is a labyrinth of lazily meandering backwaters.
Sprinkled with traditional houseboats, country crafts,
rural lifestyles and Tranquility. It's an intricate
network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals,
estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that
drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this
labyrinthine water world is navigable. The largest
backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which
flows through three districts and opens out into the
sea at the Kochi port.
are the accumulation of Sea Water at the sea beach
during the to-fro motion of sea-waves in the form of
lagoons, estuaries etc. Today, Kerala Backwaters
has become the most exciting tourist spot in India.
The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms),
which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the
south, is the second largest and is considered the
gateway to the backwaters.
lagoons, lakes, canals and rivers are lined up with
dense tropical vegetation on either side. It is a
breathtaking bout to experience a solitary and calm
glide through this network of waterways. The
backwaters form a specially attractive and
economically valuable feature of Kerala. They include
lakes and ocean inlets which stretch irregularly along
the coast. The biggest backwater is the Vembabad lake,
some 200 sq kilometers in area, which opens out into
the Arabian Sea at Cochin port. The Periyar, Pamba,
Manimala, Achenkovil, Meenachil and Moovattupuzha
rivers drain into this lake. Veli, Kadhinamkulam,
Anjengo (Anju Thengu), Edava, Nadayara, Paravoor,
Ashtamudi (in Kollam Dist.) Kayamkulam, Kodungallur
(in Trissur Dist) and Chetuva are some of the other
places where you may go for backwater cruising. The
backwaters of Kerala stretch over 1900 Kilometers,
providing drinking water and irrigation facilities.
Thiruvallam (6 kilometers from
This serene backwater stretch, en-route to Kovalam, is
famous for its canoe rides. It is the meeting point of
two rivers-Killi and Karamana. A temple dedicated to
Parashurama, the legendary founder of Kerala, is
located in Thiruvallam.
Veli Tourist Village (8 kilometers
The Veli Tourist Village is bordered by the Veli
lagoon and the Arabian sea. The lagoon here is
separated from the sea by a narrow sand bar.
Facilities at the village include water sports in the
lagoon and an 18-acre waterfront park with a floating
bridge that connects the village to the beach
(23 kilometers from Kollam)
Alumkadavu is halfway on the route to Alappuzha from
Kollam. This quiet little backwater village in
Karunagapally town is famed for its boat building
yard. It is here that the gigantic kettuvalloms
(cargo boats of rural Kerala) were built. Today the
Kettuvalloms which were long replaced by modern
means of transport, have been converted into
(Alappuzha) District Kuttanad
called the rice bowl of Kerala, because of her
wealth of paddy crops is at the very heart of the
backwaters. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with
its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of
bananas. Yams and cassava which accompany the rice
bowl as "side dishes". This is one of the
places in the world where farming is done below sea
level. Inland waterways which flow above land level
is an amazing feature of this unique land.
Pathiramanal (14 kilometers from
This little island on the backwaters is a favourite
haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from
different parts of the world. This island is
accessible only by boat.
by the lofty Western Ghats on the east, the Vembanad
Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west,
Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics.
Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields,
highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a
totally literate people have given this district the
title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.
The enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom
is a small village that is a cluster of little
islands on the Vembanad Lake in Kerela. Kumarakom
strengthens Keralaís reputation for being
Godís own country with its unbelievably
beautiful mangrove forests, coconut groves and
emerald green paddy fields interspersed with
enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white
lilies. It is part of the Kuttanad region, and
the bird sanctuary here spread across 14 acres of
any ornithologist's paradise.
This enchanting backwater destination offers
visitors many leisure options. From wandering into
the depths of its wildlife sanctuary to cruising
down the back waters and fishing, Kumarakom is
perfect for a lazy and laid back holiday. The best
way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary
is a boat trip round the islands, as hundreds of
swaying verdant coconut palms lining the rivers
lean to brush the tops of your heads. Kumarakom is
an example of nature at her bountiful best in the
fragrant flowers, the riot of multi coloured
birds, the surrounding greenery and the clear
More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea,
Kochi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse
of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque
islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and
The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to
form one of the finest natural harbours in the
world. It is this natural advantage that has made
Kochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and
influences of the explorers and traders who
visited this wealthy land.
The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the
British have all left their mark here. The Jewish
synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing
nets, and other remnants of European and Asian
architecture merge smoothly into the traditional
fabric of the seaport city.
Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on
the local ferries. A conducted cruise through the
winding waterways will take you to several quaint
Once the capital of the powerful Zamorins, a
prominent trade and commerce centre and the land
of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was the most
important region of Malabar in days past.
Today, ancient monuments, lush green countryside,
serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife
sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a
warm, friendly ambience make this district a much
sought after destination.
Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode
hold great promises of enchanting holiday options.
Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are
favourite places for boating.
Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a
charming site. Korapuzha, the venue of the
Korapuzha Jalotsavam (water fiesta) is
becoming a popular water sport destination.
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragode is
situated on the sea coast with the Western Ghats on
its east and northern borders. Backwater trips on
the Chandragiri River and at Valiyaparamba are
Chandragiri : (4 km from Kasaragode
Situated on the Chandragiri River, southeast of
Kasaragode town, this town is known for the large
17th century Chandragiri Fort, one of a chain of
It offers a breathtaking view of the river and the
Arabian Sea. It is a vantage point to watch the
Chandragiri cruises :
Boat trips to nearby islands and palm groves are
Boarding point : Chandragiri bridge.
Valiyaparamba : (30 km from Bekal
This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in
Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous
little islands, Valiyaparamba is fastly turning into a
much favoured backwater resort.