Kerala Backwaters

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Welcome to the green paradise, which is synonymous with greenery and natural bounties, the place which is blessed with unmatched attractions and expressions of nature that is none other than Kerala. If you wish to have peaceful vacations in the soothing surroundings of nature then you must move to this place which is often referred as God's Own Country. This beautiful state is located at south-western region of the India which is blessed with unbelievable attractions including enchanting hill stations, immaculate beaches, exotic wildlife and many alike which are extremely unique and stunning.

Apart from these attractions, backwaters of Kerala are very popular which are globally acclaimed for its immaculate beauty, which has not any comparison in the world and plays an important role in Kerala Tourism. These exclusive backwater sites are the perfect combination of brackish lagoons, lakes, inlets, deltas, and myriad rivers which forms the perfect surroundings which really deserves the attention of vacationers. Whenever you think about Kerala you have a vivid picture of maze of meandering backwaters lined by palm trees, coconut grooves, golden beaches, tea states picturesque natural harbors. Backwaters of this state have something for anyone, right from providing a unique holidaying experience to providing attractive spice trade opportunities for businessmen. The magnificence of these backwaters fascinates tourists and entices them to visit this place from across the world all the year round.

Along the backwaters people can catch the glimpse of traditional lifestyle of the locals. The giant country crafts called Kettuvallams/houseboats ply along the rivers. Earlier houseboats were meant for the trade and transportation purposes by the locals, which used to carry goods from one place to another place. Today houseboats come with all amenities which never fail to lure the heart of vacationers and add their charm during touring to this beautiful place. Houseboats in Backwater offers all the facilities to the vacationers includes rooms, Kitchen, hygienic toilets, deck, lounge including cook and guide which will assist you during your backwater tours.

This state is blessed with numerous backwater destinations such as Kochi, Alappuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Thiruvallam, Kozhikode and Kumarakom. Kumarakom is one of the most popular backwater destinations in Kerala which is adorned with picturesque landscapes, coir villages, spectacular world heritage attractions and wide varieties of flora and fauna. Cruise in Kumarakom Houseboats offers you a memorable holiday experience. As you cruise the houseboat over the sparkling backwater, you will come to see the simplicity of the age old world, village life and many other heart grabbing attractions of the region. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is other attraction of this place which offers you a wonderful opportunity to experience the wide species of birds and animals.

One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the backwater and bird sanctuary is scheduling houseboat in Kumarakom backwaters. If you wish to experience the backwaters in its real form then you can go for several water activities such as waterskiing, windsurfing, wind skiing and fishing. All these wonderful attractions and the amiable climatic conditions make Kumarakom the most beautiful backwater destinations in Kerala.

During June and July, when Monsoon pours, the backwaters reverberate with the sound of the traditional snake boat races, featuring the 110-feet-long chundan vallams. Up to 16 of them, with over a hundred rowers each, compete for the honors during the races. The most important of these races is the Nehru Trophy Boat Race held on the second Saturday of August. The Aranmula Boat Festival of the Parthasarathy temple of Aranmula, on the banks of the holy river Pamba, is the more traditional race. The boat carnival starts on the day of Thiruonam, the most auspicious day of the Kerala festival, Onam.

The Vallamkali (boat race) is one of the main attractions of Onam, and is best seen at Aranmulai and Kottayam. About a hundred oarsmen row huge and graceful odee (boats). Oars dip and flash to the rhythm of drums and cymbals in each boat. The songs are generally typical in character and concern people well known in Malabar. Above each boat gleam scarlet silk umbrellas: their number denotes the affluence of the family owning the boat. Gold coins and tassels hang from the umbrellas.

Champakulam Moolam Boat Race is one of the oldest and most famous race, which is the first race in the season. It is held on the river Pampa on Moolam day in the months of June-July. The legend states that Chempakasseri's Raja, Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan, build a temple at Ambalapuzha with advices from his priest, before the installation of the deity Lord Krishna, Raja Pooradam was informed that the idol was not auspicious. Priest advised to have a different idol, kept in temple in Kurichi. Idol given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna hence was considered holy. While coming back at night time, Raja's Pooradam people took Christian home as a safe household in Champakulam and performed puja. Boats from whole region came in the morning to bring the idol in a colourful, ritual cavalcade through the lake to the temple.

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Author: Babu Varghese
Author - Babu Varghese of Tour India is from tourism industry for the last 40 years, who is the creator of Kettuvallam Houseboat which has become the most popular tourism products in Kerala in the last decade.

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