Backwaters of Kerela

A unique backwater destination situated on the banks of Vembanad lake. Kumarakom bird sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds from across the world which makes it a renowned bird watching centre. It is also a centre for houseboat cruises.

Namaste presents yet another wonderful way to see Kerala in all its splendour. Spice Coast Cruises. The traditional houseboat of Kerala is one of the most enduring images of the backwaters – its natural, cocoon-like profile complementing the surrounding countryside. One couple has the exclusive run of the entire boat – ensuring privacy for honeymooners and exclusivity for the discerning travellers – a personal cook and two boatmen attend to guests.

It’s an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water-world is navigable. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.

The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.

The Ketturvallom: Showcasing a unique heritage The kettuvalloms (houseboats) of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 feet in length. It took great skill and meticulousness to construct these giants by tying huge planks of jack wood together, without the use of a single nail.

Today, these goods carriers have been adapted to make the most exciting tourism product in India, the luxurious furnished houseboat. A kettuvallom usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.

Prefered Backwater Destination – Kumarakom

(10 km from Kottayam): A voyage north of Alappuzha takes you to the rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad lake.

An enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, Kumarakom provides boating, fishing and sight-seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating

An exclusive attraction of this much sought after backwater resort is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal.

A cruise along the Vembanad lake is the best way to view the bird life.


Alappuzha is one of the major centres for backwater tour in Kerala. The intricate network of canals through this town has earned it the sobriquet “The Venice of the East”. Small but long country boats are the taxies of the water. The coir workers present an interesting sight as they soak coconut fibre in pools, beat them and wind the strands on long spindles stretched between an endless line of coconut trees.


In north Kerala, the cool backwaters of Kozhikode lie waiting to be explored. This old commercial town attracts travellers for its history, wonderful backwaters and leisure sports.