Backwaters of Kerala


Tranquil cruises that are once in a lifetime experience

The scenic backwaters of Kerala comprise serene stretches of lakes, canals and lagoons located parallel to the coast of the Arabian Sea. The backwater regions of Kerala are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The tranquil backwater cruises are a once in a lifetime experience. Alappuzha, known as the ‘Venice of the East’, is especially popular for its houseboat cruises where you can soak in nature at its finest form. Here are a few ways that you can spend vacation time in:


Referred to as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. Alappuzha Beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends out to the sea here, is over 137 years old. Entertainment facilities at the Vijaya Beach Park add to the attraction of the beach. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which greatly intrigues all visitors.

Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is the houseboat cruise. The houseboats you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. Kettuvallam is a Malayalam word, ‘Kettu’, refers to dwelling structures and ‘Vallom’ means boat. In the olden days, kettuvallam or boat with thatched roof that covers over wooden hulls was used to carry tons of rice and spices.

Of late, houseboats come equipped with all the comforts of a good hotel room including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. An uninterrupted view of life in the backwaters can be enjoyed while staying in a houseboat.

Sasthamkotta Backwaters, Kollam

Queen calling! Undoubtedly, the aura this locale carries attracts tourists in massive numbers. The spiritual ambiance and friendly fauna here are sure to melt your heart. Considered to be a hotspot, it has various pilgrimage sites surrounding it and the local people are always up with a fascinating tale about the same.

Visit the Sastha Temple as this is a center believed to be of high religious significance. Tourists usually have a good time with monkeys jumping around this locale and offer them eatables.

Oberoi Vrinda Cruise

The Oberoi Motor vessel Vrinda Cruise is a fully furnished floating villa, allowing you to watch nature and see the bordering villages and people from close quarters. These motor vessels are operational in the largest stretch of backwaters from Alapuzzha to the Kochi islands. While on board, the Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda makes you visit large number of canals and lakes, exploring every corner of the Kerala backwaters.  On your stay at the Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda enjoy recreational facilities like ayurveda massage, parlor, relaxing deck, dining, bar, and luxury cabins for the night.

Accommodation in these majestic vessels is made in terms of eight luxury cabins that house for large beds and all modern facilities. The rooms have recreation facilities like television and DVD player, besides an electronic safe. Mostly, the upper deck lounge of the vessel acts as the dining retreat. You can get your breakfast to the deck and be in the sun. You can order for authentic Kerala cuisine or seafood. Crabs, salad, and wine, make an interesting menu here.

Kavvayi Backwaters

Kavvayi Kayal is among the most fascinating backwater destinations in Kerala. This lesser known destination is the result of the five rivers viz. river Kavvayi and its tributary streams Kankol, Vannathichal, Kuppithodu, and Kuniyan. Kavvayi refers to a collection of small islands connected to Payyannur in Kannur by a bridge. It has been bestowed with many a natural gift and is considered among the most exotic locations in north Kerala.

These backwaters form the biggest wetland in north Kerala with an area of roughly 37 sq km. Boat rides provide one with the opportunity to watch the simple villagers go about their daily duties diligently. One comes across rare flora and fauna regularly. The boat rides will also help you explore each of the different islands. One can also indulge in delicious seafood in the area. It is the perfect place to visit for some well-deserved peace and relaxation. The breeze alone will calm your soul.

Padanna Backwaters

The long shores and starry skies of Padanna Backwaters have attracted odes from awestruck visitors who stumble across this secluded hamlet. Padanna is among northern Kerala’s finest backwater locations. This tranquil destination is renowned because Padanna works hardest to give you time away from urban life. Tourists here are guided to the famous Oyster Opera, run by the visionary Gul Mohammad. This establishment works on the principle of self-help and people of the area are the most involved in its functioning.

Tourists can avail a delightful cruise on a houseboat or country boat, based on their preference. Crisscrossing canals and rows of coconut trees surround you as a lazy breeze accompanies you the entire time. The facilities here are taken care of completely by local producers and hence, you get a distinct northern Kerala flavor in everything you indulge in. Five rivers feed these backwaters along with tiny islands that dot its brackish waters. You can even ask locals for tips on how to go about fishing as a leisure pursuit. The constant relaxed state that everyone around you is in itself contagious. The nearby Bekal Fort is always a good place to stop by along with a famous manmade forest, Kareem Forest. One can also view the famous Theyyam performances, a staple of northern Kerala, in the area.


By air: Reaching Kerala by air from across the globe is easy. There are three international airports located in Kerala that connects ‘God’s own Country’ to major international cities. Whereas Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is located in the southern part of Kerala, Kochi International Airport is located in the central part of Kerala. Up North, Calicut International Airport is also connected to both India as well as international cities via flights.

By road: Kerala is easily accessible by road from any part of the country through National Highways 17, 47 and 49. Directly connected by road with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the state of Kerala has a network between its important cities by a number of state highways and other metallic roads.

By rail: Most of the places in and out of Kerala are interconnected by 200 Railway Stations. Direct trains to Kerala can be availed from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and other major Indian cities.