The Backwaters of Alleppey

When the evening’s empire has returned to the sand, vanished from your hand, playing a quiet melody in the serene ripples of water, there you sit in a boat, wondering, how creative that God must be…

The backwater of Alleppey is that serene experience, when one is transported to paradise. The hunched palm trees, sparkling rice fields, fertile countryside and warm smells of coastal cuisine wafting through the air, welcome every visitor with arms wide open. Most tourists, from India and abroad, dreaming of the ultimate tropical experience, mark Alleppey on top of their holiday priority destinations. Meandering through the heart of Kerala’s lushness, one could fish for Karimeen (pearl spotted fish), capture the beauty on canvases or camera lenses or just be lost in the perennial beauty of the serene surroundings. To discover those pristine experiences in Kerala, will be memories for a lifetime.

The Kettuvalloms (Houseboats) of Kerala are one of the most coveted boat rides. Kettuvalloms are perfect examples of the indigenous techniques and know-how. Designed originally for transporting rice and spices from Kuttanad to Kochi, Kettuvalloms are used for leisure trips today. They have revived themselves as luxurious entities, and are sure to give you the comforts that you could never imagine was possible on a boat! These extravagant kettuvalloms will take you across the network of the backwaters of Alleppey. For a few precious hours, Alleppey will gift you its nature’s best on your small voyage.

The backwaters are lined by palm trees and small villages, bustling with activity. The Chinese fishing nets stand as constant reminders of the historic trade links. Alleppey was known to be a central trading point on the Malabar Coast south of Mumbai. The richness of the coastal waters of Alleppey is proven every time with the constant deposit of fish and prawns on the coast.

Alleppey is home to Kuttanad, The Rice Bowl of Kerala, where rice is cultivated four to ten feet below the sea level. Extensive land has been reclaimed from the backwaters for this purpose, and is protected be dikes built around it. A leisurely cruise along the canals here could leave you spellbound!

On any random day, one could notice a mundu-clad achaayan (man) or an ammachi (old lady) with kunukku earings, rushing off for the morning mass. Most malayalees will eagerly chat with you in a personalized form of English, and fill you in with what are the best places to visit, or a chunk of history of the little town. In a toddy bar, or in a ‘thattukkada (small eat out joint),’ men with bare chests can be heard debating communism and politics over a steaming up of milky tea and ‘puttu and kadala’ curry. Alleppey is the place you want to be in for a lazy lazy holiday.

While on the trip to Alleppey, one could also go about exploring the magnificent architecture of Kerala in Ambalapuzha at the Sree Krishna Temple, Karumaadikuttan, statue of the Buddha and St. Mary Forane Church in Champakulam.

Kerala holds the authority, when it comes to Ayurvedic massages. A host of Ayurvedic treatments and packages are available at various centres, including The Coir Village and Marari Fishermen Village Beach Resort.

Kerala has a typical tropical climate. But during winters, the temperature takes just the perfect dip, and it is then, that Kerala unfolds at its best. Plan your visit between October to March. Kerala House Boat is one of the leading operators for houseboats in Kerala. However there are many independent operators, whose details you can ask for from your hotel.

Cochin International airport is the nearest, being 75 km away and is connected by almost all international and domestic flights. The other airport is the Trivandrum International Airport which is 159km from Alapuzha.

There couldn’t be a more heavenly experience than the backwaters of Alleppey. The purity of the surroundings, and the slow movement through the silence, that awakens your spirit, is what you need to renew your life. Let the nature touch you, and you are sure to be transformed, in the Venice of the East.

Source by Priya Chopra