The backwaters of Kerela is a unique product of Kerala and is found nowhere else in the world. Backwaters are a network of lakes, canals and estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian sea. The backwaters of Kerela are a self supporting eco-system teeming with aquatic life. The canals connect the villages together and are still used for local transport. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine water world is navigable.
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands on the Vembanad Lake, and is part of the Kuttanad region. The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, Darters, Herons, Teals, Waterfowls, Cuckoo, Wild Duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks and fascinate all visitors.
An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available at the backwaters. Holiday packages involving houseboats and traditional Kettuvalloms (rice barges) offer great experiences.
Referred to as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha has always enjoyed an important place in the maritime history of Kerala. Today, it is famous for its boat races, backwater holidays, beaches, marine products and coir industry.
Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is the houseboat cruise. The houseboats you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact a reworked version of the Kettuvallams of olden times. Kettuvallam is a Malayalam word, ‘Kettu’, refers to dwelling structures and ‘Vallom’ means boat. In the olden days, kettuvallam or boat with thatched roof that covers over wooden hulls was used to carry tons of rice and spices.
Of late, houseboats come equipped with all the comforts of a good hotel room including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. An uninterrupted view of life in the backwaters can be enjoyed while staying in a houseboat.
Experiencing your own Picnic Village automatically bumps up any location on every travellers list, and at Ashramom, this is exactly what Kollam offers. It is among the primary Recreation Centres in the district and is situated on a sprawling 200-year-old Guest House campus where Lord Munroe once stayed. Come on over and enjoy its very own Boat Club, Children's Traffic Park and Tamarind Hotel along with an Adventure Park. When you're in a mood to reminisce, experience paintings from different parts of the country including Warli, Kalamkari and Madhubani as well as authentic Kerala Mural Art, at the Paaramparya Museum that lies on the same premises.