A cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala in a luxury houseboat is the most enchanting holiday experience in India today. In this world of simple pleasures, you'll skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves.
Innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers make up the 900 km backwater network of Kerala. The backwaters mainly cover four districts of the State Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. The largest backwater body, the Vembanad Lake flows through Alappuzha and Kottayam districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port. The Ashtamudi Lake, the second largest backwater stretch, offers the longest ride (eight hours) and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.
Your holiday home in this tranquil world is the comfortably furnished houseboat. Traditionally, the houseboat was called kettuvallam, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievable as it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a kettuvallam. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells.
Today, these giant 80 foot long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A kettuvallam usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.
Come, check into a houseboat for the most amazing experience of your life.