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Kerela Backwaters

Author: Erco Travels  |  Category: Travel & Leisure
Published: January 19, 2011

Drifting leisurely in an air-conditioned motor boat, the chirpy group of French tourists were almost awe stuck by the Kerala backwater tours as well as Kerala Honeymoon Packages. As their boat drifted through the lapping waves, their eyes swept through miles and miles of trailing fingers of green fringing the endlessly stretched bank. ‘This is how heaven would be!” sighed a tourist peeping out of the window.

Simultaneously the voice of their Erco group guide filled the air, wherein he went on explaining what made this serene and beckoning area the backwaters. He mentioned how backwaters are formed by a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. It is this complex system that is formed by more than 900 km of waterways.

Many of the water-bodies in this network are also brackish lagoons and lakes, which run almost parallel to the Arabian Sea coast in the southern India. The network also includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, which are in general fed by 38 rivers stretching virtually half the length of Kerala state.

Seeping in each and every word of the Erco guide, many in the group already knew how Kerala backwaters is a unique ecosystem formed by the mixing of river and sea water. It was this characteristic that led to such a mesmerizing diversity of green hue dotting the backwaters and Kerala Spa Resorts.

Listening intently to the guide, Hue Wan softly whispered to his friend his piece of information, which he had read before embarking on this journey. He mentioned how Kerala was placed among the `50 destinations of a lifetime’ by National Geographic Traveler in special collectors’ issue released just before the turn of the millennium.

Hue Wan and his friends realized that the boat they were on is referred as a houseboat or Kettuvallam in local language. There was a time when such boats were used as grain barges to transport the harvested rice along the backwaters. And, at times even royalty used the Kettuvallam’s as their living quarters. But now with the advent of tourism, the same boats have transformed into modern floating cottages replete with all the modern amenities.

Backwater tours:

There was sudden silence in the boat when everyone realised that they have reached their first backwater destination-Cochin. The historic port city also referred as the Queen of the Arabian Sea looked like a natural harbour. It is here that they realised how they were actually in the most popular Kerala backwater destinations. Some other destinations that they had the option of choosing from were:

• Alappuzha also known as the “Venice of the East,” the area is renowned for its annual Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race held every year around the festival of Onam.

• Kasargod is an incredibly beautiful and green corridor along the coast of Kerala.

• Kollam is situated just over 70 Kms from the capital of Kerala and is an ancient seaport on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake.

• Kottayam is well-known for its rubber plantations and its fascinating backwaters.

• Kozhikode is an important port in North Kerala and is well-known for a variety of checked cotton cloth.

• Kumarakom is situated in the beautiful Vembanad Lake and can be actually termed as a paradise on Earth.

• Kuttanas on the other hand with its images of paddy fields is popularly referred as the rice-bowl of Kerala.

• Thiruvallam gets it beauty from the conjunction of two rivers – the Killi and the Karamana and near the scenic Veli Lagoon.

• Thiruvananthapuram or Trivandrum is the capital of Kerala and another major starting point for many backwater tours.

While the Erco guide went through his list explaining in detail the pluses and minuses of each location, many in the group sighed as they truly wished they could see it all. Perhaps it was this collective sigh that also went a long way in explaining what this beckoning destination holds for tourists. So, what are you waiting for!

Author: Erco Travels

This author has published 7 articles so far.More info about the author is coming soon.

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