Further inland when one goes into the interiors of this state there are more and endless miles of placid Kerala backwaters, flanked on either side by a towering palm tress. These meandering freshwaters are all mainly concentrated around the townships of Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kottayam, Quilon and Cochin.
These waterways or better known as backwaters are best traveled in thatched roof houseboats called kettuvallam or in a sleek darting local snake boat.
The Kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’ – was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only made from the tough fiber of the coconut- not even a single nail is used during the construction. This is was a unique thing as the craftsman ship was excellent and also a very unique kind of work reflected in the boat that traversed through the wading waters. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels.
A portion of the Kettuvallom was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would be cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters that were caught by the fishermen of those areas. Today, the tradition is still continued and the food from the local cuisine is served by the Kuttanad localities, on board.
TYPES OF HOUSEBOATS
The Houseboats of Kerala or the Kettuvallams are the main highlights of the backwaters of Kerala. Touring the backwaters in a houseboat is definitely a breathtaking experience. Seeing the beautiful country scenery just from the deck of the houseboats scintillates your senses makes you feel you are in heaven and a paradise of your own. and why wouldn’t it, after all, Kerala is called “God’s Own Country”.
To give you the best vacation of your lifetime, the houseboats have been constructed to provide you with all comforts almost at par with the luxuries that one would find in any five star luxurious hotels. To cater to the different requirements of the tourists, there are houseboats with different features.
One Bedded Accommodation
There are houseboats having one bedroom with attached bathroom and a living cum dining room. This fulfils the requirements of a couple who need some privacy and will enjoy a cozy kind of atmosphere. The living cum dining room in this houseboat is bigger. It also has a sundeck for you to relax and sunbathe in the warm Kerala weather. There is a separate kitchen, where delicious Kerala Cuisine is prepared for your palate. This is the perfect holidaying spree that one can look forward to and especially couples who will be going on for their honeymoons. You will also get the opportunity to stop the houseboat anyplace you like to take photographs.
Two Bedded Accommodation
To accommodate four people, there are houseboats with two bedrooms. Each bedroom has an attached bath. A living cum dining room, a sun deck and a separate balcony is the other features of these houseboats. There is separate accommodation for the crew. Tempting vapors of delicious Kerala cuisine, originating from the separate kitchen whet your appetite as you sail along. So if you are tired of traveling by cars and buses in the city and want to take a break and travel into paradise on earth then pack your bags and come over to Kerala and traverse the backwaters through these Houseboats.