10 Backwater Destinations in Kerala for a Stunning Vacation

To call Kerala as just "the God’s own country” would be too thin an attribute to summarize the stunning beauty of this magical land. Dotted with manifestations of nature that beam resplendently through its many rivers and mountains, Kerala looks as if it has been straightly etched out of various hues of imagination. While Kerala might be stunning in itself, its backwaters are equally alluring and call for a relaxed holiday. So why wait? Just book for a houseboat to experience the enchantment of isolation with these 10 best Backwater Destinations in Kerala for a vacation  that you will never forget in your lifetime.

1. The Enchantment of Alappuzha

Backwater Destinations in Kerala  

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Termed as the Venice of the East, Alappuzha or Alleppey is one backwater destination in Kerala where you will find nature in its most abundant self. What makes it an exciting place to visit is the opportunity to see the boat races that characterize Kerala. The pier, which extends into the sea here, is over 137 years old and the presence of an old lighthouse makes it even more a seductive place to visit. One of the best things to do in Alappuzha is to take up a house boat on rent and cruise through the backwaters. These houseboats are in fact the reworked version of Kettuvallams of olden times and thus cast that old world charm to those who stay in it. Off late, you will find a lot of houseboats with all the comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. They offer you an exotic experience and stunning views of the backwater life. Alleppey is also one of the most sought after honeymoon destinations in Kerala.

How to Reach Alappuzha

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport which is about 85 km from Alappuzha Town

Nearest railway station: Alappuzha

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2. The Stunning Houseboat tour of Alumkadavu, Kollam

 

image source: keralatourism

Located in the North of Kollam district, Alumkadavu is still an unexplored destination that brims with natural beauty of merging land and water. A visit to Alumkadavu will make you travel back in time as you would be able to smell and see waft of coir and wood dominating the landscape here. Alumkavadu was and still is a major center for the construction of kettuvalloms which are the traditional rice barges. Today, they have been modified into houseboats for travelers where you can spend your time in the lap of nature and experience tranquility. One of the most coveted things to do in Kerala is to take up a houseboat for a stay and this place precisely offers you that tranquil experience.

How to Reach Kollam

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is about 95 km away from Kollam.

Nearest railway station: Karunagappally railway station which is about 5 km away from Kollam.

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3. Experience Eternity at Long Stretches of Ashtamudi

 

image source: keralatourism

A tour of Ashtamudi is one of the ways to experience eternity and to see nature in its various hues. Ashtamudi Lake is the second largest in the state and is also called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Encircling the Kollam town, Ashtamudi consists of 8 channels, a fact from which it derives its name. Enveloped by the clusters of palm and coconut trees and the quaint villages, this lake is like a muse for the poets and singers. The trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is considered to be one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerala, offering a rich cultural as well as natural experience. So listen to the music of the birds and witness the golden ripples of the lake as you cruise along and witness eternity at the long stretches of Ashtamudi.

How to Reach Ashtamudi

Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is about 70 km away.

Nearest railway station: Kollam Junction

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4. Witness the Emerald beauty of Chithari

 

image source: keralatourism  

One of the best backwaters of Kerala, Chithari is still a place from the olden times as you can reach here only through a boat. Imagine yourself sitting in a boat and travelling to a land that is still unaffected from the grip of modernity and commercialization! The experience can be really as thrilling and beautiful as it sounds.  Home to historic Bekal Fort and beach, Chithari is a dream destination that many travelers can only think of reaching. 

How to Reach Chithari

Nearest airport: Mangalore, about 50 km and Calicut International Airport which is about 200 km away.

Nearest railway station: Kanhangad which is about 5 km

5. Experience Rural Beauty at Kumarakom

 
image source: commons.wikimedia
 
Straight from the canvas of imagination comes Kumarakoam, a rural beauty that has inspired many to write and sing praises for. From boating to fishing and to leisure activities, this village offers a magical experience that very few would be able to wipe out from their memory. Stay in a cottage or some plush hotel, the choice is yours but Kumarakoam is bound to entrance you with its wizardly beauty and magnificence. As you visit this small town, don’t forget to visit its famous bird sanctuary and be fascinated with a view of Egrets, darters, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork.
 
How to Reach Kumarakom
 
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport which is about 94 kms away.
 
Nearest railway station: Kottayam which is about 13 kms away.
 
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6. View the Verdant Paddy Fields of Kuttanad

  
image source: wallpaper.zone
 
A combination of verdant paddy fields and enchanting shimmering backwaters offers you an ensemble of Kuttanad before you. Known for its agrarian community that excels in producing rice, this is one place where you can witness an amalgamation of nature and culture. Thanks to the four major rivers in Kerala Pampa, Meenachil, Achankovil and Manimalan that flow into the region, this land has become highly fertile and a major hub of Indian tourism. Witness the farmers indulged in farming or the women walking with a sickle in their hand and you will have the image of the quintessential Kerala. Do not forget to have your meals at small and traditionally built wayside eateries, which are quite famous for backwater fish delicacies and tapioca here!
 
How to Reach Kuttanad
 
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport which is about 85 km away from Alappuzha
 
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha 

7. Watch the Colonial Beauty of Mannanam in Kottayam

 
 
image source: keralatourism
 
Amidst the abundance of natural beauty, lies the beautiful quaint colonial village of Mannanam in Kottayam. What makes this place as one of the best backwater destinations in Kerala is its close ties with history. The seat of the first seminary of the Malabar Church (1833), the first Catholic Sanskrit School in Kerala (1846), the first private printing press, CMS Press started by Rev. Benjamin Bailey (1846), and the first daily newspaper in Malayalam, the Deepika (1887), Mannanam is one of the most beautiful corners of Kerala to look forward to.
 
How to Reach Kottayam
 
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport which is about 83 kms away.
 
Nearest railway station: Kottayam which is about 11 kms away.
 
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8. Witness the beauty of Quaint Little Village of Munroe Island

 
 
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Named after the Colonel Munroe, British Resident of erstwhile Travancore State, this island claims to be one of the best backwaters of Kerala. The hidden pearl of the Kerala’s backwaters, Munroe island is suffused with beauty that bewitches many. One of the best ways to enjoy the calmness that is bestowed here is to stay in a homestay and have a rendezvous with nature as well as culture.
 
How to Reach Munroe Island
 
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is about 84 kms away.
 
Nearest railway station: Munroe Island which is about 3 kms away.
 
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9. Experience Serenity at Padanna Backwaters, Kasaragod

 
 
image source: incrediblekerala
 
One of the best backwater destination in Kerala for a quiet retreat is Padanna in Kasaragod. This backwater haven is not ruined by tourist influx, which is the case in Southern Kerala, and the local folk offer a stay experience which offers you an experience which is quintessential Kerala’s. The beaches are virgin, not crowded and brim with natural beauty to stun you.
 
How to Reach Kasaragod
 
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport which is about 167 kms away
 
Nearest railway station: Kanhangad which is about 22 kms away.
 
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10. Indulge into the Balmy beauty of Thiruvallam Backwaters in Thiruvananthapuram

 
 
image source: commons.wikimedia
 
Famous for its canoe rides, kayaking and cruises, Thiruvallam Backwaters in Thiruvananthapuram offers you a beauty of enchanting palm-fringed beaches as well as heritage corners. Cruising along the extensive Thiruvananthapuram backwaters is like treating your eyes to the beauty of paradise that includes a network of solitary and serene waterways of rivers, lagoons, lakes, canals and tropical vegetation forest. Being a part of this journey is going to offer you a lifetime memory!
 
How to Reach Thiruvananthapuram
 
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport which is about 6 kms away.
 
Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram which is about 5 kms away.
 
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So which of these magical backwaters in Kerala would you like to visit?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NEHA KAPOOR NEHA KAPOOR

A lover of literature, Neha wants to understand world through the prism of books. Nuances of words, spoken or written, entice her to delve into the human psyche. A voracious reader of Partition and feminist literature, she desires to deconstruct and unlearn the congealed forms of knowledge system.

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