The Great Backwaters of Kerala is a phenomenon that has held travellers in awe since time eternal. But no amount of reading, Googling or watching videos will ever prepare one for the experience of floating along the green waters in a boat.
That first wobble of the boat as you step on board, the gentle lullaby of the lapping waters, the way the rich greenery of Mother Nature envelops you, as you settle down on the boat… A cruise on the backwaters of Kerala is one of those rare experiences that move you in ways more than one.
A journey through the backwaters of Kuttanad offers you all of this and much more.
The journey from Kottayam to Alappuzha via the Kuttanad backwaters sets off from Kodimatha boat jetty in Kottayam district.
The first stop along this cruise is at Pallom where the Munroe Light House is located. Erected by Col. Munroe in 1813, the light house is considered to be an engineering and architectural marvel.
A region covering Kottayam and Alappuzha districts, Kuttanad is renowned as the rice bowl of Kerala. As one cruises along, one will bear witness to not just fields of white and red water lilies but also the rare places in India wherein farming is done up to 10ft below sea level, the lowest altitude in the country. Comparable only to the dikes of Holland, the Q, S, T and R Blocks here are wonders of agricultural engineering.
The farmlands are all land reclaimed from the backwaters. The land is protected by dikes and used for paddy cultivation below sea level. This is a tradition that commenced more than 100 years ago. Extending to over 850 hectares, the R Block is by far the largest reclaimed area. The scenic beauty of this area is one that enchants as well as soothes one’s heart.
The Vembanad will then, slowly but gracefully lead one to the shores of Alappuzha, the Venice of the East. Stop by the wayside restaurants on the shores for fresh fish delicacies. To sit in a wayside hotel munching on spicy freshly fried tiger prawns as life flows by on the waters of the Vembanad is one experience that will give you memories to reminiscence on for a lifetime.