Experience the Keralan backwaters gliding through lush green channels, palm trees swaying overhead, and the gentle lapping of water against your houseboat.
New Delhi : Calling all weekend travel enthusiasts! Seeking an escape from the loud hustle and bustle of the city? Look no further than the serene backwaters of Kerala, India. Imagine yourself gliding through lush green channels, palm trees swaying overhead, and the gentle lapping of water against your houseboat. Join in on an adventure to explore the relaxing experience of Kerala.
Unveiling Kerala’s Beauty
Creating a mesmerising marvel of interconnected canals, lakes, and rivers, Kerala’s backwaters stretch for over 900 km. The beautiful scenery garners its due attention and is supported as a lifeline for local communities, a haven for diverse wildlife, and a living cultural treasure. Here, the diversity caters to all! Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography buff, or simply someone seeking peace, Kerala’s backwaters have something for everyone.
Riding the Kerala Waves
While houseboat cruising is the star attraction of Kerala, there is more to explore in the backwaters, which promise to offer a variety of experiences:
- Kayaking or canoeing: Paddle through narrow canals, discover hidden coves, and get closer to the serene aquatic life.
- Village walks: Immerse yourself in the warm welcome of local communities, experience their traditional bird watching or paddy farming, and savour authentic Keralan cuisine.
- Birdwatching: Spot vibrant kingfishers, majestic herons, and playful otters flitting across the water.
- Ayurvedic spas: Revitalize your body and mind with rejuvenating ayurvedic treatments, drawing on the wisdom of ancient healing practices.
Kerala is much more than just backwaters. It is steeped in cultural and spiritual significance. You must witness the colourful boats shaped like snakes racing during Onam, or the beautiful harvest festival, or participate in local temple rituals held along the water’s edge. The warm hospitality of the Keralan people, their vibrant attires such as sarees, and their unique houseboat construction techniques add to the overall charm of the region.
Kerala’s Legend of Lord Parasurama
Legend has it that Lord Parasurama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, reclaimed land from the sea by throwing his axe. The resulting backwaters are believed to be remnants of that divine act, adding a touch of mysticism to the already-enchanting landscape.
How to Reach Kerala?
Kerala is easily accessible by air, with international airports in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. From there, a network of trains, buses, and taxis connects you to various backwater hubs. Popular starting points include:
- Alappuzha: Known as the “Venice of the East,” Alappuzha offers a vibrant backdrop of bustling markets, picturesque canals, and traditional houseboats.
- Kumarakom: Nestled amidst lush greenery and pristine backwaters, Kumarakom is a haven for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
- Kochi: This charming port city blends colonial heritage with bustling markets and backwater access, offering a diverse experience.
Your Keralan Itinerary
Here’s a 3-day itinerary according to my experience, which you can adjust according to your preferences for the best experience of Kerala’s backwaters:
- Arrive in Alappuzha and set sail on a traditional houseboat. Enjoy the panoramic views, indulge in delicious Keralan cuisine, and witness the sunset over the water.
- In the evening, visit the Krishnapuram Palace, a stunning example of Keralan architecture, and experience a Kathakali dance performance.
- Embark on a morning canoeing adventure through the narrow canals, discovering hidden coves and observing local life.
- Visit Kuttanad, the “rice bowl of Kerala,” and witness the emerald paddy fields stretching as far as the eye can see.
- In the evening, enjoy a relaxing Ayurveda massage at a riverside spa, letting the ancient healing practices rejuvenate your body and mind.
- Head to Kumarakom for a birdwatching session at the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, spotting colorful kingfishers and majestic herons.
- Visit the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, a hidden gem where cascading water creates a refreshing pool amidst the jungle.
- Return to your starting point, savouring the memories and newfound peace you’ve discovered in the embrace of Kerala’s backwaters.
Few Insider Tips For You :
- Book your houseboat in advance, especially during peak season (December to February).
- Carry light cotton clothing and a hat for the tropical climate.
- Pack binoculars and a camera to capture the abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
- Opt for a sunrise ride on your houseboat to witness the magic of the backwaters come alive.
- Respect the local culture and dress modestly, especially when visiting villages or temples.
As the trip to Kerala comes to an end, the gentle waves of its backwaters remain in your heart, reminding you of the peace and serenity the place has to offer. I hope this journey has been as rewarding as possible, and you take back with you renewed energy, planning secretly to return to this paradise someday soon!
Published Date:January 4, 2024 11:07 PM IST
Updated Date:January 4, 2024 11:07 PM IST