Alappuzha, better known as the Venice of the East is an important tourist location in India; in fact a pearl in India’s tourist map. Rich in cultural history, Alappuzha even had trade relations with Greece and Rome in BC and in the Middle Ages. A land that veins itself with stretches of backwaters fringed by coconut palms; labyrinth of lakes, lagoons and freshwater rivers makes it an exotic tourist location.
The most delightful experience at Alappuzha is of course it houseboat cruises. The houseboats moving silent, un-disturbing the waters are the ones that evolved from the Kettuvallams of the olden times. The Kettuvallams (boats with knots) are nothing but boats held together with coir knots, they were used as rice barges capable to carry tonnes of rice or spices.
But now, these traditional barges have transformed to peaceful water-habitats with all the creature comforts of a nature inspired hotel that floats on water with facilities including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, kitchen and balcony for angling.
Boating on these houseboats, one can enjoy a peaceful voyage along Kerala’s famed palm-lined backwaters through the quiet, water-bound villages and the state’s lush rice bowl, Kuttanad, is a peaceful dip along the simple lifestyle of the people here which is far cry away the busy crowds of the people in the cities of India. Top tourist attraction is the annual boat race, Nehru Trophy Boat Race featuring snake boats racing each other in the Punnamada lake. Read the rest of this entry »