Kerala Backwaters, Alleppey - Sailing through God’s Own Country

Kerala is probably India’s favorite beach holiday destination mostly due to its unending slender coastline and layered landscape. Cruising through beautiful Kerala backwaters, Alappuzha (Alleppey), trekking through cold mountains of the Periyar Tiger Reserve, exploring the multifaceted history of Kerala and the royal family at Kochi (Cochin), or relaxing at beautiful secluded homestays of Munnar – Kerala is full of experiences.

However, most tourists come to this beautiful state for its stunning backwaters. The beauty of cruising through the backwaters on a houseboat is a surreal experience and Alappuzha (Alleppey) is the hub of the internal channel of waterways. Here one can find several houseboats, hand-punted canoes, and kayaks idly waiting for their passengers. Apart from Alleppey, one can rent canoes from Kumarakom, Kollam (Quilon), and Valiyaparamba.  

The given Kerala Backwaters, Alleppey guide is meant to help the tourists in planning a perfect and hassle-free trip to the backwaters, helping them in uncovering some of the hidden gems of the region.

An Introduction to Kerala Backwaters, Alleppey

Alappuzha town
Alleppey Watertown
One of the classic Kerala experiences includes cruising through the backwaters of the state on a romantic houseboat (kettuvallam). The backwaters of the state are an intricate network of water bodies including several lakes, lagoons, canals, and rivers which runs from Kochi to Kollam. However, Alleppy is the gateway to the backwater and the vast Vembanad Lake is the heart of the entire system.   

In the past, the interlinked water system was used by locals for transportation, agriculture, and fishing. Currently, this intricate network has become a great source of entertainment for tourists. The breathtaking greenery and beautiful array of tiny hamlets make cruising through the backwaters a pleasurable experience.

No wonder, it is one of the most sort-after experiences among the tourists.  

How to reach Alleppey

Being a popular tourist destination, Alleppey is well connected with the rest of the state through road and flight. Visitors landing at Kochi or Trivandrum airport can book prepaid or app-based taxis from their respective airports to reach Alleppey.

Visitors on a shoe-string budget can board the state-run buses from the airport to reach the said destination. Apart from that, one can board buses for Alleppey from Aluva Rajiv Gandhi Bus Station or Vytilla Mobility Hub. Trains for Alleppey are also available.

Planning a Trip to the Backwater of Kerala
Most tourists want to experience Kerala Backwaters, Alleppey on a houseboat. These quintessential residential boats, there are close to 500 of them, slowly transgresses through the stunning backwaters giving the riders a chance to observe the local culture.

Houseboats are available at places like Kochi and Kumarakom, but the experience is never the same as Alleppey.   

Kerala Backwaters
Kerala Backwaters


Overnight Stay VS Two-day Trip

One can book a houseboat according to their preference – one day, overnight, or even a week! However, most tourists prefer booking the houseboats for an overnight trip, while some prefer a two-day trip. The overnight trip includes bed and breakfast on the lake, in a peaceful surrounding. Two day trip on the Kerala Backwaters, Alleppey, is another popular option among tourists who are looking for some quiet time away from the crowd.    

Popular Routes to Be Taken

Usually, tourists opt for a round-a-trip Alleppey that covers most of the backwater. However, visitors can choose one way trip to either Kottayam or Kochi in case they are moving towards Periyar or Munnar. Some of the popular routes include:

·   Alleppey - Kumarakom

In this route, the canals are comparatively wider, and visitors cross the stunning Vembanad Lake. Some of the popular luxury resorts are located on this route. Tourists can make a short detour at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary for watching some of the exotic birds.    

·   Alleppey - Alumkadavu

Close to Kollam, this route preferred by overnight cruisers who want to observe the starlit sky and daybreak on the backwater. One can visit the workshops where the stunning houseboats are made on the route.

·   Alleppey - Kuttanad

Lush paddy fields and the chance to have a glimpse of village life en-route make the Alleppey-Kuttanad itinerary popular among tourists.  

The Ideal Time to Hire a Boat House

Houseboat, Kerala
Houseboat in Kerala
It is possible to book houseboats around the year, but the ideal time for the houseboat trip is December to February when the weather is at its finest. However, monsoons also have their special charms and are preferred by visitors who come to Kerala during the season. For a comfortable trip during the summer, visitors are advised to book an air-conditioned boat.

Options for Tourists on a Shoe-string Budget

Visitors on a shoe-string budget can also experience the backwaters of Alleppey. The distinct tourism council hosts a trip around Alleppey and Kollam. The trip takes around eight hours to complete and passes through some of the popular landmarks of the region. Not many are aware of the fact that the ferry boat makes a stop at the ashram of Matha Amrithanandamayi Mission of the Hugging Mother – the famous Indian spiritual leader.

Apart from that one can hire local canoes to explore the villages located on the banks of the canals and lakes. The canoes come with local guides and offer tourists a chance to interact with the villages and experience the real rustic beauty of Kerala.

Some Not to Miss Experiences at Alleppey, Apart from Riding a Houseboat

•    Staying at a homestay and exploring the rustic lifestyle
•    Bird watching from a canoe
•    Exploring the nearby beaches
•    Getting an Ayurvedic massage and spa after a hectic day
•    Visiting the stunning churches and temples of the region
•    Shopping for exotic jewelry and other trinkets
•    Watching the warriors of Snake Boat practice their craft
•    Viewing sunset on Kakkathuruthu Island
•    Eating the flavorful and sensational local cuisines    

It is very difficult to describe the beauty of Kerala – the beautiful coastline washed away by the Arabian Sea, the stunning hill stations, and palm-studded beaches. However, the trip to this stunning state is never complete without exploring the Kerala backwaters, Alleppey.

So, what are you waiting for?

The backwaters are calling…


Popular Attractions in Kochi:

Fort Kochi (Cochin Fort)    Jew Town    Mattancherry Palace    St Francis Church    Chinese Fishing Nets


Popular Attractions in Munnar:

Tea Museum    Top Station     Mattupetty    Eravikulam National Park - Kerala’s First National Park