Kerala’s backwaters is the most popular tourist attraction of Kerala. It is a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast of Kerala state in southern India. The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state. National Waterway No. 3 from Kollam to Kottapuram, covers a distance of 205 km and runs almost parallel to the coast line of southern Kerala facilitating both cargo movement and backwater tourism.The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range.In the midst of this beautiful landscape there are a number of towns and cities, which serve as the starting and end points of backwater cruises.
The most interesting area in the backwaters is the Kuttanad region, called the rice bowl of Kerala. The area is probably the only place in the continent where farming is done below sea level, using a system of dykes and bunds.
At a short distance from Thiruvananthapuram is the Veli Aakulam lagoon. There are many facilties which attracts tourist . Some of them are Water sports, a floating restaurant, an amusement park, speedboats and lots more. The east end of the lake is flanked by two scenic hillocks.
The largest backwater stretch is the Vembanad Lake, covering an area of 200 km²,which opens out into the sea at the Kochi port and flows through three districts-Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. Alleppey, “Venice of the East”, has a large network of canals that meander through the town. Vembanad is India’s longest lake.The Ashtamudi Lake has eight ‘arms’ covering a major portion of Kollam district in the south, and is the second largest lake in the state. It is one of the oldest ports of the backwaters, with the ferry to Alappuzha taking more than 8 hours. A small village 12 kilometer west of Kottayam town, on the banks of the beautiful Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is 14-acre bird sanctuary known for local varieties of water fowl, cuckoo, water ducks, and migrating Siberian storks. The best months to visit it are June-August. Just 80 kilometres from Cochin, this area has unique kettuvalloms (houseboats), boat racing, motorboat and water sport facilities. Alumkadavu, in the town of Karunagapally hardly 20 kilometers north of Kollam, is where kettuvalloms are built. These huge, long and tapering barges were traditionally used to carry tones of goods, with a portion covered with bamboo and coir servicing as a rest room and kitchen for the crew.The houseboats, plied by local oarsmen, are simply furnished with a living room, bedroom with attached bath and a raised central deck for lazing on cushions while watching the world go by.
In north Kerala, the cool backwaters of Kozhikode lie waiting to be explored. This old commercial town attracts travelers for its history, wonderful backwaters and leisure sports. Cochin is actually a group of beautiful islands located on the crystal green Lake Vembanad. Cochin provides a perfect destination to start your Kerala backwaters tour and Houseboats in Kerala
The backwaters have a unique ecosystem . The freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In certain areas, such as the Vembanad Kayal, where a barrage has been built near Kumarakom, salt water from the sea is prevented from entering the deep inside, keeping the fresh water intact. Such fresh water is extensively used for irrigation purposes.
Many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.
On the seacoast the backwater destination of Kassarkod offers mesmerizing trips to the enchanting Chandragiri and the vivacious Valiyaparamba. Situated on the Chandragiri river the former is renowned for the chain of forts. The latter provides the best breathtaking views of the backwaters. The boat cruises to and from Kassarkod will never fail to enchant you. On your backwater tour you must check out the well-preserved Bekal Fort. The Pallikere and the Kappil beach at Kassarkod are excellent spots for relaxation and rejuvenation.
A string of picturesque and lovely islands, lagoons, small rivulets and swaying coconut palm trees make Kochi a perfect backwaters destination.Experience an unforgettable journey, along the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, India, with Kerala Backwater