Destination of the Month

Alleppey-Kumarakom, Kerala

Alleppey and Kumarakom are two corners of the Vembanad lake and are the starting-points of the boat cruises through the backwaters. Whether you choose alleppey or Kumarakom the scenes in the backwaters would be the same.

Alleppey is a backwater paradise founded in 1762 by the Divan of Travanacore, Raja Keshawadasan. Having earned itself the sobriquet "Venice of the East" owingto its numerous waterways, the beauty of Alleppey lies in mirror like lagoons, palm fringed waterways and sandy beaches. Sailing on a houseboat in this pristine backwater town with its numerous coconut palms lined waterways & tiny villages gives a relaxed and laid back feel. This is one of Kerala’s most mesmerizingly beautiful and relaxing experiences.

Alleppey is graceful and greenery-fringed, disappearing into a watery world of villages, punted canoes, toddy shops and, of course, houseboats. Float along and gaze over paddy fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks. Alleppey is famous for prawn farming, cashew nut processing and coir carpet industries.

Kumarakom is a backwater paradise located near the city of Kottayam in Kerala. The destination comprises a number of islands on the Vembanad Lake. Sailing on a houseboat in this pristine back water town with its numerous coconut palms lined waterways & tiny villages gives a relaxed and laid back feel. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread across 14 acres and is a favourite haunt of migratory birds which makes it an ornithologist's paradise as well. This sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise as it is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the siberian stork, egret, darter, heron, teal etc. In addition, you can also see a variety of birds including Kingfishers, waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and water duck.

One of the foremost attractions in Kerela is an overnight houseboat cruise in the backwaters which takes you through the scenic sights of coconut fringed backwaters and paddy fields. These 80-feet long giant houseboats are luxuriously equipped with all of the modern amenities that include living rooms, bathrooms, an equipped kitchenette & air-conditioning too. These houseboats are traditionally known as Kettuvallam and were at one time the mode of transportation for men and goods. The experience includes lunch, dinner and breakfast. An overnight cruise in the houseboat is a lifetime experience and should not be missed. Those who wish to take the day house boat cruise may enjoy scenic sights along with lunch and tea on-board of coconut fringed backwaters and paddy field. The experience includes lunch and tea during the cruise.

Apart from Kettuvallams, Canoe rides are also offered which are ideal for those who would like to get every eye of the narrow canals in the backwaters. These Canoes are traditional wooden boats dugout of a single piece bark on a wood frame. They are light weight narrow boats, typically pointed at both ends and open on top. A canoe cruise takes you through the narrow canals offering a close look at the day to day life on land as well as water and also the flourishing paddy fields, coconut lagoons and isolated islands.The sparkling water and the caressing cool wind is a temptation too strong to resist. Country boats of various types crisscross the path with passengers from all walks of Kerala's rural life ranging from milkman and newspaper boy to local politicians, priests and wedding parties. It is a unique experience as this is as close as one can get to feel the vibrant life in the countryside of God's own country.

This region is also known for its spectacular snake - boat races held on the second Saturday of August, every year. This competition - the Nehru boat race takes its name from India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated in 1952. It is excitement all around as snake - boats, each manned by over a hundred oarsmen, cut through the waters like wind. The event is a tremendous success with tourists and the local population alike.

Situated just 14 km. from Alleppey is the Sree Krishna Temple that conforms to the typical Kerala style architecture. This temple is famous throughout Kerala for 'Palpayasam' milk porridge of exceptional taste and sweetness offered to the deity. The St. Mary Forane Church built in 427 A D is another major attraction famous for its beautiful mural paintings for both tourists and believers. In Champakulam you can see Nadubhagum and Champakulam snake boats which take part in the annual snake boat races.

Kerala is also globally acclaimed for its Ayurveda therapies that promise and deliver a great unison of body, mind and soul. The term Ayurveda originated from two words 'Ayur' and 'Veda', meaning the science of life. In Ayurveda physicians classify patients based on the degree of imbalance of three doshas namely Vata, Pitha and Kapha.'Vata' is that which constitutes bodily movement and activity. 'Pitha' is the entire biochemical process operating in a body and 'Kapha' is the entire physical volume in living organism. At Coir Village and Marari, Ayurveda is practiced true to its spirit and substance by a team of well experience doctors and masseurs. Variety of therapies including Ayurvedic bath are at your disposal to soothe and recharge your physical, mental and spiritual forces.

Alleppey and Kumarakom have 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. Of late, houseboats come with all creature comforts of a good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. And one can always enjoy uninterrupted views of backwater life while staying in a houseboat.

This heavenly destination is most sought after by all those who wish to come closer to God and feel his presence. Don’t miss it!!