It would not be wrong if I say a trip to Kerala is incomplete without paying a visit to its tranquilly beautiful backwaters. Backwaters of Kerala are one among of its main attractions. The lush green views, rippling waters, countless rows of coconut trees, the chirping of birds and sounds of nature holds and lures me back again and again to this paradise on earth.
It was 12 in the noon; our car was passing through the various small lanes running parallel to the river and into the heart of the village. After reaching the destination, two men who were our host for the next 24 hours welcomed us onboard with a warm and a friendly smile. We had booked a 1Bhk houseboat for our stay just apt for us, keeping in mind of all the needs and requirements for a day or two. We kept our luggage inside the well-arranged room and let ourselves loose and drift with the flow of water.
Slowly we rowed away from the shore leaving the clamor behind. I sat at the side of our houseboat and immersed my hand into the currents tried to feel the mildness of water. Small fishes sporadically jumping out of the water, creating ripples. Water lilies, lotuses, and various duckweeds bloom in the water. Varieties of birds from the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary can be heard and seen across the clear tropical sky.
The boat gradually moved ahead and our driver showed us the fields of mangroves, paddy and coconut palms covering the whole countryside. We halted at a small shop to buy few local delicacies, banana chips, and coconut water and took a stroll amidst colorful houses hidden behind the coconut trees. Small kids and their faces peeked from behind twitched curtains, I waved my hand to them but they shyly ran away.
Steadily the Sun became less intense; the sky changed its color from azure blue to different shades of orange and red, the birds became less active, and surrounding became quite. We hopped on the deck and watched sun dissolved with the horizon. Soon our boat anchored to the side to halt for the night and fishermen spread their nets in the waters to catch the fishes. No houseboats were allowed after 6 PM till the early morning to row across.
As the day breaks, I insist the driver try my hand on the wheel and turned it several rounds till it becomes straight my driver applaud and chuckled on my efforts. We float through the water and came across lovely ducklings swimming freely with not a care in the world, and enjoying each other’s company. I gave them few grains little aware that they didn’t like it much but still seems to be happy and friendly as already accustomed with the tourists.
Our host was in little dismay and a small dilemma surrounds him after he came to know that we are vegans. He was so excited before and told us that he is an expert in making fish and prawn curries. I asked him to cook anything in veg, and can still use the same spices and technique which he could have otherwise used for making seafood. He was more than happy and came up with this not so sumptuous but a complete and delicious meal. I felt so amazed the way he put so much effort to give his best even to strangers whom they are unsure of meeting again. That’s the beauty of India and its people.
How to reach
- Kochi is the nearest airport located at a distance of 75 km.
- Many state-run buses also available which connect Alleppey to almost all the major cities of Kerala.
- Direct trains are also available from Kochi and Trivandrum.
Alleppey Backwaters is an unforgettable experience. The sights around were so wonderful that I didn’t want it to end soon. Have you ever been to Kerala and experienced houseboats? How did you feel about it?