Backwater Cruise India definitely means the backwater cruise in Kerala. To travel around the backwaters is the main reason visitors come to Kerala.
Moving along the waterways relaxing on the observation deck of a traditional houseboat is among the most pleasurable experiences India has to offer.
Lonely planet counts Kerala backwater cruise as one of the ten best boat journeys in the world.
But it doesn't come cheap and may not live up to your expectations if you are not with the right operator.
For those who with limited time or money, cheaper day cruises are also on offer. And there are always local ferries.
The boats used for the cruise are known as Kettuvallam. They are huge slow moving barges. Actually Kettuvallam of older times are converted to houseboats.
Kettuvallam has great traditional touch. Originally they were used for cargo purpose which can hold up to 30 ton. But now they are almost exclusively used for backwater cruises.
The name Kettuvallam is the combination of two words Kettu and Vallam. Kettu means knot and vallam means boat. The Kettuvallam is held together with coir knots.
The boat is made of planks of jack wood knotted together with coir. Not even a single nail is used. The boat is coated with oil made from the boiled cashew kernels.
A kettuvallam can last for generations with proper maintenance.
Today, the houseboats have all the comforts of a hotel. Furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cosy living rooms, kitchen and even a balcony for angling.
Houseboat operators work out of Kollam, Karunagappally and Kumarakom. But the highest concentration is in Alleppey where you will find the lowest prices.
Kerala Backwater Hotels
If you really want to enjoy the Kerala backwaters to the fullest, club your houseboat cruise with a backwater accommodation.
Huge number of backwater accommodation is available in Allleppey, Kumarkom and other places around Vembanad Lake. Thus you can enjoy your backwater cruise India the best.
Palm Grove Lake Resort
A perfect, tranquil spot from which to watch the backwaters.
An elegant old Kerala home. An ideal base for your backwater cruise in India.
Twelve antique Kerala wood tharavadukal. Excellent location with uninterrupted views across the water.
Perfectly placed to see the backwaters.
On Punnamada Lake
Lake facing five star resort.
Casa del Fauno
The fusion architecture, given a face-lift by the Malabar House chain.
Small campus of five traditional rooms in a converted tharavad.
A luxury resort right on the lakeshore.
Privacy at Sanctuary Bay
Run by the Malabar House chain.
One of the true heritage hotels in the backwaters.
Australian-owned backpackers lodge.
Other First Class Properties by Backwaters at Alleppey
Eighteenth-century Portuguese-styled residence of Syrian Christians on the Pamba River.
The real deal- an authentic 150 year old tharavadu.
Small, modern resort hotel in the backs of river.
Lovely little mid-priced homestay right on the river bank.
East of Haripad
One of the oldest backwater homestay surrounded by water and coconut trees.
Beautiful three-bed roomed teak nalukettu house.
Thekkanatt Parayil Olavupe
Olavipe, roughly midway between Kochi and Alleppey. Ranks among the Kerala's old-established heritage homestays. It's still one of the very best.
A pretty and hospitable homestay. This mansion is a typically Syrian-Christian home.
A relative newcomer that promises to be among the best-value.
VJ's Rice Garden
If you'd like to be in the backwaters but can't afford any of the heritage properties, try this guesthouse.
Backwater Hotels and Resorts at Kumarakom
The original and still the most stylish of the grand-scale luxury resorts in this area.
Illikkalam Lake Resort
A nice little mid-priced option.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
One of India's top spa resort.
Philip Kutty's Resort
Luxury homestay on a working island farm in the remote backwaters of Vembanad Lake. A perfect base camp for your backwater cruise in India
Vivanta by Taj-Kumarkom
The "History House" of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. This Edwardian mansion of the Baker family is the centre of this resort.
The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort and Spa
Newest mega resort in this area providing enchanting experience of backwater cruise India.
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