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Backwater paradises in Kerala

Kerala’s mesmerising beauty owes it to the backwater bounty of nature. The land is sprinkled with surreally idyllic backwater destinations which every tourist crave to savour. 7 of the most sought after backwater destinations are presented over here to help you prepare an itinerary that encompasses all the favourite haunts.

Alleppey and Kumarakom


The picturesque Alleppey or ‘Venice of the East’ is crisscrossed with backwaters, lagoons and canals. On the northern side, the backwaters serve to connect Kochi and Kumarakom and plays host to the famed Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race. The tranquil and serene ambience makes you commune with nature. A ride through the backwaters on houseboats or shikaras offers glimpses into the lives of the natives, the endemic coir industry and enchanting palm fringed beaches. Kumarakom bird sanctuary is ideal for watching exotic migratory birds in their natural habitat.



Kasaragod constitutes the northernmost point of Kerala and piques itself of immense natural beauty. The backwaters connected to the Arabian Sea are lapped on the east by Western Ghats. The coastal line of Bekal beach enthrals onlookers and is merely a kilometre away from the beautiful Bekal fort. Padanna backwaters is one of the prime attractions here. The backwaters of Kasargod drain themselves in the Bekal, Hosdurg, Kappil, Kanwatheertha, and Azhithala beaches . The tourist season spans from September to April.



Famed for spice gardens, Kozhikode is the place where Vasco de Gama first set his foot in India. The virgin and unsullied backwaters have a majestic charm about them which is evident. Cruise on a houseboat and capture the idyllic views of the palm-fringed banks, natives carrying on their chores, magnificent untamed nature, and a diversity of flora and fauna. The sprawling emerald green paddy fields along the shores offer a breath-taking view. Your senses would be rejuvenated by the aromatic air wafting from the spice plantations. The verdant landscape, sylvan shores and the crystal clear water abounding in aquatic life would transport you to the realm of the divine. Houseboats from Purakkattiri will definitely bestow you with a great experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life.



Apart from cashew processing and coir manufacturing, Kerala’s 5th largest city Kollam is known for its backwaters. The scenic and serene expanses have been extolled by Ibn Batutta and Marco Polo alike. The placid Ashtamudi backwater is sourced from the eponymous lake which also happens to be the largest fresh water lake of Kerala. A cruise on the houseboat would help you admire the boundless natural beauty which the nature has generously bestowed on the area. The verdant stretches along the coconut trees fringed shores have an irresistible charm about them. Trivandrum International Airport is just 70 Km away from the spot.



One of the busiest ports of Kerala, Cochin is also famous for picturesque backwater destinations. Fort Kochi on the banks of the backwaters has an imperial air about it which is attributed to the Dutch, Portuguese and British influences in the area. The ambience is serene and helps one unwind and commune with the beautiful nature. The natural harbour of the area can be explored either on feet or through a boat ride. As you cruise through the backwaters, be ready to visit other attractions of the area which include Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church and Jew Town. The place is also good for doing exciting shopping. You can shop for statues that are intricately carved, antique lamps, jewellery, and spices. The view of Chinese fishing nets stretching all along the Kochi harbour is simply out of the world experience.



Payyannur’s Kavvayi Backwater holds the distinction of being the third biggest of backwaters in Kerala. The lake is replenished by river Kavvayi and its tributaries namely Kankol, Vannathichal, Kuppithodu, and Kuniyan. Along the backwaters, you will come across a handful of islands among which Valiyaparamba island is the largest. Inspired from this island, the northern part of Kavvayi lake is called Valiyaparamba backwaters. People who seek intimacy with their partners can avail the same at the desolate Valiparamba beach which is running parallel to the backwaters on the western part. The backwater rambles across 37 square Km and is constitutes the largest wetland ecosystem in north Kerala. Diverse and exotic flora and fauna deck up the area. Take a canoe and enjoy the captivating sunset or enjoy a panoramic view of the area from the nearby Ezhimala hills.


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