The backwaters of Kerala, India, are one of the most picturesque and serene natural wonders in the world. Stretching for over 900 km along the southwestern coast of India, these network of lagoons, lakes, and canals are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the backwaters is by taking a scenic boat ride, where you can glide through the calm waters, taking in the stunning scenery and absorbing the local culture and traditions.
Where to Take a Boat Ride on the Backwaters of Kerala
There are several popular destinations for boat rides on the backwaters of Kerala, each offering a unique experience. Some of the most popular destinations include:
Also known as Alleppey, Alappuzha is often referred to as the “Venice of the East.” This historic town is located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, and is famous for its picturesque backwaters, lush green fields, and tranquil canals. A boat ride in Alappuzha is the perfect way to experience the local village life, as you pass by traditional homes, rice paddies, and coconut groves. You can also visit the paddy fields and see how rice is grown and harvested, or take a leisurely stroll through the nearby market and sample some of the local street food.
Kollam is a charming coastal town located on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It is famous for its backwaters, which are surrounded by lush green hills and tropical vegetation. A boat ride in Kollam is a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, and to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. You can take a leisurely tour of the canals, stopping at local villages to see how people live and work, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Kumarakom is a picturesque village located on the shores of the Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater lake in Kerala. It is famous for its stunning scenery, tranquil canals, and lush green fields, and is a popular destination for boat rides. A boat ride in Kumarakom is a chance to experience the local culture and traditions, as you pass by traditional homes, rice paddies, and coconut groves. You can also visit the local bird sanctuary and see a wide range of exotic bird species, or simply relax and soak up the tranquil surroundings.
Tips for Taking a Boat Ride on the Backwaters of Kerala
When taking a boat ride on the backwaters of Kerala, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to make the most of your experience:
- Book in advance: To ensure that you get the boat and guide of your choice, it’s best to book your boat ride in advance, especially during peak season. You can book a boat ride through your hotel, travel agency, or directly with local boat operators.
- Wear comfortable clothing: It can get hot and humid on the backwaters, so be sure to wear lightweight, breathable clothing. Also, bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
- Bring water and snacks: During your boat ride, you’ll likely be out on the water for several hours, so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and fueled.
- Be mindful of local customs: When visiting local villages and homes, be respectful of the local culture and customs. Dress modestly, and avoid taking photos without permission.
In conclusion, a boat ride on the backwaters of Kerala is a must-do experience for anyone visiting this stunning part of India. Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, or simply to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and local culture, a boat ride on the backwaters is sure to leave a lasting impression.