Alleppey backwaters are one of the best places in South India to refresh your mind and get rid of all your worries. Spending quality time in the backwaters of Kerala will make you feel more energized and rejuvenated. Kerala is popularly referred to as ‘God’s Own Country’ and once you experience the Alleppey backwaters, you surely get a gist of it. There are a lot of things that a traveler can pursue while experiencing the Alleppey backwaters. Houseboats are one of them. Exploring the subways in either your houseboat or kayak will prove to be a unique experience.
Alleppey Backwaters: An Overview
|Throughout the Year|
|Best Time to Visit|
|August to March|
|Safety Level for Backpackers|
|Moderate to High|
|Must Carry Item|
|Budget Travel Tip for First-Timers|
|Book the houseboats in advance especially during peak seasons.|
Alleppey as a Travel Destination: People, Places and Food
The native people residing in and around Alleppey backwaters are happy folks breathing fresh air and living amidst Mother Nature. You will see an entire city established by the side of the backwaters. Renting boats, fishing, farming are the sole source of income for the people living here. The overall lifestyle is simple.
Travelers will hardly face any language barrier here as few people out of almost every group, can manage to speak decent English. Statistically speaking, Kerala is the Indian state with the highest literacy rate (93.91, as per 2011 census). Having said that, it is always advisable to utilize the unique opportunity of learning a new language. It comes handy while conversing with the locals as well as prove more convenient for you during your stay in Alleppey backwaters.
Alleppey is well known for its beaches, temples, churches and backwaters but very few people know that this town offers a wide variety of street food options to its visitors. You can food options ranging from conventional south Indian food to more modernized versions as well as other cuisines. Being a coastal region, Alleppey offers a lot of seafood options at a very reasonable cost. If you are going to explore Alleppey backwaters, you might as well taste the delicious variety of food options available.
A few suggested restaurants are:
|The Harbour Restaurant|
|You will find almost varieties of seafood here. Along with the coastal food, they also serve North Indian and a few other forms of cuisine.|
|The Indian Coffee House|
|If you prefer sticking to a safe tried and tested option, this is the place for you. The taste of its food and menu is standard throughout the country. There are 2 outlets of Indian Coffee House in Alleppey. Feel free to explore any of them or both.|
|Aryaas (Mullakal Roda)|
|A good place to taste authentic South Indian food. If this is your first time to Alleppey backwaters, this place is a must-visit. It will give you a real touch of South India.|
How to Reach Alleppey?
|The nearest airport to Alleppey is cochin which is located merely at a distance of 65 km from Alleppey.|
|One can easily reach Alleppey through road as it has well-connected routes from all the nearby places. One can take NH44 from Bangalore to reach Alleppey.|
|The Alleppey railway station is hardly 4 km from the main city of Alleppey.|
Important Things to Carry on your Alleppey Backwaters Trip
|Mineral Water Bottle|
|Be sure to stay hydrated so carry enough water bottles.|
|You will be provided with life jackets if you go for Kayaking. Make sure to grab them before entering in your Kayak.|
|There are many mosquitos in and around Alleppey backwaters so carrying a mosquito repellent is advisable.|
|Do remember to carry your caps/hats and sunglasses, because it will be bright sunny during the day time.|
|Carrying a sunscreen lotion would be suggested as it would protect you from tanning.|
|You might sweat as Kayaking does need physical effort, so carrying a towel would always be preferable.|
|It can rain suddenly in Alleppey, so it is always better to be prepared. Carrying an umbrella would always give you more leverage to enjoy even if it rains.|
|You might need to urinate in the open sometimes during your kayak trip. So you should carry a Sanitizer.|
|A Basic First Aid Kit|
|Carrying a basic first aid kit would be a good precautionary measure.|
Average Climate of Alleppey Backwaters: Essential Facts
On average the days are hot and humid.
It rains during most of the months .ie April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
The warmest month is May.
The coolest month is July/August.
June is the month which witnesses maximum rainfall.
February is one of the driest months as it hardly rains during this time.
Just keep the above climatic conditions in mind before planning your trip to Alleppey Backwaters.
Experience the Houseboats in Alleppey Backwaters
Houseboat, also known as Kettuvalloms in Malayalam is a boat made by assembling big pieces of wooden planks and then dipping these planks in resin of the cashew nut to ensure their strength. The houseboats really vary in size from houseboats having 1 bedroom to houseboats having up to 10 bedrooms. All the houseboats have a living room/dining room which is semi-open where you can enjoy the exotic view of the backwaters while having your cup of tea served by the helpers in the houseboat.
They have options of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, the food is freshly prepared in the kitchen which is located at the corner of the houseboat.
The houseboats don’t roam around all the time while you stay in it, but they have fixed timings when they will make you see the Alleppey backwaters by giving you a ride.
An average of 2 hours in the evening and 2 hours in the morning is what you get to see while riding amidst Alleppey backwaters houseboat. The houseboat will be anchored at a corner of the Alleppey backwaters for the remaining time during your stay. You still can feel the water all around your boat while sleeping at night because of the buoyant force.
Timings of Alleppey Houseboats Tour
|Morning (Sunrise Tour)|
|6 am to 8 am|
|Evening (Sunset Tour)|
|5 pm to 7 pm|
Cost of Renting a Houseboat in Alleppey Backwaters
|Type Of House Boat and Price|
|2 BHK/4-5 People|
|Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 11,000|
|3 BHK/6-8 People|
|Rs. 14,000 to Rs. 16,000|
The prices are inclusive of dinner, morning breakfast and tea. There can be a slight variation in prices during peak seasons.
Canoeing and Kayaking in Alleppey Backwaters
Though houseboats are one of the main tourist attractions in Allepey they might not be the best way to explore the backwaters. Alleppey backwaters are a combination of many wide and narrow water subways. Houseboats can help you the wider subways but in order to explore further narrowing down, you need to rent Kayak boats.
You can choose to Kayak for any number of hours you want ranging from 4 hours to 10 hours a day.
You can take breaks in between by experiencing the piping hot and tasty local cuisine. Once you are filled up, you can continue with your kayaking schedule. The Kayak experience resembles more of a bike trip, you can explore all the routes and you are alone, so the adventurous you are the better experience you are going to get.
Head in any direction of the Alleppey backwaters and you will find the same peace and greenery everywhere. You will also be able to witness a few villages along the way.
Kayaking does need a little more physical effort but the view is so serene that you won’t feel the fatigue.
Bird Watching during Kayaking
You will be able to witness a lot of birds throughout your kayaking trip. Birds like common kingfisher, Asian palm swift are easy observed. Since it is hard for a common man to identify these birds, various bird watching packages are also available in Alleppey Backwaters.
Fishing During Kayaking
The main occupation of the people living in Kerala is farming and Fishing. It is for this reason that you can catch and later savour the best-prepared fish from Alleppey backwaters. You will witness a lot of local people fishing in the backwaters of Alleppey and still applying the same old technique of using net trap to catch fishes. They are super-efficient in their job regardless of age.
The more you see the beautiful Alleppey backwaters along with native villages, the more you find yourself lost amongst nature.
Timings for Kayaking in Alleppey Backwaters
|6:30 AM – 9:00 AM|
|Kayaking and relaxing on the boat to the next waterway|
|9:00 AM-10 AM|
|Tea and Breakfast|
|10 AM- 2:30 PM|
|Kayaking and exploring other waterways|
|2:30 PM- 3 PM|
|3:00 PM- 3:45 PM|
|Relax on a boat on your way back to the start point|
There is an option of taking one more Kayak Ride from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. People can opt for any number of hours they want to, ranging from 4 Hours to 10 Hours in a day.
The Pricing for the Kayak for a 10-hour trip is around Rs 3500 for an adult per day. The prices may slightly vary depending upon the peak season.
Living in an Alappuzha Houseboat: A Memorable Experience
The houseboats anchored in Alleppey Backwaters are a unique and royal experience in themselves.
We checked in to our houseboat at around 5 PM having travelled all the way from Munnar. Ours was an AC 2 BHK houseboat with attached toilets, a kitchen at the backside, and a lovely view from the living area. The living area had comfortable sofas, sitting on which you can really enjoy the view. Along with they also provided TV and Bluetooth music system in the living room. There were two helpers who always stayed in the boat named Gautham and Naresh. The Houseboat anchored in Alleppey Backwaters made me feel no less comfortable than a 2BHK Flat.
We took our time to get settled in the boat and then the moment we sat in the living room to enjoy the view, hot tea was served by Naresh. The pleasure was multiplying with every passing moment. We were sitting on the couch of the living area of a moving Houseboat, with cup of tea in our hands and going deeper into the Alleppey Backwaters watching the setting sun.
After sitting there for some time, we moved to our bedrooms to freshen up and to get ready for dinner. For dinner we had fresh caught fish fried till perfection with home-cooked rice, sambhar, poriyal and eggs accompanied by a mesmerizing view.
After enjoying some music, we went for sleep as we had to get up early to watch the sunrise in the morning. To our surprise, we woke up in the morning to see the whole of Alleppey backwaters fully drenched in rain. We could not see the sunrise as it was all cloudy. We sat in the living area enjoying the rain and the greenery and somewhere at the back of our minds hoping that the clouds clear out.
The rain stopped after a while but by that time the sun had already risen. Now it was breakfast time. Hot steaming idli and sambhar were served with some coconut chutney and a plate of fresh egg omelette. We headed out. It was now time to say goodbye to the houseboat and Naresh and Gautham.
Being amidst Alleppey backwaters makes you witness an entirely different life from a city.
Alleppey Backwaters: An Ideal Destination for Both Family Vacation & Solo Travel
Alleppey backwaters are a must-visit destination for people who are peace lovers. You can come here for a family vacation and have that royal experience of exploring the Alleppey backwaters in a Houseboat.
Alleppey Backwaters can, in fact, be a very good option for a solo traveler. One can rent a Kayak and spend an entire day lost in the Alleppey backwaters exploring the different subways with nothing in his mind but admiration for the Natural beauty he witnesses.
With various food options to explore and such scenic beauty, Alleppey is one of the hot tourist attractions in South India. It offers you the kind of serene experiences that no other place in India does.
Top Travel Tips for First-Timers Heading to Alleppey Backwaters
Do remember to carry enough cash as cash would be the only mode of payment at most of the places. Though there are enough ATMs all around Alleppey but one should always be on a safer side.
If you are yet to decide the time to visit Alleppey, try to plan it during August, not only because of the climate but because you will get the opportunity to see the boat race during August. It is one of the biggest events of the region.
On the second Saturday of August every year, The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted, which is really a unique experience to witness.
Come to Alleppey backwaters and witness the most mesmerizing place in God’s own country.
Alleppey better known as Backwaters or Venice of East, is a place where the fresh water from the rivers meet the Arabian Sea and is home to hundreds of houseboats, racing boats, Kayaks. Everything is special about this place, from the chirping birds in the morning to the beautiful view of the sun at dusk. Backwaters of Kerala really are mesmerizing.
Happy wayfaring 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
THIS POST ENTITLED, “AWAKING TO ALLEPPEY BACKWATERS: THE COMPLETE HOUSEBOAT AND KAYAKING EXPERIENCE ” IS AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OF BUDGET WAYFARERS. ANY INDIVIDUAL OR ASSOCIATION INDULGING IN PLAGIARISM WILL BE DEALT WITH STRICTLY. IF YOU WANT TO USE INFORMATION FROM THE ARTICLE ABOVE, KINDLY QUOTE THE SOURCE.