House Boat and Backwaters

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House Boat and Backwaters Backwaters Kerala

Cruising through the backwaters in a Kettuvallam or houseboat makes one feel elated. In fact, savoring the joy of this intoxicating boat ride is one of the chief facets of Kerala visit, to the tourists. The journey is indeed one of the prime attractions for tourists travelling in Kerala.

Kettuvallams or houseboats are the boats of Kerala which were originally used for the purpose of transporting food grains from one part of the state to another, chiefly rice. However, most of these ordinary boats have been transformed into luxurious water vessels since 1990s to compliment with the state’s thriving tourism industry. The Kettuvallams are about 25 metres long, assembled by binding the planks of jackfruit wood together deftly.  The unique factor in this is that no nails are required to hold the planks together. The houseboats have an open foredeck sheltered by a vaulted roof of braided screw pine grass called vembanad. Most probably, the Vembanad Lake got its name due to this reason. There are some luxurious boats having air-conditioned well -decor bedrooms with attached washrooms aided with modern facilities. However, keeping in mind to keep the environment clean and green, the sewage is never flushed into the lake but is stored in tanks and is later pumped into the municipal sewerage system. These house boats are available on a daily rental basis as well as for longer duration to take visitors on the old waterways. The peaceful cruises portray a highlight of the life on the water side with extravagant views of the water, land, birds and human civilization.

The scenic beauty encompassing the land areas of the backwaters are equally enchanting. The lifestyle of the Keralites chiefly depends and orbits around the water bodies. The river banks are embroidered with the palm trees, cluster of mud houses with thatched roofs – depicting the picture of an unadulterated and chaste rural lifestyle. The exquisite natural beauty witnessed from the decks of a Kettuvallam might change a normal mind to that of a poet – singing away to the glory of God and Nature!

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