Referred to as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha, the most prominent township in the backwaters 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. Alappuzha beach is a popular picnic spot. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old. There is also an old lighthouse nearby which is greatly fascinating to visitors.
Another delightful experience while in Alappuzha is a houseboat cruise. The ones you find in the backwaters of Alappuzha are in fact reworked version of Kettuvallams of olden times. The original Kettuvallams or rice barges used to carry tons of rice and spices. The Kettuvallam or 'boat with knots' was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only.
The houseboats are renovated cargo boats... kettuvallams... and are provided with all modern conveniences and comforts to make your stay a pleasant experience. To complement the traditional way of rowing using large poles, outboard engines are also provided. The boats are designed to facilitate a most eco-friendly functioning.
This houseboat is designed specially for honeymooners. The living area is glass covered as to facilitate full time air condition in bed room & dining cum living area. It is designed with a private upper balcony.
Fully glassed private living area, 5 star accommodation, king size bed room, Jacuzzi & Shaver panel, fully glassed private dinning area, operate different cruise route & food menu, full time air condition and the world class lighting arrangements make the evenings more attractive.
Five star facilities. It is fully equipped with quality accessories of international standards including 42" Panasonic 3D LED HD TV, Panasonic blue-ray player, DVD Home Theater, 12.1 surround speakers ,Cordless Mic with powerfull amplifier system for Busines and social gathering, spot lights etc.
The boat has 2 spacious bedrooms which have gorgeous interiors Each room has an en suit bathroom and toilet. One of the highlights of the boat is its largest hall, which has an approximate capacity of 50 people at a time, provides a small party area for Business meeting, Birthday and Engagement party etc..
For those who can not afford the cost of overnight stay in a houseboat, the shikkara ride in the backwaters of Alappuzha or Kumarakom in Kerala is an excellent option. The shikkara is a traditional open canoe like country boat which has been equipped with bamboo seats and an over head bamboo canopy for shade. A shikkara can accommodate four to fourteen persons depending on its size.
The shikkara I took for ride had eight seats. There were four of us plus the driver. The shikkara has a four stroke outboard petrol engine for propelling it. The ride started from the boat jetty of Alappuzha. The shikkara crossed the canal and went into the main backwaters. It floated on the gentle ripples. There were a number of houseboats and motor boats in the backwaters as it was tourism season. The most exciting feature of a shikkara is that it can go even into very small canals and interiors which houseboats and motorboats can not traverse. The shikkara took us into the remote interior areas of Kuttanad as the locality is called. We could see the rural life of the water borne villages of Kerala men fishing in canoes, mussel farming, coir making in households etc.
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