Kerala backwaters tour is the one excursion you must take during your holidays in God's own country. The Kerala backwaters is a system of palm-fringed rivers, canals, lakes and lagoons. It is a mystical delight and an entirely different kingdom on the water. The scenic part of a Kerala backwaters tour is interesting - created by wave movements and currents. The backwaters have a unique ecosystem.
The real fun is in just plodding along in the boat, exchanging friendly waves with residents and other water-bound tourists. You can enjoy the peek into village and river life in a Kerala backwater travel.
Your accommodation is likely to take the form of a kettuvallam, a picturesque houseboat with thatched roof. Many are quite luxurious. At the other end it is also possible to do similar journey by ferry.
Various routes are possible: you can embark and return to the same point. Some tourists use the backwaters as a leg on their journey and continue from a different dropping-off-point.
Most houseboats will incorporate land-based excursions into their itinerary. These fascinating outings can include visits to villages, places of worship, school, homes and markets.
The main action is in the south of the state, in Kuttanad. But the off-beaten-track brigade may be interested to hear of the Valiaparamba Backwaters, further north, between Kannur and Kasasrgod. A few of the major destinations in the Kerala backwater tourism are listed below.
Bordering Vemband lake, Alappuzha has attracted comparisons with Venice (although they are perhaps a little flattering). The port's waterways are relentlessly busy, and it is major gateway to the backwaters. If you find yourself passing through, there are couple of temples of note and a pleasant beach. The several boat races that are held here would also be worth a diversion.
The ancient Malabar coastal port of Kollam may no longer have the commercial standing it once did, but it remains a lively market town. Streets of Kollam are home to historical wooden houses that hint at the town's colonial past. Kollam is where the magnificent network of waterways begins.
The Ashtamudi lake is known as the gateway to the backwaters. A 130km long system of interlinked canals and lakes winds all the way to the north. The eight-hour trip from here to Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala
Nestled among lush paddy fields, highlands and extensive rubber plantations is Kumarakom, one of the most popular and most beautiful backwater stretches of Kerala. An exotic picnic spot, Kumarakom provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. An exclusive attraction here is the Kumarakom bird Sanctuary, which is an ornithologist's paradise.
The 900 km stretch of lakes, rivers, canals and lagoons forming the backwaters of Kerala is too vast to actually cover in one trip. But there are many possible options offered by houseboat operators.
An almost innumerable list of travel agencies and tour operators, both large and small, offer travel to Kerala backwaters. They offer cruises along the backwaters, ranging from day-long trips to more extended voyages stretching over few days.
Valloms (small, sleek canoes) or kettuvalloms (large timber-hulled traditional cargo boats) can be hired for trips. Kettuvalloms are modernized to suit 21st century tourist.
Among the main destinations that form part of the Kerala backwaters tour are Alappuzha, Kollam, Kochi, Trivandrum, Calicut and Kasargod. They are also the take-off points for cruises.
These destinations offer excellent glimpse of bakwaters.They also have a vast number of agencies through whom Kerala backwaters tour can be booked. Nearly all cruises follow a designated route that takes in the most exotic sights along the way.
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