Alleppey House Boat – A Royal Treat to the Senses
Any list of beautiful places of India, it cannot be complete without a mention of Kerala. The thick forests of Western Ghats, long and scenic sea coasts, beautiful beaches, stunning backwaters, picturesque mountains, name it and you can find it all in Kerala. The villages, towns and even cities are very laid back, making the travel to Kerala a beautiful experience.
Kerala was our first trip together where we not only got to know each other better, but also got the first taste of travelling together.
Actually, travelling to Places in Kerala itself is a beautiful experience. Typically, there is a nearby city or a town where you can reach by train or flight and from there most of the touristy places are couple of hours ride by cab; same with Alleppey. We reached Cochin airport by 10:00 PM, and booked a taxi to Alleppey. While you can book houseboats anywhere from Alleppey, kumarokam, kollam, kottayam or kasargod, Alleppey-kumarokam stretch is considered the most popular and the most beautiful.
The 2.5 hr ride to Alleppey is not just about a commute from one place to another, but is equally about getting to pass through beautiful villages.
Beautiful paddy fields see across the route to Alleppey. we encountered many more even during the housboat ride
After a lovely south Indian meals at Aryas (the famous south Indian hotel plus a bit easy on the pocket as well) followed by a beautiful ride, we reached Alleppey ferry joint by 2:00 PM. A quick 20 min walk through a beautiful village side led us to our houseboat.
There are many houseboats, but since we visited the place during relatively a low peak season of August, ours was easy to spot by. Kerala has a well developed tourist industry and accordingly the hosts of these houseboats are really well mannered. We got a warm welcome with hearty smiles and a tender coconut and a fruit juice.
Houseboats (called as kettuvallam in Malayalam,meaning tie the Boat) are actually country boats which were used for carrying goods from Cochin to Kuttanad region. But After development of roadways across the state, these boats slowly lost their sheen. But after a bout of tourist visits, few boat owners have come up with this unique idea of renovating these boats as Houseboats. We are told that most of the houseboat don’t use any nails in construction, they mostly use coir for tying and establishing the boat structures.
Our house boat waiting for us to get aboard
Within Half an hour, our houseboat started it’s soothing journey on the Alleppey back waters after passing through the Punnada and Vembanadu Lakes. The picturesque view of lush paddy fields, coconut trees and villages makes the journey even more relaxing.
The views on both sides of the houseboat were a joy where we can see many villages and the people in the villages going casually about their daily lives. You wonder sometimes, why, we living in cities seem to have everything so hurried up?
For some villages on the sides of the backwaters, we see them taking out their boats for some chores just like we take out our bikes in our cities. I think you need to be blessed to be born or living in such places.
As the sun started to set in, we were trying to soak up the relaxed feeling of the journey, capturing few pictures of the few other boats passing by. We actually heard, there will be almost traffic jams during peak season. But we were lucky to visit this place during an off season. After some chit chat with the friendly staff, we tried our hand at driving the boat, and boy, it does feel good to be in driver’s seat.
Once, the evening set in, our boat was docked at a point near a village called Kuppapuram, where we spent the night. The darkness and silence you witness at such docking points is actually a beautiful and a therapeutic experience. Though there is a hangout area outside the room with a TV set and a nicely decorated sofa set, we decided to shut the TV off and experience the night and the backwaters shining from the light from other boats passing by. We can spend the whole night not sleeping but just admiring the beauty of the backwaters.
The mornings are equally enchanting with birds chirping and sun rising through the opposite villages. Sipping the morning coffee and witnessing this whole scene of morning unfolding is an experience to Cherish.
After another ride through the villages, we reached another backwaters village, Kumarokam, where we headed for other destinations of our journey.
Whenever we travel to any place, we leave a piece of ourselves there and we take a piece of that place, becoming a new version of ourselves.
This trip was mostly a leisure travel for us and hence there were few things, which we felt we wanted to explore more when we visit this place again sometime. If you are planning for a leisure trip and enjoy backwaters, Houseboat is the best. However, if the idea is to enjoy life at the backwaters in a more closer way, probably a boat ride from cochin to kottayam is a way to go. That’s on cards for our next trip sometime for sure.
Reaching the place: Google 🙂
We booked our Houseboat online after talking to the guys at www.naturevisionkerala.com. The staff is courteous and well behaved. The food served is also hygienic.
All details can be found at their website. If you are planning to in peak season, do ensure to book 1 month in advance to avoid any last minute rush and premium pricing.
Nothing, enjoy the houseboat ride.