Deemed among the “50 destinations of a lifetime” by the National Geographic Traveler, Kerala has awed the world due to its unique ecosystem and rustic splendor. Sprawling luxuriously across the south-west coast of India, this land is traversed by magnificent hills brackish lagoons, rivers, rivulets, canals and lakes; thereby emulating “God’s Own Country” on earth. The labyrinthine networks of waterways running parallel to the coast line have also connected the cities and towns, which serve as the starting point of backwater cruises.
The history of Kerala backwaters dates back to those days, when the gushing sea waves inundated the land, and created a haven for aquatic life and birds comprising varieties of fish, crabs, otters, frogs, turtles, darters, terns, darters, kingfishers, cormorants and so on. Besides, palm trees, shrubs, bushes and other leafy plants lie sequined along the backwater stretches, consequently adding green hue to the place. Over the years, a barrage has been constructed, in order to separate the brackish water from fresh water. Lush green forests and fauna stretching across the hills and lands thrive on fresh water sources.
Cruising across the backwaters in Kerala is a heavenly and wonderful experience, and everybody should savor it once in a life time at least. If you haven’t gone for it so far, then make sure that you do so now!
There are nearly 500 houseboats in Alapphuzha alone, and natural products are used for building them. Bamboo mats, wood and sticks are used for structuring these boats, which offer all kinds of comforts offered by hotels. These houseboats are donned with plush living rooms, kitchens, restrooms, lavish bedroom and balconies. The wooden or palm roofs provide shade against the blazing sunlight. Also, the windows and balconies offer panoramic views of the picturesque landscape surrounding the backwaters. You could also spend hours languishing at the azure sea beach with the lapping waves soothing your nerves.
Skilled oarsmen are hired to row these houseboats across the brackish water stretches. Sometimes, two or more boats are joined to form boat trains, in order to ferry a large number of sightseers to the various inaccessible islands dotted along the backwaters.
The beauty of Kumarakom backwaters is simply a breathtaking one, and you could hire a houseboat for exploring its serene magic for hours. Besides, the water is believed to have healing properties for arthritis treatment. Moreover, the pleasant breeze, scenic beauties and succinct food make the cruise all the more worthwhile. It is a good place for relaxation for those who are tired of their regular humdrum lives, and hanker for getaways. There are safe spots where you could also swim and dive; however, people who do not know how to swim must use life jackets.
Over the years, tourism has led to the gentrification of the small villages and towns connected by the backwater networks. Nevertheless, the simple people residing in these places touch the hearts of the peripatetic visitors through their hospitality.