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Backwater Tourism in Kerala

Backwater Tourism in Kerala Land and water share an extraordinary kinship in Kerala. The land which is believed to have sprung forth from the sea continues to bask in the tender...

North Kerala Backwaters

North Kerala Backwaters Kozhikode backwaters promise you a memorable holiday experience. Kozhikode was once the capital of the great Zamorins. It was a prominent trade and commercial centre and...

Kumarakom Backwaters

Kumarakom Backwaters Nestled among lush paddy fields, Highlands and extensive rubber plantations is Kumarakom, one of the most popular and most beautiful backwater stretches of Kerala. Kumarakom is located 16kms...

Kochi Backwater Holidays

Kochi Backwaters Kochi has long been eulogized in tourist literature as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea”. The harbour is the nucleus around which Kochi has grown. The...

Houseboats Holidays of Kerala

Houseboats of Kerala The Houseboats of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 feet in length, retrieved from being lost to the State altogether. Once they ruled...

Backwaters of Kerala The backwaters refer to the large inland lakes, lagoons, rivers canals water network of Kerala. Kerala’s life is largely influenced along with these backwaters....

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Houseboats of Kerala 

The Houseboats of Kerala are giant country crafts, measuring up to 80 feet in length, retrieved from being lost to the State altogether. Once they ruled the backwaters, poled along by one or two men, heavily loaded with rice, coconut and other commodities. But in the recent times, the kettuvalloms have been replaced by more and modern modes of transport, relegating them to neglect and decay. The “Kettuvallam” meaning ‘boat with knots’- was so called because the entire boat was held together with coir knots only - not even a single nail is used during the construction. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. Once these Kettuvallam’s were ruled the backwaters. It has been a major medium of transportation of goods & people in Kerala backwaters in yesteryears.

 

In particular these boats were used to ship rice, coconuts & spices between Kuttanadu and the Cochin port. This journey may take three day during those days. A standard house boat, which could be about 100 feet long, can carry 30 tons, and that is as much as three big Lorries can. For the royalty these boats even became comfortable living quarters. It was the important mode of transportation in coastal Kerala just because of its accessibility to the most remote areas. However, when the modernization comes and the introduction of motorized roads the scenario is changed.

The significant of backwaters as a mode of transportation is diminished. Before the deterioration of these Kettuvallams, Kerala introduced these boats as a house boats with huge bed room, a toilet, a kitchenette and an open balcony, where a tourist can enjoy the abundance of backwaters. While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and wood of the aracanut tree are used for roofing, coir mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though, solar panels are used. As the houseboats glide over the Kerala backwaters at a leisurely pace, the sights are new, the sounds are new, and every sensation is new every passing moment. The tourists, with foreigners in large numbers, have helped not only to revive the good old kettuvallams but even make it popular.