Houseboats in Kerala | Alleppey
Tranquil backwaters are a blessing to Kerala which play an important role in promoting Kerala tourism. Kerala backwaters are spread across as a chain of canals which is about 1500 kilometres, with a network of 44 rivers, lagoons and lakes. The houseboat cruises are the unique thing that we can find in Kerala to enjoy the charm of these picturesque backwaters. If you have never gone for this before, Kerala is giving you a golden opportunity to have an enjoyable cruise across the backwaters.
Houseboat Facilities and Services:
Houseboats are huge and luxurious barges with high facilities. The interior of a houseboat is incredible – a house on water! It has a kitchen, cosy and furnished, bath attached bedrooms, a narrow passage, open living area and a balcony for angling. The bathrooms are made with all modern facilities. From the bedroom, we get an eye-catching view of the serene backwaters through the windows. There are separate toilets and other facilities for the crew.
There is a chef in the kitchen who cooks delicious dishes for the passengers. First of all the crew welcomes you with a welcome drink and fresh fruits. While relaxing on the backwaters, the aroma of fresh spices of Kerala like cardamom and cinnamon arouses you to have a meal. The table will be full of authentic Kerala dishes as well as delicious continental cuisines. Pearl spot fish fry and traditional meal on a plantain leaf are must-try dishes as they are backwater special.
Types of Houseboats:
There are different kinds of houseboats all over the world. But Kerala houseboats are unique in its construction and it has a history to say. They are the renovated version of previous Kettuvallams. Kettu means to tie and vallam means boat. So these are traditional cargo boats made of wooden planks tied together with coconut ropes and painted with cashew nut oil outside. They are 70 to 100 feet long and 15 to 20 feet wide. In olden times, kettuvallams used for transporting rice and spices from Kuttanad to the Cochin port for further exporting. Later on, the people of Kerala used this for casual cruises.
They move gently on the backwaters so that the passengers can enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the surrounding landscapes and explore Kerala village life, culture, bird life, and so on. The cruise can be long or short as the passenger’s requirement. Some prefer to have two to three days cruise because they feel home inside.
How are Houseboats made?
A houseboat is completely made by natural elements such as cots made from coconut wood, roofs made of sticks and wood of areca nut tree, coir mats for flooring, wooden steering, bamboo pillars and a strong base made of Aanjili, a kind of jackwood found in Kerala. The craftsmen need tremendous knowledge and experience to make the houseboat. They don’t use a single nail to make this.
The traditional craftsmen don’t use any scale or drawing for this marvellous construction. The master craftsmen of these houseboats are rare nowadays. So it is important to support them and to teach the new generation how to make a houseboat for preserving Kerala tourism.
It will be an unforgettable experience for domestic and international tourists because it offers a comfortable stay as in a deluxe hotel. The luxury of a houseboat doesn’t spoil its ecological quality. The most interesting thing to do during the cruise is to turn the huge steering of the houseboat.
Some capacious houseboats can be a venue for boutique weddings, conferences and cultural programmes and family get together. The houseboats are well equipped with all the security pieces of equipment kept inside. Hence no security issues have reported so far. Also, the crew assures highly hygienic atmosphere. Some houseboats offer modern amenities like free wi-fi, full time centralised air-condition, glass covered dining, living and upper deck area, hot and cold water facilities and mosquito curtains.
How to Book Houseboat in Kerala | Alleppey
There are 500 houseboats in Alleppey alone. More than 1500 houseboats are there altogether in Kerala that is ready to welcome the guests. The other districts in which houseboats are available are Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, and Kasargod.
Most of the houseboat tour packages are organised with reputed hotels, resorts and experienced staff who are dedicated and have practical knowledge.