Kerala Backwaters Tour
Kerala, a land full of natural beauty, tranquillity and regal scenery. The backwaters tour is indeed an experience to behold- a pleasant view decked with palm trees caressed by the gentle breeze. Kerala backwaters Alleppey is a major attraction for tourists who are thirsting for peace coupled with romance. The town of Alleppey which is famous for its beautiful beach also has its other name, Alappuzha.
What is Kerala backwaters?
The backwaters are a large network of lakes flowing parallel to the Arabian Sea coast. They have their own unique ecosystem. One can also see palm trees, shrubs, and myriad species of botany along the shores of the backwaters. Also, the “National Geographic Traveller” ranked it to be one of the fifty destinations of a lifetime. No wonder Alleppey consists of the best backwaters in Kerala.
The backwaters are a pristine manifestation of distinct rivers that flow through the bosom of the ever alive mother nature. Apart from being an ideal tourist destination, there is also a provision of water for irrigating paddy fields. The water flows further and merges with the ocean in Kochi.
Now, being an adventurer who loves to travel, you may ask- How many backwaters in Kerala are there to enjoy and explore?
Among many other things, India is widely famous for the best backwaters in Kerala. Backwaters in Kerala are a big network of around 1500km of canals, which includes both manmade and natural. There are up to 38 rivers and 5 big lakes that extends from one end of Kerala to the other.
‘Kerala backwaters tour’ is the main tourism product of Kerala, ‘Boathouse Kerala backwaters’ coming at the second place. Also, taking into count all there is to see in the South Indian state, Kerala backwaters Alleppy is the best and the most visited destination.
Boathouse- Kerala Backwaters
The Kerala backwaters tour provides a majestic and surreal view, surrounded by landscape and water bodies. Due to its connection with canals, It is popular as the “Venice of the east.” Also, the most vital source of attraction as one row ahead are the boathouses that dot the backwaters. Kettuvallams are the name of Kerala houseboats.
These are slow-moving boats which in a leisurely fashion tread the waters, enabling you to enjoy the scenery of the tropical surroundings. There are more than 2000 houseboats in Kerala. These are classified as platinum, gold, and silver. Earlier, their usage was in the form of cargos, and only royals prefered using them.
They have usually 3 room sets which consist of a living room, bedroom, and dining room. And they serve fresh food on the boat every day. They have ferries (small boats) that take visitors to the banks or wherever they wish to go.
Travel-lovers exclaim that the best way to explore the backwaters is cruising. The houseboats operate from Pallathuruthy to keep a check and maintain these boats. These boats take to the location where visitors want to go. Whether it is the famous Kuttanad lake, the majestic vembada lake, the renowned ashtamudi lake, or the enchanting Chandragiri.
A soothing view of lush green paddy fields, coconut groves, shady trees, and beautiful small wooden houses are mesmerizing to the eyes. Staying in the Alleppy houseboat will make you feel like a king. A definite remedy for a restless mind and body. The cool breeze, migratory birds and seasonal rain is as mentioned an experience of a lifetime.
The night view is total bliss. The visitors will surely enjoy their time in the ‘boathouse Kerala backwaters’ that is enigmatic.
Kerala is famous for its instinctive and extraordinary beauty. The snake boat race is a tradition of Kerala. This is the vallamkali race. It happens during the festival of Onam in autumn. People host many races at this time. The approximate expenditure on this event is around 6-60 lakhs rupees.
These races add a new life to the atmosphere of the Kerala backwaters tour. Canoes are the most popular when it comes to racing. The chundanvallam (snake boat) is 30-35 meters long which can seat 60-124 paddlers. Churulanvallam, iruttukuthyvallam, odivallam, vadakhanodyvallam, and Kochi vallam are some of the other boats that take part in the races.
Later the winner is awarded a special prize and huge pride. These races started 400 years ago, and are now a form of festivity for Keralites. Kerala comes alive with these races. These boat races are India’s very own “OLYMPICS ON WATER”. The purpose of these races was to bring out the sporting spirit from within the hearts of the rural folk.
Kerala backwaters tour- The four main boat races
Champakulam boat race
This is the most popular and ancient race in which people celebrate the inauguration of the idol of Lord Krishna in Shri Krishna temple, situated in Ambalappuzha. The real beauty of this race lies in the decoration of the boats. The boat brim with colourful parasols, set about scrupulously by artists. This race is conducted in champakkulam in the month of July.
Payippad boat race
In the honor of Subramanya Swami Temple, this race is held. It is the oldest of all the races. It takes place on Payippadlake in the month of September. The celebration takes place for 3 days. It is the most colourful and vibrant festival in Kerala. This festival is an elixir of the natural beauty and the unique culture of Kerala. Watching the snake boat race is indeed a memory you’ll wish to remember for eternity.
Aranmula boat race
This race is the oldest boat race in Kerala, held during the month of August and September. The boats are propelled by the boisterous cheers of the crowd as they continue watching the race with great zeal. The boats are led by a soaring flag in front, as well as guarded by a bouquet of ornamental umbrellas.
Nehru trophy boat race
It is a prime race among all the other boat races in Kerala, held on Punnumada Lake on the second Saturday of August every year. It got its name after the visit of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1952. As he was mesmerized by the majestic boats. The winner of the race at that time was also awarded a trophy by the very hands of Jawahar Lal Nehru. Thus, giving it the above name.
The trophy is unique and special because it is a replica of a snake boat in silver placed on a wooden piece. It is also engraved with the words ‘to the winner of the boat race which is a unique feature of community life in Travancore-cochin’. Also, the other name for these races is the Champions boat league. The construction of each boat is with care and respect for the festival. And almost every house contributes to these races.