The quaint and charming backwaters of Kumarakom are well-known. The best hotels in Kumarakom are the backwater resorts. The lush green plantations, resting between the backwater resorts in Kumarakom provide you with a jaw-dropping backdrop. The gorgeous Vembanad Lake, which was formed by the convergence of 10 Malabar rivers will take your breath away.
The best way to experience the backwaters in all its glory is on a houseboat. In Malayalam, a houseboat is known as ‘Kettuvellam’. Floating on the backwaters is like entering a time warp. A stark contrast against our fast-paced lives, the journey on a houseboat is mesmerizingly slow. There are swaying palm trees on both sides of the lake, and canoes and boats steered by locals passing by.
Since Kerala houseboats are a unique attraction, most tourists opt to stay overnight. The houseboat experience is a special one, often referred to as traveling through the ‘Venice of India’. Many lake resorts in Kumarakom tie-up with houseboat providers, so the customer gets the best deal. This can include the houseboat coming up to the hotel so that the customers can just onboard from there.
Most houseboats that are in collaboration with 5-star resorts in Kumarakom are luxurious and beautiful. The houseboats come in various shapes and sizes, with the number of bedrooms varying from 1 to 6. There is a cook and a driver with you on the houseboat to tend to your every need.
You can enjoy a relaxing day on the houseboat, either reading a book and feeling the breeze play with your hair on the deck, or relaxing in the bedroom, enjoying the gentle rocking of the boat, leaving all stress and worries behind. The cool breeze and the slow rise and fall of the small waves against the boat while taking a tour of the vast lagoons is an enchanting experience in itself.
The journey on the houseboat will usually start at noon with a traditional Kerala lunch on the deck and will end the next day at 10 am with breakfast, and a cup of tea or coffee. The boats are anchored in the Vembanad Lake, near the mainland, from 6 pm to 7 am. You can capture a stunning view of the setting sun and watch the sunrise the next morning.
While cruising along on the houseboat, make sure you pay attention to the famous R block and C Block. This is where farming is done below sea level. If you’re lucky, you might get a chance to observe the snake boat races up close, which is much better than witnessing it from a crowd on the shore. The trial races take place from July, in various places in Kumarakom and Alappuzha. You might even catch a glimpse of the Kumarakom bird sanctuary from the houseboat.
Experience the timeless beauty of life along the banks of Kerala by staying in a houseboat.