Kerala is a popular tourist destination known for its backwater tourism, ayurvedic spa, and its natural beauty. The lush green coconut plantations, the complex water, and soil structure are the things that attract tourists from different parts of the world. The backwaters are the backbone and the most unique attractions in Kerala. And now with the increasing demand for backwater tourism, the government has put in a number of Kerala backwater packages for the tourist to explore the best of the attraction. Before setting out on a backwater tour it is important to plan the budget. Check out lifemadeasy and get an idea for the cost planning.
Kerala backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, and inlets. Alleppey backwaters are one of the best backwaters in Kerala. Alappuzha was described by Lord Curzon as Venice of east and therefore it is known as the Venetian capital of Kerala. A trip to Kerala and particularly to Alleppey backwaters can never be complete without houseboat experience. The houseboats in Alappuzha are reworked versions of the kettuvalams that were used in the old times. It is actually a boat that is designed and modified to be used primarily as a home. There are different categories of houseboat based on the budget which include deluxe houseboats, luxury houseboats, premium houseboats, special cruise, etc. The houseboats will contain all the comforts of a good hotel room including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, kitchen and balcony’s where you can enjoy the view of life in the backwaters.
The day cruise, which is a part of every Kerala houseboat package is the best way to experience the backwater beauty if you do not prefer to sleep on a houseboat. Here, you enjoy the paddy fields, coconut trees, the cool breeze, etc at its best. When the sun is up the paddy fields seems like a golden carpet which adds to its beauty. The views match the Kerala you have in mind. The boat will pass through the narrow canals where we see the glory of village life. People mainly use canoes to move around and that too even children. There is also a chance to witness farming and fishing. Also, look out for ducks swimming and waddling on the river banks. It is best to take a good camera with you as there are many photo opportunities during the travel. During the journey, you also come across other houseboats and some happy and excited tourists waving their hands on us. You can also stop at toddy shops if needed and can experience tasting some local food and also some good snacks like tapioca, fish curry, etc. During the journey, a delicious lunch will be provided with some mouth-watering dishes. As for the food, it will be traditional Kerala style food. The food will be of a good standard in all the houseboats. There will be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods according to your choice. The food mostly includes rice, sambar, mixed vegetable, fish fry, chicken, etc. They will also provide you with fresh coconut juices. The day cruise will end around 5 pm. If choosing a night cruise then they provide you with dinner. It is the most popular option as you can enjoy the surroundings and relax a little. During the night there will be no traveling, the boat will be docked. But it gives you the experience of sleeping on the water and also witnessing a beautiful sunrise.
Apart from the houseboat traveling experience, Alappuzha also has some amazing places to visit. Alappuzha beach in Alappuzha town is a major tourist spot. During the New Year, an event called Alappuzha beach festival is organized every year. Thousands of people gather from different places in the event. Vijaya Park has amusement amenities which act as a plus point for the tourists visiting the beach. Another main attraction of the place is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race which is organized every year on the Second Saturday of August, on the tranquil waters of Punnamda Lake. The race attracts various sports lovers. The excitement of the participants and cheerleaders is worth watching.
It is attended by almost two lakh people who include both locals as well as foreigners. Also, the ayurvedic spa and massages in Alappuzha need no introduction, it gives you ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation. There are many modern spa’s where you get the massage. You must definitely include it in your list if you need to get rid of anxiety, stress and body pain. It is also a cure for chronic disorders. Alleppey has many religious spots some of which are dated back to the colonial times. Temples such as Ambalapuzha Sri Krishna temple, Chettikulangara Sree Bhagavathi temple are all famous and are visited by thousands of pilgrims. One of the churches built by St Thomas Kokkamangalam Church is also there in Alappuzha. Although Alappuzha might not be famous for shopping, it offers a decent shopping experience for the tourists. Alappuzha is known for spices, carpets, handicrafts. You can also take a visit to Kuttanad which contains dense paddy fields, coconut trees, duck farming, and spice cultivation. It is called the rice bowl of India. You can experience farming below sea level there in Kuttanad.
As Kerala is the land of spices the influence can be seen in the cuisine of the town. Kerala sadhya and Kerala breakfast are the most recommended dishes that you should try out when in Alappuzha. The fish curry, especially in Alleppey, cannot be matched with any other variation of fish curry so it is a must to try the fish curry available there. The toddy shop cuisine is an absolute delight to any non-veg lover. Also, the snacks like the tasty crispy banana chips are something that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Even though Alleppey is an all weather-destination, winters are the best time to visit that is from November to February as the weather is mild and pleasant. This will be a perfect time to go on a houseboat ride and explore the backwaters of Alleppey.