I was prepared for the worst when we decided to spend some time on a house boat (6 hours) in the backwaters of Kerala. People gave mixed opinion about it and in the end I was totally confused if its good or not but decided to go ahead anyways.
My friend’s father took the trouble of finding a decent contact and booked the trip for us when we were in Chengannur. We landed up at the house boat at Alleppey, and saw nice seating arrangements at the sides of the boat, and comfort laid-back chairs in the center, with a mini dining table behind, a bedroom with AC, a toilet, and a kitchen where they prepare food for us. The boat could comfortably accommodate 15 people, and we were expecting that the 6 hour trip would be shared with others, but soon as the boat started moving we were delighted to know that the trip was exclusively for us. As we made our way though we were served fresh pineapple juice, which was much appreciated given the heat.
It became apparent soon that this would be a trip we won’t forget. The natural environment of the backwaters, the greenery, the ripples in the water, the birds, all added to the calm serene atmosphere we were looking forward to. We had a broad smile on our faces as we realized the next 6 hours are going to be bliss. We were in awe at the huge number of houseboats parked at different points, which indicate how successful this business is.
Small shops which sell toddy (alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees) were spotted at the banks, and it was not long before we bought a bottle to try. I won’t say I liked it, but it was an experience. It tastes better when chilled for sure.
We also came across Vembanad lake which is the longest lake in India and one of the largest too. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is also held on this lake.
Apart from scenic beauty, the food served to us was fabulous. The vegetarian lunch was “very tasty” (a remark my friends seem to mock me for, as I kept using it). They stopped the boat at a nice quiet secluded location for this which made the entire experience more delightful.
When we returned back, I was disappointed to be stepping out of the house boat and if time would have permitted would have loved to take another round.
The backwater trip is worth the money you spend (we paid Rs 6000, approx. $110 / £75 / 85€, for the 4 of us for a 6 hour journey) and I recommend everyone to try it when you get a chance on your next visit to Kerala.
Thanks Tony, Blessy and Becky for organizing this trip and for the amazing company.
These snaps were taken from a moving boat. Even though it was really bright, I decided to use ISO-200 to ensure my shutter speed was fast (approx. 1/500 sec).
Kerala tourism were kind enough to write to me and sent these amazing panoramic picture of the backwaters, which I had to include in this blog. Thanks so much for sharing this.