Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the state, with a large network of inland canals earning it the sobriquet “Venice of the east”. Alleppey is graceful and greenery-fringed, disappearing into a watery world of villages, punted canoes, toddy shops and, of course, houseboats. Float along and gaze over paddy fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks. This is one of Kerala’s most enthralling beautiful and relaxing experiences.
A glide in a “Kettuvallam” (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. Flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this unique land.
Kettuvalloms or Houseboats are country boats is a fabulous way to explore the fascinating beauty of the backwaters.A glide in a houseboat through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget. Modified to meet a novel concept of holidaying, the kettuvalloms (houseboats) are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, one or two bath attached bedrooms and a kitchenette, and are extremely eco friendly, merging smoothly into the panorama. Every houseboat is manned by a crew of 3 men, usually a cook, guide and oarsman.
House boating can be the most relaxing experience for any age, size or type of people. Feel free to use your imagination to expand your experience on a lazy houseboat trip in any way you can think of. The idea is to have fun, and there are lots of ways to do it. To go house boating houseboats generally have one, two and three bedrooms, which can sleep 1-6 people. Putting a couple per bedroom together is the usual way. Here are several suggestions for which you might include on your trip. (Don’t feel limited to these, however)
A. Family & Extended Family : Some people have a large enough family that they can fill a boat with family members, which can be a lot of fun and can create some really meaningful experiences among siblings and/or cousins. For this type of large number of passengers, houseboats with five or above rooms are desirable.
B. A Group of Friends : Inviting a group of all single adults (which can be all male or all female), or adult couples, can be loads of fun. Enjoying the water by day in the cool tropical climate without the noises of the modern life, this is going to be the ultimate vacation. For this cruise, they have a mammoth vessel, which can accommodate 40 people for the cruise.
C. A Group of Co-workers : Inviting your friends from work can build bonds beyond the workplace and create memories you love to reminisce about when you return to the drudgery of your job! Think of inviting a group of families, or make it an all male or all female outing.
D. Two or Three Unrelated Families : Often great friends make a tradition out of an annual house boating trip together. Their children have lasting memories, and the adults have fun, too. There are no limits, to which you might invite, and many times your friends might bring their friends and new friendships are formed!
We were 8 people so we took the 3 bedroom and our package was Deluxe Class traveler with 3 meals which was approximately 16000 in Indian Rupee.We were staying at Ernakulam so it took 2 hrs to reach our destination,on our way we bought local duck eggs to enjoy in the boat.
The boat had 3 crew members for our help and to cook the meal.We were welcome with tetra pack juices and a display of fruits on the tables.We were showed our rooms,we adjusted ourselves with 3 people in each in 2 bedrooms and me and my hubby as a couple we stayed in 1.The rooms were all wooden work with beautiful interiors and attached bathrooms to it
The boat sailed through the backwaters of Alleppey,got some breathtaking shots and what a fascinating beauty of Nature,it seems mother nature had thought of residing here itself.After a drive of almost 1 hour the boat cam to a halt at Kuppapuram village,where we bought fish from the local seller,had thirst quenching coconut water and some really magnificent shots.
As its always good to have company while travelling i got we got some of our best companions on board,the weather was very hot and humid so we decided to stay under the roof as the AC operates only after 8 pm at night.We played card, got some best shots, saw some of the Malayali movies on board, posed our heart and soul out, my hubby in fact drove the boat for a while,whoa a sailor i got to hitched up!!.
Just sharp at 2:15 the boat halted near a paddy field for lunch break, a breathtaking view of green fields, so soothing to the eyes indeed. The lunch what a feast it was with sambar, arial veggie, mix veggie, ladyfinger fry, rice, dal, fresh meen (fish) fry, a delectable spread on our tables.The food cooked with care and so much with local spices that in that hot weather it added cherry on top of the cake.Enjoyed till the last bite.
They know to value the time so started right away at 3 and sailed us through some of the mesmerizing places of backwaters.I slept for a while and when i woke up saw a plate of fresh banana fry, as a late comer got to try only 1 of those,so delicious and so fresh.At around 5:3o the boat was halt at another village Champakulam where our crews told us we can buy some of the artifacts and souvenirs for home.They gave us 45 mins to stroll the village, very clean and well maintained. A modern village i would rather say with post office, church, schools, vegetable and fish market. Students and teachers crossing with a small boat for their respective homes was indeed my most treasured sight.The souvenirs were too costly, so got my souvenirs from Fort Kochi (https://theshazworld.com/2016/01/27/kerela-the-gods-own-country/) so just passed by the shops and bought some really fresh fish from the market,took snaps of the beautiful church.
The sun was about to set so the boat was now speeding up to get the best place to halt for the night.A small beautiful village with some of the best villagers i have met while strolling and taking some of the best shots of the sunset.Our boat was halt and before it got dark we went for some passing by the village, due to language gap couldn’t buy the delicious coconuts, but got some real pics of the beautiful mother nature in the backwaters.
As it got dark we all started to take out our cards again for one more game,the fish we bought from the 2 villages was fried and given to us by the crew.The dinner was served sharp at 9 and again a feast for us, the sambar, veggie fries, chicken curry, fish fry, dal, rasam, rice and kerela porotha on special request.It was heaven to me and my first night out boat journey so i was excited and thrilled.The night was so beautiful in the backwaters and we all played and talk along till late night, but as we got our AC’s set in our rooms everyone jumped over our bedroom for another game.
So it was 7 in the morning when the boat started it back journey to the station, meanwhile we had been served delectable breakfast, bread, butter, jam, dosas, idly, sambar, omelettes and a refreshing tea of your choice.We could see the traffic in the waters as all the other boats were sailing along us to go back and get a place to halt, clean, and welcome their other passengers on board. the back journey was completed in 2 hours and we got some of the best pics.
We got some of the best crews on board, their hospitality was truly unquestionable,the house boat had all the below features :
Each houseboat is of excellent construction and luxurious furnishing with exquisite flooring, hull and valavara (canopy). They are in top cruise worthy condition.
Each houseboat is provided with a sun deck, spacious living / dining area.
Each houseboat with attached toilets, separate toilets for crew.
Spacious passage and a neat, classy kitchen
Kitchen is properly protected from hazards by fireproofing and fire extinguishers.
Clean environment with a hygienic storage hold, free from insects and safe fuel
Clean good quality linen, blankets, towels etc.
Log books and tourist records are updated regularly and the boat has a valid license.
The services of professional cooks are available on the boat. Experienced, license holding staff
Overall it was an awesome experience across the serene waterways of Alleppey, a must visit once in a lifetime.Book your boats and set your paddle on for a breathtaking journey we have never imagined of!!
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