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Kerala Houseboat

(How to say : hawz · bote)
houseboat crossing

Introduction to Kerala Houseboats:

Welcome to the enchanting world of Kerala houseboats, where you can embark on a captivating journey through the backwaters of Kerala, India. Kerala houseboats, also known as Kettuvallams, are unique and iconic floating vessels that offer a remarkable experience of cruising along the serene waterways and immersing yourself in the tranquility of Kerala's backwaters.

Key Attractions of Kerala Houseboat:

Backwater Cruises: The main attraction of Kerala houseboats is the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing backwaters of Kerala. Drift along the peaceful canals, lagoons, and lakes while enjoying the breathtaking vistas of lush green paddy fields, coconut groves, and charming villages. The slow and gentle movement of the houseboat allows you to soak in the serenity and natural beauty of Kerala's backwaters.

Scenic Landscapes: As you glide through the backwaters, you'll be treated to picturesque landscapes that are unique to Kerala. The surrounding scenery includes swaying palm trees, vibrant birdlife, lotus ponds, and traditional fishing nets. The ever-changing vistas offer a sense of tranquility and an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Traditional Architecture: Kerala houseboats showcase traditional architecture and craftsmanship. These intricately designed vessels are made of eco-friendly materials like bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, and wooden planks. The skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail create a charming and rustic ambiance onboard the houseboat.

Luxury and Comfort: Kerala houseboats are equipped with modern amenities and offer a luxurious and comfortable experience. The houseboats feature well-appointed bedrooms, attached bathrooms, living areas, and open decks for lounging and enjoying the panoramic views. Some houseboats also have air conditioning, TV, and other facilities to ensure a comfortable stay.

houseboat bedroomUnique Features:
Floating Homes: One of the unique aspects of Kerala houseboats is that they serve as floating homes. These traditional vessels were originally used for transportation of goods and as dwellings for the local communities. Today, they have been transformed into floating accommodations, providing visitors with a memorable and immersive experience of living on the water.

Culinary Delights: One of the highlights of Kerala houseboat experiences is the opportunity to savor delicious local cuisine. The onboard chef prepares traditional Kerala dishes using fresh local ingredients. Indulge in flavorsome seafood, aromatic rice preparations, coconut-based curries, and other regional specialties while enjoying the tranquility of the backwaters.

Sustainable Tourism: Kerala houseboats embrace sustainable tourism practices, respecting the fragile ecosystem of the backwaters. These eco-friendly vessels use renewable materials and are designed to have minimal impact on the environment. They promote responsible tourism by supporting the local economy and preserving the cultural heritage of the region.

A journey on a Kerala houseboat is an extraordinary experience that combines comfort, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. Whether you choose a day cruise or an overnight stay, the tranquil backwaters, scenic landscapes, traditional architecture, and mouthwatering cuisine will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Get ready to embark on a serene and unforgettable voyage through the magical world of Kerala houseboats.
houseboat in cruise

Location of Houseboats in Kerala:

Alleppey is a coastal city located in the southern state of Kerala, India. It is situated along the Arabian Sea and is part of the Alappuzha district. The city is known for its intricate network of backwaters, canals, and lagoons, making it a popular tourist destination.

Alleppey has a tropical monsoon climate.

The city experiences a hot and humid summer from March to May, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F).

The southwest monsoon brings heavy rainfall from June to September, rejuvenating the backwaters and surrounding landscapes.

The post-monsoon and winter months, from October to February, are relatively cooler and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C (68°F to 90°F).

Cultural Significance:
Alleppey has a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in Kerala's traditions and customs. The city is known for its vibrant arts and festivals. It is often referred to as the "Venice of the East" due to its extensive network of canals and backwaters. Alleppey is renowned for its boat races, coir industry, and traditional Ayurvedic treatments, which attract visitors from around the world.

Special Events and Festivals:
Nehru Trophy Boat Race: This is the most famous boat race in Alleppey and is held on the Punnamada Lake. It takes place on the second Saturday of August every year. Colorfully decorated snake boats, known as Chundan Vallams, compete in a thrilling race, showcasing the spirit and skill of the local rowers.

Alappuzha Beach Festival: Organized by the District Tourism Promotion Council, the Alappuzha Beach Festival is a week-long event held in December. It features cultural programs, art exhibitions, water sports, and a variety of entertainment activities along the picturesque Alappuzha Beach.

Ambalappuzha Temple Festival: This religious festival takes place at the historic Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple. It is celebrated in March or April and lasts for ten days. The festival includes vibrant processions, traditional music, dance performances, and cultural programs, attracting devotees and tourists alike.

Chettikulangara Bharani: Held at the Chettikulangara Devi Temple in February or March, this festival is known for its unique rituals and vibrant processions. Devotees engage in various rituals and cultural activities, including the performance of the traditional dance form called "Kuthiyottam."

Houseboat Tourist Attractions:

houseboat interiorAlleppey Backwaters: The backwaters of Alleppey are the main attraction for Kerala houseboat cruises. Drifting along the serene canals and lagoons, surrounded by picturesque landscapes of swaying coconut trees and traditional villages, offers a unique and tranquil experience.

Local Cuisine: While cruising the backwaters, indulge in local delicacies such as Karimeen Pollichathu (spiced and grilled pearl spot fish), Meen Curry (fish curry), and traditional Kerala Sadhya (a vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf).

houseboats on lakeKumarakom: Situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is another popular destination for Kerala houseboat cruises. The place is known for its beautiful bird sanctuary, where you can spot a variety of migratory and local bird species.

Local Cuisine: While in Kumarakom, savor local dishes like Kuttanadan Duck Roast, Chemmeen Ularthiyathu (spicy prawn fry), and Tharavu Roast (duck roast).

kerala houseboatKuttanad: Known as the "Rice Bowl of Kerala," Kuttanad is a region of lush green paddy fields and scenic landscapes. Cruising through the narrow canals of Kuttanad allows you to witness the traditional agricultural practices and the unique farming system below sea level.

Local Cuisine: Indulge in traditional dishes like Kuttanad Karimeen Curry (fish curry), Kuttanad Chicken Curry, and Kuttanad Pulao (a flavorful rice dish).

kerala houseboat loungeThanneermukkom: Located at the confluence of the Vembanad Lake and the Thanneermukkom Bund, this place offers breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding wetlands. It is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

Local Cuisine: While in Thanneermukkom, savor local delicacies like Karimeen Pollichathu (grilled fish), Kappa Biriyani (tapioca and meat biryani), and Meen Vevichathu (spicy fish curry).

kuttanadPathiramanal Island: Situated on Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island is a small island known for its scenic beauty and rich birdlife. It is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

Local Cuisine: While visiting Pathiramanal Island, savor local specialties like Kappa (tapioca) and Meen Curry (fish curry).

The beauty of Kerala houseboat cruises lies in the opportunity to explore these enchanting destinations while enjoying the local flavors of Kerala cuisine. Immerse yourself in the tranquil backwaters, feast on delectable dishes, and create unforgettable memories during your Kerala houseboat journey.

Travel tips for Houseboat Visitors

From traveler's experiences here are some practical travel tips and essential information for your visit to Kerala houseboat:

luxury houseboatTransportation Options:
By Air: The nearest airport to Alleppey is Cochin International Airport, located approximately 78 kilometers (48 miles) away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-paid taxi to reach Alleppey. Several domestic and international flights operate to and from Cochin International Airport.

By Train: Alleppey has its own railway station, known as Alappuzha Railway Station. It is well-connected to major cities in India, including Kochi, Trivandrum, Chennai, and Bangalore. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take an auto-rickshaw to reach your desired destination in Alleppey.

By Road: Alleppey is easily accessible by road. National Highway 66 (NH 66) passes through Alleppey, connecting it to nearby cities and states. You can reach Alleppey by bus, private car, or taxi. State-run and private buses operate regular services to and from Alleppey.

alleppey breakfastLocal Customs and Etiquette:
• Dress Modestly: While Alleppey is relatively cosmopolitan, it is advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or interacting with the local community. It is respectful to cover your shoulders and legs, particularly in temples or other religious places.
• Footwear Etiquette: When entering temples or homes, it is customary to remove your footwear as a sign of respect. Look for signs or follow the locals' lead to determine if you need to remove your shoes.
• Respect for Cultural Practices: Alleppey has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect local customs and practices. Observe and follow any guidelines or restrictions that may be in place, especially during religious festivals or ceremonies.

Safety Tips:
• Carry a copy of your identification documents, such as your passport or ID card, and keep them in a safe place.
• It's advisable to carry a small first aid kit with basic medications and supplies.
• Take precautions against mosquito bites by using insect repellents and wearing appropriate clothing.
• Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and any other unforeseen circumstances.
• Be cautious of your belongings and avoid displaying expensive items openly to minimize the risk of theft.
• Check weather conditions before embarking on any outdoor activities and follow instructions from local authorities in case of adverse weather.

Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Houseboats in Kerala is during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant. This is also the peak tourist season. Avoid visiting during the monsoon season (June to September) as heavy rains can hamper houseboat cruise activities and sightseeing.

By keeping these travel tips in mind, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while exploring the beautiful backwaters in houseboats.

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