10 Best Backwaters in Kerala – A Complete Guide

Posted On July 24, 2019 by ATDC

Best Backwaters in Kerala

The backwaters of Kerala form an enthralling network of lagoons, beaches, canals, lakes, and rivers. This place is blessed with rich biodiversity and a perfect holiday destination that has attracted tourists from across the world. Relaxing on a luxurious houseboat as it sluggishly cruises down the meandering waters, while you get to experience the rural lifestyle as you pass by, watching the animals and listening to the chirping of birds, and the wind swaying the palm of tall coconut trees – gifts you blissful holiday! there are several destinations that you can’t miss if you are planning to visit Kerala for your vacation, here are the top 10 backwater destinations in Kerala that are truly incredible.

1. Alleppey


You would probably agree if I were to say that Alleppey is one of the best backwaters in Kerala. This town is also renowned as the ‘Venice of the East’. Boathouse Alleppey is the main attraction of this place. The Kerala Houseboats which was referred to as Kettuvallams was mainly used by people of Alappuzha for transportation purposes. These ancient time Kettuvallams are now evolved with best of the facilities like air-conditioning and fully equipped and fully-furnished rooms and they now serve mainly for taking the tourists for luxurious trips across the backwaters. As you take a trip down the tranquil backwaters in an Alleppey houseboat, you can experience the rural Kerala lifestyle, the aquatic life that showcases a wide variety of flora and fauna of the locality. This homely village has a huge area of paddy fields, behind the backdrop water bodies that are dotted with tiny islands that resided by native people living traditional homes on the banks of the backwaters with their small boats or jetties that they use to reach from one place to another. Here you can also witness the exquisite sunsets, coconut trees that border the canals, and more of some more of such exotic views that I am sure you will never get over it. The main seasonal attraction of this place is the snake boat races that are organized every year on the occasion of Onam, which is truly a visual treat to the tourists who come over during the festive season. Apart from these, you can also enjoy authentic fresh sea-food, the art, and culture in the backdrop of this nature’s abundance.

2. Kumarakom


Kumarakom is another paradise for tourists. It is situated on the Vembanad Lake, 15 Km from the Kottayam. Kumarakom is a calm and clean little village that has drawn visitors from the world over. This amazing backwater destination is famous for lagoons, water body with rows of swaying coconut trees, and paddy fields. It is a cluster of small islands on the lake that hoards a bird sanctuary which is spread across a vast area of around 14 acres and it is a home for different types of endangered and migratory birds. There are also mangrove forests and harbors several species of fauna. It is a perfect destination for those pure nature lovers for a lazy holiday. Kumarakom is also described as a seafood lovers’ paradise; you can either fish live and fresh fishes, or feast on seafood cooked in typical Kerala style served in houseboats. This place is also famous for traditional handicrafts of coir, bamboo and coconut shell to please those shopping lovers.

3. Kollam


Kollam is famous worldwide for its export business of marine and cashew. In ancient times it was a major center for all kinds of foreign trade. Kottayam also is known for its natural charm – which is thronged with vast areas of a backwater, lush green paddy fields, and extensive rubber plantations along the exquisite highlands – is situated near Lake Ashtamudi – one of the best backwaters in Kerala; makes this place an ideal travel destination. This place is sure to gift you with wonderful experiences with charming natural beauty. Here you will feel simply gratified by the sight of abundant water lilies. Not just that, there are even historic buildings and monuments built in and around this place for those who love visiting heritage places. This place is truly a must to visit destination if you happen to plan a trip to Kerala, but don’t you forget to purchase the premium quality cashew nuts when you are the city.

4. Kochi

Kochi is also known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’, is a city made of several islands, which include Bolgatty, Vypeen, Vallarpadam and so on, situated on the Lake Vembanad, which opens into the Arabian Sea. Kochi is also a historic trade hub with trade connections from various parts of the world, from the Dutches, Portuguese, Chinese, to the British and Arabs. Thus this place is marked with the reminiscence of different cultural traits that as left its impact upon this place. Here you will find old churches, synagogues, mosques, museums, colonial homes and other buildings and monuments that hold great historical significance. In fact in the area around Fort Kochi is now popularly referred to as Jew Town, was a place that had several houses with Jewish families living who escaped persecution in their own countries. Apart from its rich historical importance, the city is also blessed with nature’s abundance and enchanting beauty. This place is the best combo of both rustic and metro lifestyle.

5. Kuttanad


The Kuttanad region in Kerala has many interesting aspects emerging mainly from its agricultural practices, culture, evolution, and many more. The rich countless paddy fields have acquired the name of ‘The Rice Bowl of Kerala’ to the village. This is a green paradise with vast stretches of picturesque paddy fields, which is broken by canals that are linked to backwater stretches of the surrounding area. This place is a low lying area that falls even below the sea-level and most interesting farming happens at 1.5 to 2 m below the sea level! This is a place that is difficult to be reached road transportation and mainly depends on waterways. Thus the backwaters and canals in the region are used by locals for transporting goods and people. Traditional style Kerala houseboats and boats ranging from different sizes are used for water transport. Kuttanad is a fascinating pollution-free destination with a plethora of waterways that consisting of canals, ponds, small rivers and lakes, a dream for nature lovers.

6. Kasargod

This is the northern-most region of Kerala which has the Western Ghats to the East and the Arabian Sea to the Western side. There are these Chandragiri River and Valiyaparamba that offer an exhilarating backwater ride. Chandragiri is renowned for its historic fort and also for its mesmerizing backwater experience that has drawn tourists to this place. The Bekal fort is another attraction that you cannot miss visiting. There are Pallikere and Kappil sun-kissed beaches that ideal for relaxation.

7. Thiruvananthapuram


This is the Capital city of Kerala and has a long shoreline with numerous beaches. The globally renowned Kovalam is one of the most famous. This place has the Veli lagoon and the Arabian Sea on either side and a narrow sand bar that separates the lagoon from the sea which is an amazing view. Veli is about 8 km from the city, which is among the main backwater area in Thiruvananthapuram. Apart from these backwaters the city also has several historic monuments like palaces and museums that are worth visiting.

8. Thiruvallam

This another tranquil stretch of backwaters near Thiruvananthapuram which is about 6 Km away from the city. This place is popular for canoe riding. On the way to the most famous Kovalam beach, Thiruvallam is a small yet beautiful place, the point of the congregation of the two rivers – the Karamana and the Killi. This is a calm and clean place that has attracted people for its serenity has some of the best backwaters in Kerala that are less visited and so they less spoiled with any external intrusion.

9. Kottayam


This place is located amidst the Vembanad Lake, the Western Ghats and the lush paddy fields of the Kuttanad. Kottayam has a backdrop of backwaters that stretches across making it a place best for a rejuvenating getaway. A ride in a Kerala houseboat across the backwater is a mesmerizing experience in itself- with the hills on one side, which is dotted with rubber plantations spread across is often referred to as the land of latex. Kottayam is also noted for numerous ancient temples and lovely old churches that are beautifully built with ancient architecture.

10. Calicut/Kozhikode

This is perhaps the less known and also the most unspoiled and unexplored backwaters in Kerala. Though this place has a charm of its own, it is less visited and known to the tourism sector. The Kallai River and Korapuzha, are the two distinctive backwaters that offer a peaceful ride that help you unwind and shackle away all your stress. Korapuzha is becoming famous for the go-to place for water sports. Elathur is yet another popular location that belongs to the Kozhikode district famous for boating. Another attraction that belongs to this place is the beautiful bird sanctuary by the Kadalundi river where you can get a glimpse of some of the rare and migratory species of birds. Calicut has much significance since ancient times for being one of the oldest ports in Kerala that was first visited by Vasco-da-Gama who landed here in search of a sea route to India. Even the Arabs, the French and the Portuguese had been here to trade perfumes, spices and coir products.

To experience the real beauty of these places, ATDC offers different packages that will take you to an unforgettable, mesmerizing ride that will make you wish to for a vacation in God’s own Country again. To book  Alleppey houseboats in Kerala or to know details, contact us.

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