Perfect Backwater Holiday In Kerala
A holiday in Kerala is akin to a trip to paradise. Rightfully earning the title of “God’s Own Country “, Kerala conjures up images of swaying palms in a peaceful breeze, the magnificent ocean rolling out to welcome you and beautiful silver sands and the magical fragrance of spices wafting through the air. There is no place quite like Kerala anywhere in the world and there is no way to explore the idyllic magic of Kerala like a cruise through its backwaters.
The tranquil backwaters of Kerala are an intricate network of lakes, canals and lagoons which form the backbone of trade and travel in Kerala. Cruising the backwaters in a traditional boat called the “Kettuvallom” is the ideal way to take in the wonders and beauty of the simple Kerala way of life and to be absolutely one with everything nature has to offer there. Here’s a low down on the places and sights that you could journey to when on your perfect backwater holiday in Kerala.
The principle feature of the backwaters experience in centered on the Vembanad Lake and the three districts that it covers- Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. The second largest lake in Kerala, Ashtamudi Lake i.e. the lake with eight arms, covers a chunk of the district of Kollam in South Kerala. These then form the most important places in a backwater vacation in Kerala.
There are a number of backwater operators, and the options available are vast. You can choose from a simple vellom for a day cruise or a kettuvellom or a houseboat for your journey or even avail of super luxurious stays in five star style aboard the Oberoi’s Backwater cruiser Vrinda. So as you can see, you can custom make your holiday to suit your pocket and interests. The places you can visit are
Alappuzha (Allepey) - The most important and stunning town on your backwater holiday in Kerala. It has been conferred the title of “the Venice of the East” thanks to the meshwork of canals that run through it. While cruising through its serene waters you can absorb the simplicity of the coir workers that abound in this town. It is like being transported back in time when people never took more from nature than they needed and nature in turn beamed benevolently at man. A passage through these peaceful waters will put you at ease and will help you leave all your worries and hassles behind.
Cochin (Kochi, Ernakulum) – This is a good choice for your starting point as, being the capital of Kerala; it has an International Airport too. It is great for people who like to have something to see and do along with relaxing on a holiday. Kochi, a collection of scenic islands, boasts of one of the best natural harbours in the world and is called the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. It has numerous cultural heritages such as a Jewish synagogue, Dutch palace, and St Francis church. It is fascinating to visit the coast and see fishermen bringing in their catch using the ancient and intriguing Chinese Fishing Nets. You can also check out the indigenous dance of Kerala- the kathakali. The romance of visiting a city like this is increased manifold if you visit it in a laidback river boat.
Kottayam District – Also called “The land of letters, legends, latex and lakes”, Kottayam is home to rubber planatation and was the first town in India to achieve 100 % literacy. This panoramic town in Kerala forms a mainstay of its Backwaters tourism thanks to its proximity to so many of the tourist destinations in Kerala. This district is a delight for every type of traveller. Read on to realize why.
For the those who want to just take in the sights and the exclusivity of the Backwaters experience is a short trip to Pathiramanal Island- which actually means the land of the midnight sands and is only accessible by water. Take in the stunning views as you glide inch by inch into heaven in your own houseboat.
For those who want something more well known is Kumarakom with abundant lush mangroves and a variety of birds such as the Siberian stork, Egret, Darter and Heron along with the local birds. This place is a bird watchers paradise with almost 91 local and 50 migratory bird species to be spotted. For the local birds the best time is Juna – August and the migratory birds are seen in November to February. For those who want to watch the exotic festivities the Kerala is known for, it is a good idea to visit in August and September to take in the spectacle of the awe inspiring snake boat races.
Another treat for nature lovers is the Thekkady Periyar Tiger Reserve where you can see the elephants, bison, delicate spotted deer and Nilgiri Wood Pigeons. A terrific example of the diversity that you can be witness to on a simple backwaters holiday through Kerala.
Kollam - A part of the Ashtamudhi lake backwaters areas, Kollam is within stones throw away from another host of exciting experiences you can have, inclucing more than a dozen pilgrimage sites, stunning water falls of Palaruvi, Thenmala forests and Agasthyamala Biosphere reserve. The cashew district of Kerala was also the birthplace of Kathakali. Places you can visit from here include Varkala Beach resort and also Alumkadavu where kettuvelloms are built.
You can never run out of ideas and experiences to enjoy on your most spectacular holiday while floating langurously on the tranquil backwaters of Kerala and the memories that you will take back with you will last you a lifetime.