India is home to scenic backwaters where one can indulge in as little or as much as he wants to. Cruise on the placid waters, treat your eyes to the lush greenery, spot colorful birds, soak-in the serenity sprinkled all around and so on. Backwaters here can essentially be found in Kerala, one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Backwaters of Kerala probably are the most important part of the state’s tourism. Palm- fringed and verdant Kerala backwaters are quite unique and are popular all around the globe. These water bodies have become the venue of several boat races, held every year.
The emerald- colored gleaming waters look even more mesmerizing when the shadows of tall palm trees show in it, creating a magical charm on its visitors. Tourists in huge number visit these backwaters in search of pure nature and tranquility. A visit to backwaters of India is surely a rejuvenating experience. One can opt for Backwater cruise in Kerala during anytime of the year but it is advisable to ignore the idea during monsoon months, July and August as the state receives heavy rainfall during this time.
Kerala backwaters is a complex arrangement of 1500 km long canals (natural as well as manmade), 5 huge lakes, 44 rivers and lagoons, covering the whole state, from end to the other. Traditionally the main mode of transportation of goods, today they are a major tourist attraction of Kerala. These backwaters also boast of being rich in marine life and being one of the largest sources of fresh water.
Backwater regions of Kerala
Kerala has 3 backwater regions:
- Placed in Kollam district, Ashtamudi Lake is the most enchanting backwaters and is one of India’s largest freshwater lakes. It is also rich in biodiversity including endangered marine species. The natural beauty sprinkled between the towns of Kollam is the highlight captured through houseboat cruises. Munroe Island is a must-visit.
- Covering Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts, Vembanad Lake is a gem of Kerala tourism. A visit to the cost of Cochin, lined with several islands, is the beauty of the Arabian Sea here. Do not miss exploring Wellingdon Island for its attractions. Kumarakom is another village not to be missed; it is quite popular for its bird sanctuary that houses several colorful resident and migratory birds.
- Kannur-Valiyaparambu Backwaters in Kannur and Kasargod districts form the third region of Kerala backwater, which is relatively lesser-known. The main highlight here is the lush scenic beauty and several small islands.
Popular Kerala Backwater Destinations
Attractions of Kerala Backwaters
The most popular attraction and the best way to explore the backwaters of India is through Houseboat cruise. Houseboat tourism is the most famous thing to do here, where one can hire Kettuvallams (traditional name of a houseboat), available in different sizes. They can be rented for a day or for several days. A cook and a navigator accompany you in the well-equipped houseboat. Bird watching, sightseeing and visit to coir- industry and rice filed etc are a part of it.