| Kerala lives along these backwaters. They snake over the state physique, bestowing paddy fields with good harvests, and provide the whole village with drinking water and other facilities. The backwaters refer to the large inland lakes of Kerala. Today these backwaters act as vital water ways for the transport of people and produce.
Kerala Backwaters - A houseboat ride through the placid backwaters of Kerala and enjoy a cruise through the natural vistas of God's Own Country.
Backwaters are the accumulation of Sea Water at the sea beach during the to-fro motion of sea-waves in the form of lagoons, estuaries etc. Today, Kerala Backwaters has become the most exciting tourist spot in India.
The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.
The lagoons, lakes, canals and rivers are lined up with dense tropical vegetation on either side. It is a breathtaking bout to experience a solitary and calm glide through this network of waterways. The backwaters form a specially attractive and economically valuable feature of Kerala. They include lakes and ocean inlets which stretch irregularly along the coast. The biggest backwater is the Vembabad lake, some 200 sq kilometers in area, which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Periyar, Pamba, Manimala, Achenkovil, Meenachil and Moovattupuzha rivers drain into this lake. Veli, Kadhinamkulam, Anjengo (Anju Thengu), Edava, Nadayara, Paravoor, Ashtamudi (in Kollam Dist.) Kayamkulam, Kodungallur (in Trissur Dist) and Chetuva are some of the other places where you may go for backwater cruising. The backwaters of Kerala stretch over 1900 Kilometers, providing drinking water and irrigation facilities.
Thiruvallam (6 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram)
This serene backwater stretch, enroute to Kovalam, is famous for its canoe rides. It is the meeting point of two rivers-Killi and Karamana. A temple dedicated to Parashurama, the legendary founder of Kerala, is located in Thiruvallam.
Veli Tourist Village (8 kilometers from Thriruvananthapuram)
The Veli Tourist Village is bordered by the Veli lagoon and the Arabian sea. The lagoon here is separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar. Facilities at the village include water sports in the lagoon and an 18-acre waterfront park with a floating bridge that connects the village to the beach.
Alumkadavu (23 kilometers from Kollam)
Alumkadavu is halfway on the route to Alappuzha from Kollam. This quiet little backwater village in Karunagapally town is famed for its boat building yard. It is here that the gigantic kettuvallams (cargo boats of rural Kerala) were built. Today the Kettuvallams which were long replaced by modern means of transport, have been converted into houseboats.
Alleppey (Alappuzha) District Kuttanad
Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala, because of her wealth of paddy crops is at the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of bananas. Yams and cassava which accompany the rice bowl as "side dishes". This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.
Pathiramanal (14 kilometers from Alappuzha)
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is accessible only by boat.
Bordered by the lofty Western Chats on the east, the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics.
Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a totally literate people have given this district the title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.
The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom is a small village that is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarkom strengthens Kerala’s reputation for being God’s own country with its unbelievably beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and emerald green paddy fields interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with while lillies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of any ornithologist's paradise.
This enchanting backwater destination offers visitors many leisure options. From wandering into the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising down the back waters and fishing, Kumarkom is perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarkom is an example of nature at her bountiful best in the fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured birds, the surrounding greenry and the clear waters.
Ernakulam (Cochin) Backwater
More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam.
The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Kochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of the explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land.
The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.
Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on the local ferries. A conducted cruise through the winding waterways will take you to several quaint spots.
Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins, a prominent trade and commerce centre and the land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was the most important region of Malabar in days past.
Today, ancient monuments, lush green countryside, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make this district a much sought after destination.
Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options. Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are favourite places for boating.
Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam (water fiesta) is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is situated on the sea coast with the Western Chats on its east and northern borders. Backwater trips on the Chandragiri River and at Valiyaparamba are fascinating experiences.
Chandragiri (4 km from Kasaragod town)
Situated on the Chandragiri River, southeast of Kasaragod town, this town is known for the large 17th century Chandragiri Fort, one of a chain of forts.
It offers a breathtaking view of the river and the Arabian Sea. It is a vantage point to watch the sunset.
Chandragiri cruises :
Boat trips to nearby islands and palm groves are available.
Boarding point : Chandragiri bridge.
Valiyaparamba (30 km from Bekal Fort)
This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, Valiyaparamba is fast turning into a much favoured backwater resort.