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Kerala, as you know, is the land of backwaters.  Imagine cruising along the waters in floating hotel surrounded by your loved ones just admiring the view around.  Yes, such a holiday experience is possible if you book a ticket in one of the many Boathouses of Kerala.

Watch the calm waves, the setting Sun and the Tree filled coastline in the unique Boathouses of Kerala.  Traverse the water and see rural life of Kerala up close in the one of the numerous Boathouse that criss-cross these waters!  These Boathouses are very old. You can cruise in one of them after making bookings from the various options on the offer.

The HouseBoat – the structure

The Houseboats of today have been revamped from the Kettuvallams of old, which carried rice and spices to and from Kerala’s seaports. Kettu Vallam is made of Jack-wood hulls tied together by coir. These hulls are coated with the black resin made from boiling cashew kernels.

Maintained well these boats have been handed down many generations and could be in good condition for 100 years.  These boats would have gone into oblivion but for new-found use as Tourist Houseboats.


These boats now have all the modern facilities of a hotel like modern toilets, furnished bedrooms and living rooms, kitchen and a balcony. Roofing and beds are made of natural material while Solar panels are being used for lighting.  Some boats are operated by oarsmen while some run on 40HP Engines.  Some Boats have an upper deck that you can use to gaze around at a higher elevation.

Pointers  for booking a houseboat

kerala boathouse photoPhoto by Mano Ranjan

  • There are houseboats in three categories – Deluxe, budget and first class.
  • Types of tour packages available – Honeymoon package, Conference houseboat, Houseboat with destinations, family packages
  • You can select a boat on the basis of the number of bedrooms and other amenities as well.
  • In the case one boat is not enough for your members. two boats are joined as a train and float together till the end of the journey.
  • You can hire a houseboat for a day, overnight or for a whole week
  • Cost depends on the quality of the houseboat. The costs of houseboats triples during the peak Season.  The minimum cost of these houseboats without AC is Rs.5000/-  Food charges are mostly inclusive.
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Take a trip to admire 11 different and Backwater sites of Kerala through Houseboats of Kerala

1)Allepey Backwaters

kerala boathouse photoPhoto by Silver Blu3

Watch Venice of the East, Alleppey up close while traveling on Boathouses   The largest numbers of houseboats travel in this area and it is a favorite among foreign tourists as well.  Allepey is the site for the famous boat races of Kerala in the Harvest season.  It is also one of the rare places where harvesting is carried out below sea level.

2)Thiruvanathapuram  backwaters

Lush greenery, enchanting landscapes, lagoons and lakes form the highlight of your cruise on the Thiruvananthapuram Backwaters.  This city is in the southern part of Kerala and a bit off the main backwater routes in the State.

3)Kumarakom Backwaters

Kumarakom is a group of beautiful islands in Lake Vembanad.  You can see colorful birds and beds of flowers, green hills, coconut groves and mangrove forests in this area.

4)Kottayam Backwaters

Enjoy sights and sounds of myriad color birds, beautiful water lilies and Lotuses in Kottayam.  This area also features lagoons, rivulets, canals and seawater with a background of Highland Paddy fields.  Peep into the unique life of the hidden villagers who live along the backwaters of Kottayam.

5)Kozhikode Backwaters

This is the place where Vasco Da Gama discovered India! Experience tranquility your Boathouse cruises along the Canoli and Kallai Rivers

6)Kasargod Backwaters.

Backwaters here is formed from 4 tiny islands surrounded by rivers entering the sea. The land of seven languages and cultures will enchant you with its beautiful villages, coconut grooves and colorful migrant and resident birds.

7)Kuttanad Backwaters

Kuttanad is a valley that is located between hills and the Arabian sea.  Canals and the green paddy fields are a sight to behold from your Boathouse.  The time to visit here is from September to March.

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8)Cochin Backwaters

Do you know who is the Queen of Arabian sea?  Yes, you guessed it right – Cochin.  This is a man-made island.  You get to see swaying coconut grooves, nets being cast in the sea prepared to catch fish and greenery so pleasing to the eye that we want to leave the metropolitan cities and settle here!

9)Valiyapramba Backwaters

This site is slowly rising on the popularity charts of backwater travelers.  This quaint place is near Bekal in Kasargod district.

10)Kollam Backwaters

kerala backwaters photo

Photo by Navaneeth Kishor

Kollam famous for coir and cashew industries has the most amazing sights as you cruise on its backwaters.  Verdant greenery, Ahstamudi lake, temples and monuments are the highlights that most tourists come here for.

11)Cherai Backwaters

Experience Catching fresh fish, lobsters, crabs and more along with Kingfishers and the Fisherman at Cherai Backwaters, Kerala.    Sit in the upper deck and view the panorama of rural life unfold in front as your Houseboat move leisurely along.

Featured Photo by Silver Blu3

Boathouses Of Kerala – Cruise Along Leisurely On Kerala’s Backwaters

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