Kerala Inland Waterways India

Kerala houseboats

Cruising the Kerala Inland Waterways in India is one of the most relaxing holidays you can enjoy.

Kerala is a state that is situated on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. The mountain range known as the Western Ghats is in the east of the state and the rainfall in these ranges creates a series of rivers which feed Kerala’s backwaters.

The western coast belt is crisscrossed by a network of interconnected brackish canals, lakes, estuaries, and rivers known as the Kerala Backwaters.  The state’s largest lake Vembanad dominates the backwaters. Lying between Alappuzha (also known as Alleppey) and Kochi it is an ideal place for slow cruising.

Just relax on your houseboat and watch the world go by.

The traditional name for the houseboats is kettuvallams and they were used as grain barges, to transport the rice harvested in the fertile fields alongside the backwaters. Converted to accommodate tourists, the houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, bathrooms, a dining area and deck seating.

It is one of the most peaceful ways of travelling that I have ever experienced. The pace is slow, the scenery glorious, and you do get to see locals going about their daily business.

The boats dock by land at night, so sleep is very easy.

The Kerala inland waterways offer incomparable beauty and unique experience. The boats vary in size from one guest cabin up to boats with five sizable cabins.

The palm-fringed, tranquil backwaters which house hundreds of River Cruise between Kochi to Alleppey, also known as Venice of the East is popular among tourists.

Meals are served on board. As I was travelling in a small vessel it had a crew of two, a skipper and a deckhand who also doubled as a cook. His food was delicious, especially considering the tiny kitchen he had at his disposal. Kerala cuisine includes a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fish, poultry, and meat. The meals I enjoyed were aromatic rather than chilli hot.

India bustles with life and its cities are frenetic. When you cruise the waterways in Kerala you enjoy a totally different, exquisitely serene experience.