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Lying strewn along the coastline of the Arabian Sea, a string of brackish lagoons and lakes has mesmerized tourists all over the world. These are known as the famed Kerala Backwaters. The stretch of 900 km forming a mesh of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets is dotted with various towns and cities. Each of these form the starting and end points for cruises, which have acquired the magical connotation of Backwater Tourism in Kerala adding more excitement to your Kerala Holiday Packages. Let us take a look at some of the major destinations that dot the cruise route.
Perhaps the first name that springs to the mind when you speak of Kerala Backwaters is Alleppey. Known most famously for the snake boat race held during the Onam festivals, Alleppey is the starting point for most backwater cruises. Characterized by picture perfect lakesides and canals laced with verdant Palm trees, Alleppey is a dream destination for most people eager to tour the Kerala Backwaters. Housing one of the largest networks of inland canals, Alleppey is often referred to as the Venice of the East.
The place bears strong historical significance as it was one of the busiest trade centers owing to being home to one of the best ports in North Malabar.
Also known as Alappuzha, Alleppey boat cruises along the backwaters connects Kumarakom and Cochin to the North and Kollam or Quilon to the South. As the boat lazily meanders its way across daily activities like toddy tapping, fishing, Coir-making and prawn farming a whole kaleidoscope of the Kerala lifestyle is on display for the eager tourists.
Set against the emerald green waters of the VembanaduLake, Kumarakom presents a pretty picture. Known to be one of the largest freshwater lakes in Kerala, the VembanaduLake is also famed to be the largest among the Kerala backwaters. It is home to several exotic marine and freshwater species, particularly the Karimeen Shrimps also known as Pearl spots.
Kumarakom provides one of the best houseboat experiences. These are huge boats which are fitted with hotel like accommodation and which are hired by tourists to enjoy the beauty of the backwaters.
The place also houses the famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, which sprawls across 14 acres and is a favorite with a huge collection of migratory birds. As a result, along with being a backwater resort, Kumarakom is also a bird lover’s paradise.
With an exalted history as being the center of the spice trade, Kollam is sprawled across the River Ashtamudi at the gateway of the Kerala Backwaters. It provides tourists with one of the most idyllic trips along the backwaters till Alleppey. The 8 hour long trip meanders through some of the most enchanting sights of the Kerala backwater landscape, ensuring that it remains entrenched in the minds and hearts of tourists long after they leave the place.
Known as the city of spices, Kozhikode is known for its rich history and its tranquil beach. The Kozhikode beach located near the Kozhikode town is famous for the old world charm that it exudes.
Known for its coir and handloom industries, Kasargod is known as the intercepting point of North Malabar, Tulunadu and Coorg. It is also known to be one of the most beautiful districts in Kerala being watered by 9 rivers. It houses, scenic tourist destinations like Bekal Fort, AnanthapuraLakeTemple, Ranipuram.
Kerala is, in all respects, God’s own country and its backwaters his special touch. The place no doubt deserves a patient viewing in every visit.