KERALA Backwaters

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The backwaters of Kerala are what have given it the sobriquet "God's Own Country". As you meander through these on a houseboat you drift into a timeless land replete with picture-postcard towns and ancient trading posts. The huge coconut trees provide an apt backdrop and perhaps you can even eavesdrop on the strains of an oarsman's song.

A network of lakes, rivers and canals fringe the coast of Kerala. These backwaters, while a great inland thoroughfare on water, offer an alternative lifestyle. The criss-crossed, palm-fringed lakes traversed with Chinese fishing nets are very popular cruises, especially between Kollam and Allappuzha. The backwaters have become important attractions though they are threatened by population growth and industrial development. Of the 29 major lakes on the backwaters, seven drain into the sea. Stretched over a total expanse of 1500 kms, the backwaters have a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes from north to south.

A great way to explore the hinterland is to go through the villages. A guide takes a group of people through the villages on an open boat or covered kettuvellum. The tour lasts from two to six hours. It's a fascinating experience to wander from village to village, learn how the village economy runs, and watch coir making, boat building, toddy tapping and fish farming. Some of the best village tours operate out of Kochi, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. On the backwaters you have the major towns Allapuzha and Varkala and Quilon.






Kettuvalloms and Speedboats


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