Plush landscapes sliced into paddy fields, mango orchards knitted with cashew and coconut groves, tea, coffee & cardamon plantations and war-cry of boat-racers beckon travelers to Kerala!
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Kerala Backwaters



Kerala backwaters are an endless sensual feast. Overnighting in a houseboat that floats its way quietly through the palm fringed waterways that sample some of the most beautiful locale on earth, is best defined - 'sheer exotica'. And that too when your houseboat recalls of the star cruises replete with all amenities like one or two rooms with the bath joint, an opened living room, a platform and a crew of three being composed of a cook, a oarsman and a guide. The services of Dormitory are also available for tourists. Don't miss the sight of little marine fish swimming all around your houseboat and the Chinese fishing nets, which are believed to have been introduced into Kerala by the traders from Kublai Khan's court.


What are the backwaters?
Technically, the network of channels, lakes, lagoons and estuaries of over 44 rivers emptying in the Arab sea, make up the backwaters of Kerala. Over 900 km of these backwaters are navigable and have served as transportation routes for the localites. The network basically stretches from Cochin - the northern gateway, to Kollam (or Quilon) - the backwaters' southernmost end. The localites sail in traditional houseboats or Kettuvalloms, about 80 ft long and constructed by attaching wooden boards and cords made in thimble coir (coconut) without employing a single nail.
Kerala Backwaters
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The best cruises
The lake Vembanad is the central and the largest stretch of Backwaters in Kerala measuring 83 kilometers length, and crosses three zones before reaching the sea with the port of Kochi. The lake Ashtamudi, literally eight arms signifying the eight mudis or canals that veins a major portion of Kollam district, is the second largest stretch and is considered the gateway to the backwaters. However, the most picturesque stretch is around Alappuzha, nick-named 'The Venice of the East' because of its famed palm-fringed canal network, the intricate byways and narrow streams that allow travelers to ferry across. The snake boat races add to the visual erotica.


The making of the backwaters
These lagoons and the lake Kayamkulam were formed in 1866 A.D, when the large flood enveloped the top of the old ports. These backwaters then became routes between the interior ground and the sea. Fishermen find the backwaters spread their nets and go back home loaded with fresh marine fish. Other than being the apple-pie of Kerala tourism, the backwaters connect villages together and are still the only means of local transport.

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