Houseboat in Alleppy backwatersOne day trip in the Backwaters of KeralaTotal No of days - 1Dated - June 2017
Behind the wheel & ContributorVinod Kumar...know more about me
The month of June, monsoons and off season time for the houseboats in the backwaters of Kerala. We plan a one day ride from Kumarakam jetty to Alleppy, starting in the morning around 9:30 to 4:30-5pm. Tea snacks and lunch was included in the package, and anything extra could be picked from the stalls enroute to have them cooked fresh, like fish or crab, prawns etc. But being monsoon time most of the stalls were closed except for a small shop selling chips and biscuits. Nothing much to mention about the journey so words less...and photos more........
Car parking at Kumarakom
Another boat parked near the parking
Our boat for the day
Don't forget to carry some snacks and drinks with you. Carry DVDs of movies or songs as their collections are too old. Carry water, games, cards etc. A good camera can do some justice to the beauty of the journey. The scenic beauty is too beautiful and just soak in the beauty and pls don't forget to add it to your travel bucket list if not done. What are these houseboats all about?
Step in....time to move
The original kettuvallams(In the Malayalam language "kettu" means "to tie" and "vallam" means boat - the two together make the local name "kettuvallam) were used to carry tons of rice and spices once. The making process of these boats was also unique. The wood planks were held together with choir knots, and nails were not used while building the boat. The wood was used from the jackfruit, or anjili tree and coated with resin. A standard house boat, which could be about 100 feet long, can hold up to 30 tons. It may be difficult to find an original one today though. Today kettuvallam are mainly used for promoting Kerala tourism. More than 900 kettuvallams ply the backwaters and there are various routes which are popular among the tourists.
The journey starts
Our houseboat trip started around 9:30 from Kumarakom boat jetty. We were around 16 members, a small family get together. The crew of a kettuvallam comprises two drivers and a cook. Jose was at our service providing us with all our needs. Fresh food was cooked and served in the boat itself along with morning tea and evening tea and snacks.
A ferry boat crosses us
Our cruise took us to the beautiful scenic backwaters to Alleppy. In Kumarakom we didn't see that many houseboats, but as we reached Alleppy there were boats of varying sizes, with 2 - 3 bedrooms, double deckers, and huge ones which have conference rooms all bubbling with tourists who were excitedly waving as the boats crossed.
Dad gives rest to the driver
TV and dvd players are there, and some have even satellite dishes which may work when the boat is stationary at night. They may not have a good collection of songs or dvds so don't forget to carry some as said earlier.
As we enjoy the crew is busy with lunch, which is totally Kerala style, with fish fry and chicken curry, aviyal, moru curry, sambar, pappad.
Chicken curry is missing
After lunch there were two bedrooms to relax, and rest. Kids were busy with antakshari and board games. The small villages and shops on either side remain closed as its raining now, and the whole place turns mesmerizing. Around 4:30PM or so tea/coffee is served with snacks [what else but banana fry aka Pazhampori}.
Pazhampori...how to miss
By 5 we are back to base, and that brings the end to a beautiful journey.