Kerala Houseboats

Kerala houseboats, converted to accommodate tourists, have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. Most tourists spend the night on a house boat. Food is cooked, having a flavour of Kerala, on board by the accompanying staff.

Houseboat cruises through Kerala are a delightful experience for the tourists. The Kerala backwater is a chain of canals, rivers and lakes linked each other. The tourists cruising through the backwaters can experience the scenic beauty of the state, and get a feel of the lifestyle, food habits and customs of the local people. Backwater cruises in Kerala are carried out in traditional boats with modern amenities, known as "Kettuvallams".One of the best destinations in Kerala backwaters is Alleppey, otherwise known as " Venice of the East", which has a large number of canals that meander through the town.

Ancient Rice boats
Traditionally, the houseboat was called kettuvallam and 'pathemari', 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. Jackwood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. The materials that go into the making are all local and eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fibre ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets, etc.

In the olden times, the crew cooked on board, and most often, their meals included delicious pearl spot fish caught straight from the water. A portion of the House Boat had bamboo roofing, and that was where the crew would rest. Traditional lanterns were used for lights.

Developed at a time when railways were unknown and roads were expensive to build, the traditional houseboats used to be the main mode of inland transportation with the prime purpose of ferrying paddy harvest. These boat services have been laid off with the developments taking place in the transport services in the recent past.

Modern Houseboats
Today, the giant 80-feet long barges called kettuvallams have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A modern kettuvallam usually has one to six bath attached rooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising two oarsmen and a cook. Your holiday in this tranquil world, in the comfort of modern furnished houseboats, is bound to be an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

The modern House Boats have all the creature comforts of a good hotel but none of those hassles - well-furnished bedrooms, modern hygienic toilets, cosy living rooms, a beautiful kitchen and in some cases even a balcony for angling and swimming pool on upper deck. Most modern House Boats are powered by remarkably unobtrusive outboard engines; some others are poled by experienced oarsmen. Today’s houseboats or kettuvallams include air conditioned rooms, a magnificent itinerary and a chef to pamper you with the full range of deliciously hot and spicy Kerala cuisine.

Kerala Backwaters

Kerala's backwaters is the most popular tourist attraction of Kerala. The backwaters of Kerala is a unique product of Kerala and is found nowhere else in the world. The green, sinuous, palm fringed backwaters of Kerala are unique in themselves. The backwaters of Kerala are a self supporting eco-system teeming with aquatic life. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of 44 rivers that drain into the Arabian sea, and it stretches to almost 1,900 kilometers.