BACKWATERS KERALAM AND HOUSE BOATS
Keralam (Land of Coconut in Malayalam, kera=coconut) is a small state in the southwestern tip of India. It is a stretch of land lined on the west by the Arabian Sea and on the east by the Western Ghats. While the landscape of Keralam is dominated by lush paddy fields and thick growth of coconut palms and all the other tropical trees such as mango and jackfruit trees, the southern parts of Keralam are blessed with also numerous lakes and ‘backwaters”. The latter crisscross the land, with natural canals and waterways that are used as channels of transportation. This has been exploited in recent years as an attraction for visitors and is fast becoming a compelling reason for visitors to India to take a detour to this “God’s own country”.
There are backwater trips in Kochi, Allappuzha, Kollam, Kottayam, and Kumarokam, just to mention a few. A trip along any of the backwaters and lakes in these areas will take the visitor away from the bustle of city life to peaceful, natural life at an unhurried pace and take in the boundless beauty these areas offer. The indigenous people who live along the coasts of the backwaters can be observed from the comfort of your boat. One can rent motorized boats or “boathouses”, which are boats equipped with all the amenities of houses and stay on them for a night or many days and nights. Nowadays the boats are even air conditioned, has a chef on board and a captain. While relaxing in luxury, the passenger floats around the lakes and waterways. Along the shore are vendors selling fish and other food items from which the traveler selects for the chef to cook. One can then enjoy a typical Keralam style meal. On the deck are chairs and recliners; there are bedrooms with all the modern amenities including running water and bathroom facilities. Visitors from all over the world are discovering the enchanting experience these waterways offer and take back with them lasting memories to their homelands.