The backwaters of Kerala – meandering inland lakes networked by canals, innumerable lagoons, lakes, and estuaries stretch to over 900 km. Boat trips across these tranquil stretches are an experience unique to Kerala.
Large Kettuvalloms (traditional country crafts over 60ft. in length) have been converted into luxury houseboats for these cruises.
The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad Lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.
The Ashtamudi Lake (literally, having eight arms), which covers a major portion of Kollam district in the south, is the second largest backwater stretch in Kerala.
Thiruvallam Backwaters In Kerala (10 km from Thiruvananthapuram):
This serene Thiruvallam backwater stretch, en route to Kovalam, is famous for its 2000-year-ld temple on the banks of the River Karamana, canoe rides, kayaking and cruises in traditional houseboats.
Distance to Thiruvallam backwaters from Thiruvananthapuram: 10 km.
Kappil Backwaters In Kerala (53 km from Thiruvananthapuram):
A confluence of the sea, river and the backwater, this secluded, picturesque spot, Kappil Backwaters in Kerala is worth the visit. The Priyadarshini Boat Club here offers boating facilities to the tourists.
Distance to Kappil backwaters from Thiruvananthapuram: 53 km.
Kollam Backwaters In Kerala (71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram):
Kollam Backwaters is one of the oldest ports in the state, where the magnificent network of waterways begins. From the famed Ashtamudi Lake, known as the gateway to the backwaters, a 130 km long system of interlinked canals and lakes winds all the way to the north.
The eight-hour trip from here to Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. An important stop during the cruise is the picturesque little village of Alumkadavu, home of the skilled artisans who crafts the enormous "Kettuvalloms".
Distance to Kollam Backwaters from Thiruvananthapuram: 71 km.
Alappuzha Backwaters In Kerala:
Alappuzha Backwaters referred to as the Venice of the East, this backwater country with its vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers is immensely beautiful.
Venue for the world-renowned snake boat races, Alappuzha is also famous for its marine products and coir industry.
Kuttanad in Alappuzha, known as the Rice Bowl of Kerala, is the very heart of the backwaters and is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.
The enchanting island of pathiramanal (sand of midnight) on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different part of the world.
Kumarakom Backwaters In Kerala (10 km from Kottayam):
Nestled among lush paddy fields, highland and extensive rubber plantations is Kumarakom, one of the most popular and most beautiful backwater stretches of Kerala.
An exotic picnic spot, Kumarakom Backwaters provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. An exclusive attraction is the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which is an ornithologist’s paradise.
Distance to Kumarakom Backwaters from Kottayam: 10 km
Kochi Backwaters In Kerala:
A cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake, Kochi, one of the finest natural harbors in the world, is more popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea.
Half the fun of visiting Kochi is going about in the local ferries. A conducted cruise through the winding waterways will take you to several quaint sport including the picturesque island of Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam.
Kozhikode Backwaters In Kerala:
Unexplored and unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of delightful holiday options. Elathur, the Canoli Canal and the Kallai River are favorite places for boating.
Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary and Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam (water fiesta) are popular tourist destinations.
Valiyaparamba Backwaters In Kerala (30 km from Bekal Fort in Kasaragod)
This is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in Kerala. Fed by four rivers and dotted with numerous little islands, you can explore the backwaters in a houseboat along the Tejaswini River – from Kottappuram in Nileswaram to Kannur through the Valiyaparamba Backwaters.
Distance to Valiyaparamba Backwaters from Bakel Fort, Kasaragod: 30 km