Finest Alleppey Houseboats for a Luxurious Stay on Kerala Backwaters
Kerala is known as God’s own country – thanks to its abundance of water bodies, hills, dense forests, and scintillating natural beauty. But perhaps for any visitor, the most iconic destination is the backwaters – a rare geographical phenomenon.
When you hear the words backwaters, it conjures up a paradisiacal vision – of gently flowing waters bordered by paddy fields and coconut trees that peep out to welcome you, swaying in the balmy breeze – and of course, the quintessential houseboats that cruise up and down the brackish waters sedately.
What’s the best way to experience the Alleppey backwaters?
A houseboat cruise is undoubtedly the best way to experience the Alleppey backwaters; the unhurried pace at which it cruises the lagoons, estuaries and interlinked canals, allows you to take in every aspect of the unique ecosystem of the backwaters with its rich biodiversity; it is also a safe abode for several endangered marine species. The backwaters are dotted by numerous tiny islands – which they help to connect; the only mode of transport for many inhabitants of these islands is by boat. You will see several small jetties next to many homes – which have steps leading right into the backwaters – with a boat tied up there.
You can witness breathtakingly beautiful sunsets and mesmerizing sunrises; you can observe the flora and fauna unique to the backwaters; you can bask in the invigorating breeze as you munch on local delicacies on the outer deck of the houseboats; you can even try your luck at catching fresh fish! While on the deck, you may be lucky enough to have close-up views of the aquatic life that is found only in those waters, like mudskippers, certain species of frogs and crabs, the ‘pearl fish’ or ‘karimeen’, and birds like terns, cormorants, darters and kingfishers. If you’re really lucky, you may even catch sight of migratory birds, flying gracefully in intricate formations high above.
The traditional houseboats of yore, the kettuvallams are an incredible work of art and enthralling to behold, with their intricate upper covering structures of coconut fibre, bamboo poles, ropes and mats. Today, many Alleppey houseboats look like the traditional kettuvallams from the outside but boast modern amenities and luxury on the inside, like fully furnished air-conditioned rooms with attached bathrooms, Jacuzzi, TV, and more. So when it gets too warm for your comfort outside, you can relax in air-conditioned comfort inside and gaze upon the exquisite lush green landscape outside.
If you want to experience the cultural heritage of Kerala while cruising, you can request for Kathakali or Mohiniyattam dance performances on board. If you’d like some pampering in the form of therapeutic Ayurveda massages, that can be arranged also – check with your tour operator beforehand. The onboard cook will prepare Kerala delicacies to suit your palate. Soak it all in; you can enjoy a holistic Kerala experience on board a luxurious Alleppey houseboat.
Whether you’re looking to celebrate a romantic honeymoon or anniversary, spend some quality family time, or have a fun time with friends, Alleppey houseboats are just perfect; there are houseboats of all sizes, and fit for all budgets. You can choose from basic houseboats, or opt for the ultimate in luxury. If you’re hard pressed for time, you may choose the day tour; but we would recommend that you spend at least one night on the Alleppey backwaters for a truly enchanting experience. Allow the gentle rocking of the boat, and the tranquil sounds of the water lapping against the boat and the chirping of birds to lull you into a restful slumber.
Many houseboat tour operators also offer online booking services, making it easy for domestic and international visitors to find what they are looking for and book in advance. We recommend that you do an online search and specify the type of houseboat, the number of rooms, the standard and food you want. Booking in advance means you can avoid disappointment, especially during the tourist season.
Give yourself and your loved ones a visual rejuvenating treat; marvel at the exotic natural beauty of the Alleppey backwaters, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
NB: This post is a collaboration with Tours in India and not written by The Well Travelled Man.