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    Kerala Backwaters

• Alappuzha   • Kumarakom

Backwaters Backwaters are huge water bodies fed by perennial rivers and streams. These are unique to Kerala. The last couple of years has seen unprecedented tourist interest. The backwaters are essentially inland lakes connected by network of canals. 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 the folowing districts of state-Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kochi and Kozhikode. 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 and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.


One of the oldest ports of the Malabar Coast, Kollam was once the centre of the international spice trade. Backwaters The eight hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience of Kerala's backwaters. Kollam on the banks of the picturesque Ashtamudi Lake is now known more as the center of Cashew industry. Kollam is an inviting gateway to Kerala's backwaters. It is one of the oldest ports of the backwater experience. As the old ferry putters from one village on the waterfront to another you are treated to a full fledged range of lines and activities and some of the most beautiful scenes imaginable. Picnic village is located on the backwater front at Ashramam, this is the main center of recreational activities in Kollam. The Kollam Alleppey backwaters trip is a tourist favourite. The journey through the backwaters and canals is truly an interesting experience. The internationally popular backwater cruise between Kollam and Alappuzha/Alappuzha-Kollam is specially recommended.


Also known as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha is famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trail as one of the major centers for backwater boat trips. Served by ferries to Kollam and Kottayam in particular. Sweeping network of canals honeycombing the town of Alappuzha has earned for the place its sobriquet "The Venice of the East". The town is pleasant to stroll around, with plenty of activity to watch on the canals. Small long slung country boats are the taxies of the water land. The coir workers too present an interesting sight as they soak coconut fibre in pools, beat them out and weave the tough brown strands into long spindles stretched between endless coconut trees. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, the longest lake in India and with the Arabian Sea to its west, the town has a labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers. Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.



Kuttanad, called the rice bowl of Kerala because of its wealth of paddy crops, is the very heart of the backwaters. Besides paddy, Kuttanad is known for banana, yam and casava crops. This is one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level, Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.


Pathiramanal or sands of midnight, is a captivating little island between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat. It is a 10 acre island on the backwaters and is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. From Alappuzha, it takes one and a half hours by motorboat to reach Pathiramanal. The island is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world.


Backwaters Kottayam, the land of lakes, letters and latex, is a land blessed abundantly by Nature's charms. The mighty Western Ghats lie to the east of Kottayam and the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad to the west. Tranquil expanses of backwaters, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and 100% literacy makes Kottayam special. This backwater town is well known for its rubber plantations. It is also an ideal transit point to Kumarakom, Alleppey and Thekkady.



This is a backwater resort town just 12 km from Kottayam. This unique backwater destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. House boats and backwater cruises are the major activities here. Kumarakom, an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The serene lake comes alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing.


Kochi is uniquely positioned to give you the best of the famed backwaters in Kerala. The Vembanad backwater system has only two natural openings to the sea, one is in Cochin and the other in Kodungalloor. Famed for its natural harbour, one of the finest in the world, Kochi has earned the sobriquet "Queen of the Arabian Sea". Kochi is one of India's most interesting cities. Kochi port is one of the largest in India. All the islands that make up Kochi are well connected by ferry. Bridges and roads connect Ernakulam with Willingdon Island and the Fort Kochi/ Mattancherry. Willindon Island is a manmade Island and is surroundedters of the southern naval command. The Portuguese Fort is situated on the northern end of Vypeen Island at Pallipuram. The Chinese fishing nets, a method of fishing established in Kochi during the times of Kubla Khan can be seen at Fort Kochi. Kochi International Airport is situated at a distance of 35 kms from town.



Backwaters of Cherai welcome you with unique charm and beauty. A quiet trip through the winding scenic backwaters is where the heart of Cherai lies. The overhanging branches of coconut trees creates an unforgettable symphony of green. The tranquil lake is at a stones throw from the beach. A unique place where sea and backwaters are divided by a small strip of land ,it forms a truly beautiful scenery .


Unexplored and unspoilt, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises for enchanting holiday options. Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are favourite destination for boating. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.

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