Tropical countries like India offer you holiday destinations that are suitable for every genre of the populace. You have a choice to choose from the exotic white palm-fringed beaches to beautiful green hill stations to magnificent heritage sites to tickle your inquisitive minds. And then there are the ecotourism destinations all over the country ranging from desert to rainforest to chilly mountainous regions; backwaters are a part of this bounty too.
Northern India has its backwaters in the Kashmir Valley where houseboats and shikara boats meander their way through the various interconnecting lakes; the beautiful greenery, clear blue waters and an abundance of flowers make this a very colorful locale for nature lovers. The cool climate is an added bonus for those who don’t mind the lower temperatures.
And then there are the famous backwaters of Kerala which are just out of this world. Some would even say that the backwaters of Kerala are unbeaten when compared with the canals of Venice or Netherland! There is something to be said about the peace and serenity in this verdant green space; the lack of pollution, and the presence of a peaceful indigenous population living in harmony with nature are important factors here.
The restful backwaters here acquire the green colors of the surrounding vegetation to create a sense of tranquility that is difficult to find elsewhere. Amongst the more popular backwaters destinations are Kollam, Kumarakom, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kasargod, Cochin and Thiruvallam.
Alappuzha is the mother of all backwater destinations and is known as the ‘Venice of the East’ and visitors can go exploring the depths of the meandering waterways and lakes on overnight houseboat cruises that come equipped with all manner of facilities including plush bedrooms, attached bathrooms, kitchenettes, canopied sit-outs and staff to take care of your every need. These getaway trips are an unforgettable memory that one should definitely experience at least once in a lifetime. A cruise through these silent waters is natures’ way of filtering out all the stresses of urban life and rejuvenating the soul. As you watch the rising sun make a date with another new day over the palm-fringed waters with a variety of exotic birds and a land flush with deep greenery, you feel you have finally reached paradise!
Kollam city nestles on the banks of the Ashtamudi Lake which is known as the gateway to the backwaters. It’s an amazing place to get away from the stresses of life amid the lush emerald greenery and sapphire waters of this eight-cornered lake that meanders its way all the way to Alappuzha. You can hire a houseboat and enjoy a peaceful ride to Alappuzha with a stopover in the night to sleep on the silent lake waters with only the gentle lapping of water for company. Numerous islands along the way add mystery to the trip. A variety of luxury and budget hotels are available in all the cities along the way when you want some time on solid land to enjoy the other attractions available. Kerala is also known as the land of temples where virtually every street offers a temple, whether small or big.
International airports and railway stations are spread out all over Kerala so getting here is so easy; all you need is the desire to discover!