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Alappuzha BackWaters


          The Kerala backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state.

          The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range.A glide in a "Kettuvallam" (Houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alleppey is sure to rob your heart. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are panoramic sights one can never forget.

          The Chinese fishing nets, the reminiscent of our past trade links, are also found on the way. Flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky remains as enduring pictures reflecting the charm of this unique land.


          The backwaters have a unique ecosystem - freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In certain areas, such as the Vembanad Kayal, where a barrage has been built near Kumarakom, salt water from the sea is prevented from entering the deep inside, keeping the fresh water intact. Such fresh water is extensively used for irrigation purposes.

          Many unique species of aquatic life including crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.Vembanad Kayal is the largest of the lakes, covering an area of 200 km², and bordered by Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. Alleppey, "Venice of the East", has a large network of canals that meander through the town. Vembanad is India’s longest lake.


          The kettuvallams (Kerala houseboats) in the backwaters are one of the prominent tourist attractions in Kerala. More than 2000 kettuvallams ply the backwaters, 120 of them in Alappuzha. Kerala government has classified the tourist houseboats as Platinum, Gold and silver.The kettuvallams were traditionally used as grain barges, to transport the rice harvested in the fertile fields alongside the backwaters. Thatched roof covers over wooden hulls, 100 feet (30 m) in length, provided protection from the elements. At some point in time the boats were used as living quarters by the royalty. Converted to accommodate tourists, the houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck.

          Most tourists spend the night on a house boat. Food is cooked on board by the accompanying staff – mostly having a flavour of Kerala. The houseboats are of various patterns and can be hired as per the size of the family or visiting group. The living-dining room is usually open on at least three sides providing a grand view of the surroundings, including other boats, throughout the day when it is on the move. It is brought to a standstill at times of taking food and at night. After sunset, the boat crew provide burning coils to drive away mosquitoes. Ketuvallams are motorised but generally proceed at a slow speed for smooth travel.All ketuvallams have a generator and most bedrooms are air-conditioned. At times, as per demand of customers, electricity is switched off and lanterns are provided to create a rural setting.

          A launch wades through water hyacinth in an Alappuzha canal While many ketuvalloms take tourists from a particular point and bring them back to around the same point next morning there are some specific cruises mostly in the Alappuzha area, such as the one night cruise from Alappuzha to Thotapally via Punnamada Lake two nights cruise from Alappuzha to Alumkavadi, one night cruise from Alappuzha to Kidangara, and one night cruise from Alappuzha to Mankotta. There are numerous such cruises.

     Nearest Tourist Places in Alappuzha

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 Nearest Airport:

 Cochin International Airport

 Road :

 From Airport to spot(83.8 km, 2 hours 01 mins )

   Directions :

1. Head west on International Terminal Road
           160 m

2. Take the 2nd right toward International Terminal Road
           280 m

3. Slight left onto International Terminal Road
           190 m

4. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Airport Rd Pass by State Bank of India (on the right)
           4.6 km

5. Turn left at Athaani Airport Jct onto Salem-Kanyakumari Hwy Pass by BP Petrol Pump (on the left in 15.5 km)
           16.9 km

6. Turn left at Edapally Station Kavala to stay on Salem-Kanyakumari Hwy Partial toll road Pass by BP Petrol Pump (on the left in 47.6 km)
           60.1 km

7. Turn left onto Boat Jetty Road Pass by Petrol& Diesel Pump (on the right in 1.1 km)
           1.5 km




 Nearest Railway station:

 Alappuzha Railway Station

 Road :

 From Alappuzha Railway Station to spot(5 km, 15 mins )

   Directions :

1. Head west
           96 m

2. Turn left
           260 m

3. Take the 1st left toward Salem-Kanyakumari Hwy
           1.8 km

4. Turn left onto Salem-Kanyakumari Hwy Pass by State Bank of India (on the left in 700 m)
           1.1 km

5. At Medical College Jn, continue onto thaneermukkam Pass by Seethas Theatre (on the right)
           750 m

6. Turn right at Pichu Iyer Junction onto Cullen Rd Pass by Alleppey Urban Co-operative Bank (on the right)
           400 m

7. Turn left at AVJ Junction onto Mullackal Rd Continue to follow thaneermukkam Pass by Bhima and Brother Bullion Private Limited (on the left)
           290 m


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