ideally positioned at the heart of the colorful Vembanad Lake.

Most Popular Kerala Backwater Tours

Kerala Backwater Tour Packages No. of Nights / Days Price (INR)
Alleppey Houseboat Tour 4N / 5D Enquire Now
Backwater Tour of Kerala 3N / 4D Enquire Now
Stunning Kerala Backwater Tour 7N / 8D Enquire Now

There are many houseboat routes in Kerala that begin from Alleppey itself. Information regarding the same is given below.

Alappuzha to Kumarakom

This route takes you past the glistening canals and waterways where water birds (resident and migratory) are abundant—the houseboat cruises past tiny fishers' hamlets and palm and coconut groves.

Alappuzha to Vembanad Lake

The route includes sailing on the Punnamada Lake (the longest lake in India, the largest lake in Kerala, and one of the largest lakes in India) and Vattakayal Lake. Nights are to be spent aboard the traditional houseboats, Kettuvalam.

Alappuzha to Thottappally

The route features many historical sites, such as Champakulam Church and Ambalpuzha Temple.

Alappuzha to Kottayam

It's the kind of route that gets etched in your memories forever. You can see farmers at work performing farming below sea level. You can inhale the subtle breeze flowing through and hear the babble of canals.

Alappuzha to Mankotta

This route takes you through the splendid Punnamada Lake Vembanad Lake It lets you visit coir-making villages along with many historical sights.

Alappuzha to Kidangara

The prime attractions of the area are the pleasant Vembanad Lake and Pathiramanal Island.

Alappuzha to Alumkadavu

It is your choice to either take a one-night cruise or a two-night one. Get acquainted with the history of Kettuvallams, the traditional houseboats of Kerala. One of the route's main attractions, Alumkadavu, was where the entire clan indulged in making traditional houseboats.

Best Backwaters Destinations in Kerala

Alleppey Backwater

The famous canal network is crowned with the title "Venice of the East'' for all the right reasons. Alleppey has abundant palm trees lined along the canals and picturesque paddy fields. Cruise the backwaters by local ferry on a budget or go bespoke with the overnight package with 1,2, and 3 modern houseboats in the backwaters equipped with a sundeck, private balcony, kitchen, and washroom.

Cost of Alleppey Houseboats: ₹ 4,000 onwards for two persons
Best Time to Visit: March to May, November to February
Backwaters Activity Timings: 9 AM - 7 PM (approx.)

Kumarakom Backwater

The perfect alternative to Alleppey if you want to float on the modern houseboats in peak tourism season, Kumarakom Village in Kottayam is situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. It is a honeymooner's nirvana because of the lake's luxury resorts on the banks. Moreover, there is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the lake, where you can put on your binoculars to spot waterfowl, egret, Brahminy kite, heron, duck, cormorant, and darter.

Cost of Kumarakom Houseboats: ₹ 6,000 onwards for two persons
Best Time to Visit: March to May, November to February
Backwaters Activity Timings: 9 AM - 7 PM (approx.)

Kochi Backwater

The Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi, is the finest harbor in the world and is known for its ancient spice trade route. Now it is one of the famous destinations for backwater tourism in Kerala because Vembanad Lake also flows through the Ernakulam district. Cruising the houseboats for a few hours while passing through the canals interlinked to Alleppey and Kovalam backwaters.

Cost of Kochi Houseboats: ₹ 6,500 onwards for two persons
Best Time to Visit: March to May, November to February
Backwaters Activity Timings: 9 AM - 7 PM (approx.)

Kollam Backwater

This backwater destination in Kerala was once the main route for the sandalwood spice trade between China and Greece. Kollam is a lesser-explored backwater of Kerala located on the right bank of Ashtamudi Lake. The verdant tropical vegetation around the backwaters of Kollam will rejuvenate your soul when you sail them, either on a ferry or houseboat.

Cost of Kollam Houseboats: ₹ 6,500 onwards for two persons
Best Time to Visit: March to May, November to February
Backwaters Activity Timings: 9 AM - 7 PM (approx.)

Kozhikode (Calicut) Backwater

How about enjoying the backwaters ride in Kerala, where the Portuguese first landed? The Kallai and River Cannoli backwaters are appealing to the eyes. However, the canal routes of the Kozhikode backwaters are less explored; thus, a joyous soul connection with the greenery is guaranteed on the palm-fringed canals and waterways!

Cost of Kozhikode Houseboats: ₹ 6,500 onwards for two persons
Best Time to Visit: March to May, November to February
Backwaters Activity Timings: 9 AM - 7 PM (approx.)

Important Tips for Visiting Backwaters in Kerala

  • Alleppey has cheaper houseboats, and homestay options are also available.
  • Kumarakom houseboats are expensive because the lake banks flank luxury resorts.
  • You can access the Kerala backwaters via government cruise, local ferry, houseboat tour, canoe tour, or shikara ride.
  • Avoid the houseboats during the southwest monsoon (June to September).
  • July to September should be visited only for the Snake Boat Race in the backwaters while the rides are still unavailable for tourists.
  • Fishing trips in the backwaters are conducted. Make sure you have this experience also.
  • Colorful churches are flanked on the backwaters by colorful churches, which you should visit on a halt.






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