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Kerala Houseboats - A Unique Experience

A Cruise along the palm fringed waterways of Kerala in a luxury houseboat or ketuvallam is the most enchanting holiday experience in Kerala today. In this world of simple pleasures, you'll skim past ancient chinese fishing nets, water lillies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves.

Innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries, and the deltas of forty-four rivers make up the 900 km backwater network of Kerala. The backwatrs mainly covers the four districts of the state - Kollam, Alleppey (alappuzha), Kottayam and Kochi (Cochin).

The largest backwater body, the Vembanad lake flows through Alleppey (Alappuzha) and Kottayam districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi (Cochin) Port. The Ashtamudi Lake, the second largest backwater stretch, offers the longest ride and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.

Your holiday home in this tranquil world is the comfortably furnished houseboat or ketuvallom. The Houseboats or Kettuvalloms of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 foot in length, retrieved from being lost to the State altogether.

Once these Rice Barges ruled the backwaters, poled along by one or two men, heavily loaded with rice, coconut and other commodities. But in the recent times, the ketuvalloms or houseboats have been replaced by more and modern modes of transport, relegating them to neglect and decay.

It takes great skill and meticulousness to construct these giant Houseboats or Kettuvaloms. Traditionally, the Houseboats were called Kettuvallam, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievably it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a ketuvallam. Jackwood planks are joiined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells.

The Kerala houseboats that cruise these emerald waterways are an improvisation on the large country barges which were an essential part of the land's ethos in days gone by. The kettuvalloms or houseboats are Modified to meet a novel concept of holidaying, and are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, one or two bath attached bedrooms and a kitchenette, and are extremely eco friendly, merging smoothly into the panorama. Every houseboat is manned by a crew - usually a cook, a Captain, and an Oarsman.

The kitchen in the houseboat or ketuvallam is the production center of the best traditional Kerala food. The availability of fishes and all along the backwater add special charm to the authentic Kerala cooking. Only fresh materials are used and purchased locally to support the economy of the village. Only authentic Kerala food is prepared under high standards of hygiene and professional competency by expert cooks, who have been specially trained. The kitchen, at the rear of the boat, is complete with a modern equipment and ambience, even though it is for use for the staff only. A 165 lt. fridge is also part of the equipment level. Even guests can use the kitchen facility for themselves if they so choose.

The highest classifications awarded by Dept. of Tourism for Houseboats are Gold Star and Silver Star.

The Luxury A/c Houseboat includes the following facilities

Front living area and bedrooms have a beautiful wooden ceiling with overlapping logs to give it a contemporary feel.

The wooden ceiling in the living/dining area has 200 fiber optic lighting points to emulate the stars during the night and gives a cozy feeling. The light intensity or ¡®glow¡¯ can be adjusted according to guest preferences.

Additional lighting in the living area of the Luxury A/c Houseboat will be provided with terracotta lamps with candles to provide an ideal, romantic setting for the boat.

The bedrooms of the Luxury A/c Houseboat have complete glass windows stretching across 3/4ths of the wall to offer the guests a complete and uninterrupted view of the backwaters while traveling.

Each bed in the Luxury A/c Houseboat is located at the exact height of the window, so the guest gets a good view even while lying on the bed.

Each room in the Luxury A/c Houseboat has a dressing mirror, luggage compartment, writing table, wardrobe, attached bathrooms and air-conditioning.

Bathrooms in the Luxury A/c Kettuvallams have a shower area with WC and wash basin and are one of the largest, if not the largest on any boat. All fittings are of high quality.

The wall next to the WC has a large picture window that offers the guest an ample view of the backwaters, similar to the one in the bedroom and it also offers a feeling of space and ample natural lighting.

The exterior walls, i.e. the textured finished walls in the dining/living area and pathway have niches incorporated in them. These niches have paintings that follow a theme on each Luxury A/c Houseboat.

Every toilet is equipped with shower areas and water heaters. Each room is Air-conditioned using proper split units & Lifesavers and safety jackets are available on board.

Onboard game activities include - Chess, Caroms, Scrabble, Playing cards etc. Fishing rods, painting and sketch pads, Library & High-End music system

Houseboat Packages

Route Nos. Backwater Cruising Routes Duration
Route-1 Thottappalli Alleppey 01 Nights / 02 Days
Route-2 Alleppey-Kumarakom 02 Nights / 03 Days
Route-3 Thottappalli-Alleppey-Kumarakom 03 Nights / 04 Days
Route-4 Kollam (Alumkadav)-Thottappalli-Aleppey-Kumarakom 03 Nights / 04 Days
Route-5 Kumarakom-Alleppey 02 Nights / 03 Days
Route-6 Kumarakom-Alleppey 01 Nights / 02 Days
Route-7 Alleppey to Alleppey Round Trip 01 Nights / 02 Days


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