The charm of Kerala lies in its unique attraction, something which is not seen or experienced anywhere else in the world. And there is not just one or two of these. You go on counting as Kerala springs surprises one after another from its treasure chest. You will get tired of witnessing Kerala's marvels, still Kerala will have more to show you.
One such unique attraction, or rather an exhilarating
experience comes in the form of a trip to Kerala Backwaters. For
those who have come across the term backwaters for the first time,
here's a bit of explanation as to what it actually is. Backwaters are
formed when the sea water collects at the beach by the to and fro
motion of waves. In Kerala, they constitute the canals, lakes, lagoons
and estuaries. The entire network includes five large lakes connected
by 1500 km of canals. Most of them are natural, however, there are man
made canals as well. These are supplied by 38 rivers that flow through
the entire state.
A touch of legendary folklore is also interesting here according to which the land of Kerala sprung up as a result of the throwing of axe in the sea by the sage warrior, Parshurama. The distance covered by the axe dried up to give way to land which today is known as Kerala. So the link between Kerala's land and water is invariably strong and the water still takes care of and nourishes it unfailingly.
Significance of Kerala Backwaters - Past, Present and Future
In earlier times, when the technology was not much advanced and when roadways were not properly developed, Kerala's backwaters served as its main highway. Passengers and goods were transported from one place to another in equal measures by means of these backwaters. However, as of today, these backwaters are mainly used by the tourism industry to introduce tourists to the hidden troves of the state. The Kerala Backwaters, inextricably linked to its past history and culture, is an important part of the present and promises to remain so in future as well.
Kerala Backwater Tourism
A number of times, while you are on a trip discovering
a new place, a sense of dissatisfaction dawns upon and makes you feel
as if the happiness felt at knowing the place was not worth the effort
put in to reach there. Not so with Kerala Backwaters though. Kerala
Backwater tourism experience will give you much more than just simple
happiness. It will give you a feeling of elation - a feeling that has
eluded you for a long time now. It is pristine, probably even child
like where you feel like clapping with delight.
Plenty of clean water, refreshing greenery, amazing scenery around and a silence broken only by chirping of birds and waters moving below the boat - this is what you will definitely get on your Backwater trip to Kerala. Remote places that are otherwise disconnected from main areas seem to sail past like a dream. Fishing villages, tribal hamlets, people carrying on with their day to day work - scenes like this will be abundant.
The Backwaters of Kerala are also a venue for the annual boat races that take place in the different parts of the state. If you happen to visit during this season (which is around July to September), you can also witness the enthusiasm of the Backwaters as huge boats rush past each other to win the competition amidst loud cheers from the spectators.
The perfect way to explore the beauty and serenity of Kerala Backwater is to hire a boat or a canoe. For a little longer trip to Kerala backwaters, houseboats, which are converted kettuvallom earlier used to carry cargo and passengers, can be hired .
Trip to Kerala Backwater Destinations
Start off from Alappuzha, a major Kerala Backwater tourism Destination and the Venice of East. An intricate network of canals in Alappuzha, especially the ones that are a part of the Vembanad Lake are just the place if you wish to see some really awe inspiring beauty. Scenes enroute are a varied lot - paddy fields, coconut lagoons, secluded islands, men on country boats busy fishing and shepherding their ducks to new pastures and school children being taken across the canal. Kuttunad, the rice bowl of Kerala, is at the centre of attraction here. This is perhaps the only place where farming is done on land below sea level. You can also step out of the boat and visit the village craftsmen while they are working to make coir. Taste the traditional Keralese food in one of these places, particularly the sea food. Boats are available from the jetty itself which is close to the KSRTC Bus Stand.
Yet another Kerala Backwater destination on the banks of Vembanad Lake, the beauty of Kumarakom has inspired the likes of former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee to state, 'Natures silent beauty provides a perfect setting here for contemplation'. Kumarakom Backwater, supposedly discovered just a decade ago, provides some splendid views of coconut groves, mangroves and paddy fields. The highpoint of your journey will be reaching the Pathiramanal Island which is around an hour's ride from the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.
Fondly referred to as Swapnadesham by many of her faithful admirer, Kollam was once centre of cashew trade in Kerala. Today, the same industry has lost much of its zeal, nonetheless, the beauty and serenity of this little jewel of Kerala has not faded out even a wee bit. The Backwaters in the Ashtamudi Lake and its canals is still as mesmerizing as it was years back. Hire a boat and set out to explore the islands and villages that lie on way the route you have chosen to traverse.
Located in the northern part of Kerala, Kozhikode has virtually unexplored backwater regions. As such, you can expect plenty of new discovery at each step on a trip to the backwaters of Kerala in Kozhikode. Elathur, the Canolly Canal and the Kallai river are favourite places for boating. Also popular are the Kadulundi Bird Sanctuary and Korapuza, the venue for Korapuzha Jalotsavam.
The Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi has one of the best natural harbours in the world. All the islands that constitute a part of Kochi are interconnected by a network of backwaters canals and lakes. Cruising through them and viewing the Chinese fishing net, particularly during sunset, will elate you beyond expression.
Kerala Backwater Tour Packages
|Classic Kerala Tours|
Magic of Kerala Backwaters & South India Temple
One Month Exotic India Tour Package
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