Dubbed “The Venice of The East”, the backwaters of Alappuzha in Kerala, South India, are famed for the beauty of the deep waters coming in from the sea in strong currents to merge with lakes and rivers while thin lands form on the sides with green trees that stretch to meet the crystal blue skies above. And what better way to experience this rare gem than an Alappuzha houseboat tour that takes you across the tidal waters.
Here are 4 reasons why you should hop on a houseboat in Kerala and what makes the backwaters a worthwhile experience.
A beautiful network of canals
Known as “God’s Own Country”, nature in Kerala is abundant with thick jungles, cascading waterfalls, and gorgeous wildlife, and the backwaters add to this list. A beauty that can’t be found anywhere else except in the state, houseboating offers breathtaking views of the interconnecting canals that lead to the seas of Kochi which makes fresh river water meet salt waters of the Arabian Sea.
Eagles soar above in the blue skies as they hunt for fish and the tranquility the open waters give is second to none. Palm trees line up the waterways in an enchanting scenery of blue and green. If you stay for a multi-day trip, you will be rewarded with a stunning sunset that leaves you in awe.
A village Waterworld
A life that is different from everything else, Alappuzha boat house tours take you through its villages that’s a real Waterworld life. Sitting on a thin strip of land surrounded by the deep waters, you will see schools, restaurants, and even churches built atop the waterways.
Canoes are a replacement for cars parked in front of every house, restaurant, and building, and kids living in this part of the world row to school on these very canoes. Children learn to swim just like how land-dwellers learn to walk. Not a single bicycle or any other mode of land transport can be spotted here.
Houses are surrounded by water on all sides and workers carrying home equipment can be spotted rowing from one house to the next. Another person on a different boat is selling ice creams in a floating shop. It’s a life that land-dwellers can’t imagine and it’s a life that these water people can’t imagine living without. The only thing these people are missing from evolution are gills.
As for the tourists, it’s an enchanting sight to see and without a doubt, a must-visit place in Kerala.
Rice paddies in the open waters?
The backwaters aren’t just a popular place for their beauty but it also has a significant role in fish and rice paddy farming. A land that stretches for acres is created a level below the backwaters so the paddy farm can fill one side with its grains.
The houseboat takes you to these spots where you can hop off the boat for a good ten minutes and carefully walk along the thin strip of land to see the paddy fields up close. Be careful as you do because falling into the waters can be dangerous for non-swimmers who have no experience swimming in rivers or lakes.
These paddy fields are cultivated away from monsoon seasons when the weather is drier and waters don’t rise due to heavy rain.
Fresh, local food unlike anywhere else
Taste the traditional local delicacies and authentic Keralite seafood cuisine on houseboat trips. Steamy white rice, fish, vegetable curries, and stir-fries as well as any other fresh seafood of your choice (which you can buy from the riverside stores they stop at) will be cooked and served hot onto your plate.
It’s a taste that is special to the locale with ingredients that’s a mix between sweet and spicy.
Where to book the houseboat?
You can rent an entire houseboat with the entire sightseeing and meal mentioned above for rupees from 14,000 and above by contacting Joseph (the boat owner) at +91 9961588343. The trip starts at 11.am to 4pm or 12pm to 5pm with welcome drinks, lunch, evening tea and snacks.