With the Arabian sea on the west and a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers crisscrossing it, Alappuzha is a district of immense natural beauty.
Referred to as the Venice of the East by travelers from across the world, this backwater country is also home ot diverse animal and bird life. By virtue of its proximity to the sea, the town has always enjoyed a unique place in the maritime history of Kerala.
Today, Alappauzha has grown in importance as a backwater tourist centre, attracting several thousands of foreign tourists each year. Alappuzha is also famous for its boat races, houseboat holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry. A singular characteristic of this land is the region called Kuttanad.
Kuttanad, known as the rice bowl of Kerala because of her wealth of paddy crops, is the very heart of the backwater. The scenic countryside here is a rich crop of bananas, yams and cassava.
This one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.
(1 ½ hours by motor boat/30 min. by speed boat from alappuzha): According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vemabanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for land to rise from below, thus creating the enchanting island of Pathiramanal (sands of midnight).
This little island on the backwater is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different part of the world. The island lies between Thaneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat.
More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake.
Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world.
It is this natural advantage that has made Lochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and Gritish have all left their mark here.
The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese Fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city.
Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on the local several quaint spots. Boat cruises from Kochi harbor to Willingdon Island, Mattancherry Place, the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and Bolgatty Island.
Sunset cruise. 3 hour backwater village cruises which include visits to coir villages and coconut plantations.
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is situated on the seacoast with the Western Ghats on its east and northern borders. Backwater trips on the Chandragiri river at Valiyaparamba are fascinating experiences.
(4 ksm from Kasaragod town): Situated on the Chandragiri river, southeast of Kasaragod town, this town is known for the large 17th century Chandragiri fort, one of a chain of forts.
It offers a breathtaking view of the river and the Arabian sea. It is a vantage point watch the sunset.
Boat trips to nearby islands and plam groves are available. Boarding point: Chandragiri bridge.
Located 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, this historic coastline district known for its marine and cashew industries was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast and a major international trading point in day gone by.
The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style. 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala.
The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. The District Tourism Promotion Council here offers a wide range of backwater tours and cruises.
Alumkadavu (23 km from Kollam town):
Along the vast expanse of the Kayamkulam lake is the pictures little village of Alumakadavu. This village is the home of the skilled artisans who crafted the enormous Kettuvalloms in yester years.
Once the capital of the powerful zamorins, a prominent trade and commerce center and the land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was the most important region of Malabar in the days gone by.
Today, ancient monuments, lush green countrysides, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make this district a much sought after destination.
Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options.
Elathur, the Canolly Canal and the Kallai river are favourite haunts for boating.
Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.
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 sightseeing 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 fabourite 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.
The southernmost district of the State, Thiruvananthapuram is bounded by the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats on the east and northeast, and the Arabian Sea on the west.
A long shoreline, with secluded, internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage give this district some of the most enchanting picnic spots.
The main backwater areas of Thiruvananthapuram are Thiruvallam and Veli.