The backwaters of Kerala consist of a network of both manmade and natural canals, 38 rivers and 5 lakes which extend from one end of Kerala to the other. Known as one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia, there are a number of towns and cities located within the backwaters which serve as starting and ending points for backwater cruises and tours.
The backwaters are one of the largest fresh-water sources in India and are home to an incredible variety of fauna and flora, 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.
There is no better way to explore the backwaters of Kerala than by overnighting on a houseboat, commonly known as a Kettuvallam.
With its equatorial climate, pristine beaches, large stretches of emerald backwaters, waterfalls, sprawling plantations and paddy fields and historical and cultural monuments, the backwaters of Kerala should be on every travellers list of places to visit when exploring India.
Cochin, once a small town, has outgrown its original bounds and is now the general name given to the region joining the original town of Cochin, Fort Kochi, Mattanchery, Ernakulam and many other nearby villages and towns.
Also referred as the Gateway to Kerala, this vibrant seaside city is situated on the south west coast of the Indian peninsula in Kerala, commonly referred to as “Gods own Country”.
Kochi, the original name of the city, is the ideal starting point for exploring the unfathomable diversity and beauty of Kerala and boasts a world class port and international airport that links to a variety of major cities worldwide.
Periyar is a river that flows throughout the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and has been named the “Lifeline of India” due to the fact that it is one of the few perennial rivers in the region and provides drinking water for several major towns.
Allepey, also known as Alappuzha, is a city in Alappuzha District of Kerala. Referred to as “Venice of the East”, this town consists of charming canals, backwaters, beaches and lagoons and is the oldest planned town in the region.
It is worth your while to make a stop in Alleppey and enjoy the tropical village life before heading to the backwaters of Alappuzha, which are known to be the most popular tourist attraction within Kerala.
Kettuvallam is the name given to a house boat that is used to travel the backwaters of Kerala. These boats are constructed using ancient principles and techniques and consist of thatched roof covers over wooden hulls, with the planks being fastened together by rope.
Situated in Kerala, Kovalam is a beach town by the Arabian Sea and is famous for its pristine beaches with shallow waters and low tidal waves.
The arrival of the masses of hippies in the 70’s started the transformation from a casual fishing village of Kerala into one of the most popular tourist destinations in all India- the Kovalam beach.