Kerala Backwaters Tour

Tips Guide 2021

Kerala Backwaters Tour Tips Guide 2021

Last Updated: December 2nd, 2020 | By Krish Siva


Table of Contents

1. Kerala Backwaters
2. Munroe Island Backwaters
3. Cruise through Kerala in a Houseboat
4. Backwater of Ashtamudi
5. Picnic Village in Kollam
6. Sasthamkotta: Queen of Lakes, Kollam
7. Alumkadavu Kollam
8. Alappuzha Canal Cruise
9. QST and R Block Kayal Alappuzha
10. Alappuzha Kochi Cruise
11. Chandragiri Fort and River
12. Chithari - A small Tropical Island
13. Kavvayi Backwater at Payyanur
14. Kumarakom
15. Kumbalangi - Model fishing village near Kochi
16. Kuttanad - the rice bowl of Kerala
17. Mannanam in Kottayam
18. Marine Drive - A Popular Hangout in Kochi
19. Padanna Backwaters, Kasaragod
20. Pathiramanal
21. Ponnumthuruthu Island near Varkala
22. Thiruvallam Backwaters in Thiruvananthapuram
23. Valapattanam, Kannur
24. Valiyaparamba backwaters, Kasaragod
25. Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom
26. Willingdon Island, Kochi


Kerala Backwaters

Kerala state is rich in waterways, the coastal regions have a network of waterways, estuaries, lakes, inlets and natural canals connecting coastal towns.

This interlinked body of waterways is known as the BACKWATERS in Kerala, over 900 km of which is navigable.

Travelling in traditional houseboats along these backwaters to enjoy the scenic landscape is a wonderful experience and extremely popular among foreign visitors.

"God's own country"
Kerala, the most beautiful state on the southern tip of India is a major tourist destination in the country.

The National Geographic's Traveller magazine names Kerala as one of the "10 paradises on the world" and "50 must-see destinations of a lifetime".

Kerala is better known as "The God's own Country".

Kerala is truly amazing!

No doubt, it is very much the God's own country !!

Kerala Backwaters

The most beautiful and accessible part of the backwaters is the Ashtamudi Lake in Munroe Island Kollam.

This is the second biggest lake in Kerala. The Astamudi is also home of several endangered marine species with rich bio-diversity.

The famous backwaters of Kerala provides a leisurely cruise which gives one a firsthand experience of the village life style in the state and its rustic activities like coir-making and prawn farming.

"You could have the breathtaking view of the water, land, birds and human habitation on the water side, coexisting peacefully"

Munroe Island Kollam or Quilon and Alleppey or Alappuzha are the hubs of backwaters tourism in Kerala land between the sea where a network of rivers flows into it.

The very pretty Munroe Island is also a great place to visit and spend few days at to take in a slow life, green surroundings of the backwaters and canals.

The main reason to be in Alleppey is to cruise through the backwaters of Kerala. Backwater by definition means

“a part of a river not reached by the current, where the water is stagnant”,

and Kerala showcases a lot of its picturesque backwaters in Alleppey.

The houseboat rides along these BACKWATERS can prove exhilarating to the tourists as they take you through Kottayam, Alleppey, Munroe Island Kollam or Quilon, Kumarakom and Kuttanad area.


Kerala Backwater Boat










Kerala Map

Munroe Island Backwaters

Munroe Island is the convergence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River in Kollam district, Kerala, South India.

The island is accessible by road, rail and INDIA water navigation. The place is named in honour of Resident Colonel John Munro of the former Princely State of Travancore.

The island measures 13.4 square kilometres (5.2 sq mi) in area. The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 64.4 km.










Munroe Island Backwater

Munroe Island, 29 km from Varkala and 11.3 km from Kollam. There are good resorts in Munroe Island.

The Munroe Island is popular for Kerala Houseboat Tour, A cruise along the mirror-still lagoons, picture-book lakeside, palm-fringed canals and shimmering rivulets of `God's Own Country' is the most enchanting holidaying experience in the country.

Munroe Island Backwaters Canoe Tours, To enjoy the wide varieties of sceneries and freshness of narrow canals you should take a Munroe Island Backwaters Canoe Tours.

Traditional Kerala Dishes - Traditional Kerala Lunch: Sadya is the traditional vegetarian feast of Kerala. Serve the lunch on Banana Leaves.

Also you can Enjoy the beauty of silence, Silent place for YOGA MEDITATION. Also fishing you could go on fishing endlessly sitting on the banks of the backwaters and pond watching the natural beauty.

On a quiet night, the joints in the rice barge houseboat’s bamboo frame creak with the current and a crowd of stars shines on the upper deck.

Every now and then the wave laps a little faster on the side of the boat as fishermen in a dugout canoe pass by.

Backwaters and Village life

Keralites never used these rice barges as houseboat’s - much less those with luxury bedrooms and personal chefs.

Known as KETTUVALLAMS, the traditional barges were first built to bring rice and spices to Kochi via 580 miles of interconnected backwater rivers, canals and lagoons.

Roads made them obsolete, but visitors later realised what a nice ride they were.

A lot has changed here, men anchor small boats and dive for mussels.

And ‘toddy tappers’ glide along the water early each morning to palm trees along the shore, which they milk for sap used to make Kerala’s favourite traditional drink: "PALM WINE". 

Learn more: Browse backwater routes and a history of the Kollam area at

This island is a beautiful blend of modern amenities with simple life of the village. Day to day activities like walking along the village track, fishing, bird watching or simply lazing around delights the soul to the brim and guides it to fulfilment.

Kindling a mood of romance is the constant drizzle and the cool breeze.

The purple hue of the water hyacinth against the emerald mass of floating foliage is a feast to the eyes & a perfect honeymoon destination.


Honeymoon destination Kerala Backwaters Houseboats

Where to stay and eat: at the Munroe Island Lake Resort, a charming resort on Munroe Island Kollam.

Traditional Kerala Dishes - Traditional Kerala Lunch:

. Sadya is the traditional vegetarian feast of Kerala. Serve the lunch on Banana Leaves.

Also available Kerala Special items like:

Karimeen Fry, Karimeen Curry, Prawns Fry, Prawns Curry, Crab Roast, Crab Curry, Kakka Thoran, Continental Fish Fry, Special Fish Fry, Chicken Curry, Naimeen Fry, Naimeen Curry, Chicken Fry, Karimeen Pollichathu, Prawns Masala, and Crab Masala.










Traditional Kerala Breakfast items like:

Idly Sambar & Chudney, Dosa Sambar & Chudney, Poori Masala & Curry, Puttu, Pappadam & Banana, Uppumavu, Appam& Stew, Idiyappam & Egg Curry.

Kerala Dinner items like:

Chappathi and Curry, Porotta and Curry, Boiled Rice and Curry.

Contact details:
Munroe Island Lake Resort
The mind blowing land!
Tel: +91 9895924701

Getting there
Nearest railway station: 29 km from Varkala and 11.3 km from Kollam
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 70 km

Cruise through Kerala in a Houseboat

Make sure you have gone cruising in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala.

This one is really a wonderful and unforgettable experience!. A "Kerala Backwater Cruise"

On the Ashtamudi lake we recommendations a close look at the countryside:


Houseboats of Kerala

Present day houseboats are slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips,

which are huge and in fact reworked version of kettuvallams of olden times.

Here in Munroe Island the main attractions are these houseboats. The kettuvallam is held together with coir knots. Not even a single nail is used during the construction of the boat.

"The boat is made of planks of jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. With careful maintenance, a kettuvallam can last for generations".

The houseboats have become floating cottages having a sleeping area, with western-style toilets, a dining area and a sit out on the deck. Most tourists spend the night on a houseboat.

Food is cooked on board by the accompanying staff – mostly with freshly cooked fish from the backwaters having a flavour of Kerala Spices.

The houseboats are of various patterns and can be hired as per the size of the family or visiting group. Now these are a familiar sight on the backwaters in Alappuzha and Munroe Island kollam, there are as many as 1000 of houseboats.

While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is taken to use only natural products.

What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers, while you float! Now, wouldn't that be something?

For Houseboats Contact:
Munroe Island Lake Resort
Tel: +91 9895924701

DTPC House boat Pre-paid Counter
For booking houseboats, travellers can make use of the House Boat Pre-paid Counter 'Trusted Service, Trusted Rates' managed by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC).

Contact details
Alappuzha - House boat pre-paid counter
Mobile: 09400051796, 09447483308, +91-477-2251796, +91-477-2253308.


Backwater of Ashtamudi

Ashtamudi backwaters are one of the biggest backwaters in Kerala.

Located in the district of Kollam, the backwaters length is 16km.

The Ashtamudi linked with 8 channels of Lake, River and Canals, which is why it is named as Ashtamudi. This lake flows into the Arabian Sea through the Neendakara estuary.

Back water tourism is one of the most developed tourism sectors of Kerala and Ashtamudi contributes heavily for the same. Ashta means eight and mudi means cone.

The Ashtamudi Lake is served by the waters of the 8 lakes namely,

The wetlands of Ashtamudi are recognised as one of the best in the globe.


Kerala's Backwaters











The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kollam operates the longest backwater cruise in Kerala;

an 8-hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha that passes through the Ashtamudi Lake. The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kollam provides boat rides as well as houseboat cruises.

The trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerala.

The eight-hour journey will give you an intimate experience of the famed and placid blue backwaters, the gentle movement of the backwaters and the extremely beautiful scenery completely transport you to a different world altogether.

Contact details:
Munroe Island Lake Resort
Tel: +91 9895924701

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kollam Junction, about 2 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 70 km


Picnic Village in Kollam

With beautiful backwaters flowing on one side and exotic forests covering the 200-year-old guest house campus, the Ashramam Picnic Village makes for an exciting and memorable stay in the midst of nature.

This sprawling property is one of the best tourist village at Ashramam, where Lord Munroe once stayed and enjoyed the exquisite beauty of Kerala backwaters.

The Ashramam Picnic Village is the main centre for recreational activities in Kollam.

It offers a wide range of leisure activities to the guests, including boating, fishing, and many more.

People from different parts of the country and even abroad, visit this spectacular location to spend a peaceful and comforting holiday in the lap of the mother nature.

The place has a boat club, a children's traffic park and Tamarind Hotel in addition to an adventure park.

The Children’s traffic park which is believed to be the biggest traffic park in Kerala and the adventure park on the shoreline of Ashtamudi backwaters presents a stimulating experience.

The Paaramparya Museum in the same premises has on display paintings from different parts of the country including Warli, Kalamkari and Madhubani as well as KERALA mural art.

It is located 2 km from Kollam city. The one and only International Hockey Stadium in the state is also at Asramam.









Visiting hours: 1000 - 1800 hrs

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kollam Junction, about 2 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 70 km

Sasthamkotta: Queen of Lakes, Kollam

Sasthamkotta, called the 'Queen of Lakes’ is situated 29 Km from Kollam.

This is the largest fresh water lake in Kerala flanked by hills on three sides.

It meets the drinking water needs of people of the Quilon district and also provides fishing resources.

It is a beauty spot, a health resort and a centre of pilgrimage. Sathamcotta is the seat of the famous DHARMA SASTHA TEMPLE.

The place is gifted with natural beauty and is surrounded by hills and vallies. From the Temple, which lends its name to the town.

This temple dedicated to both Lord Ganesha and Lord Ayyappa is surrounded by hills and forests, and the monkeys inhabiting the premises are considered holy.

The monkeys of Sasthamkotta are believed to be the faithful entourage of the ruling deity, the Dharmasastha and therefore they have a spiritual ambience about them.

The monkeys are devotee-friendly, and the thousands of devotees visiting the temple take pleasure in feeding these monkeys with nuts and fruits.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kollam, about 29 km
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 71 km

Alumkadavu Kollam

Alumkadavu is where the first houseboats in India were built. The village of Alumkadavu at Karunagapally in the Kollam district of Kerala, India is famous for its backwatersand also as a centre for houseboat making.

One may watch here how the magnificent houseboats are being built using the wood of Aanjili, a commonly found tree in Kerala and jackwood tree.

Planks of jack wood are joined together with coir rope and coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels.

With careful maintenance they last for generations:









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Karunagappally railway station, about 5 km away.
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 95 km away.

Alappuzha Canal Cruise

Alappuzha Backwater Known as the 'VENICE OF EAST',

Alappuzha remain one of the major centers for backwater boat trips. While cruising through these canals, one would come across the many interesting aspects of day-to-day life on land and water.

Another interesting sight is that of large flocks of ducks being shepherded to newly-harvested paddy fields..

A wide range of cruise options are available here - from small country boats to luxury houseboats and small speedboats to big passenger motorboats. Small boats are preferred for cruise through the canals.

The canal networks linked to the Vembanad Lake offer an inspiring and interesting experience.

Another interesting sight is that of large flocks of ducks being shepherded to newly-harvested paddy fields.

You could also drop in at villages on the banks to check out the techniques and procedures of coir making. It's also a chance to try out the ethnic cuisine from local eateries.

Tapioca and fish delicacies and coconut toddy, the natural beverage extracted from coconut trees, are the highlights of backwater cuisine.

If you are in Kerala, don't miss a cruise through the canals of Alappuzha. Boats can be hired from the jetty, close to the KSRTC bus station.











Getting there
Nearest railway station: Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, a few kilometres away.
Nearest airport: Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km.

QST and R Block Kayal Alappuzha

Reminds us of the famous Dikes of Holland, this QST & R block Kayal as one of the wonders of the engineering know-how of Kerala is formed on the Kuttanad Taluk of Alappuzha district.

QST & R Block is actually the boundless track of fertile land reclaimed from the backwaters which is protected by Dikes building all around and thus the habitation and rice cultivation are possible even below sea level.

An easy going and languid cruise along these canals will be haunting you forever.

Bordered by palm groves and paddy fields, these tranquil waterways offer a striking view of nature in all sense.

The network of this navigable backwaters stretches to about 900 kms.

Constructed before a hundred years ago its R block is the largest cultivation area which covers to about 850 acres.

QST & R Block is a major point on the houseboat cruises in the Alappuzha district.

waterfowl and unending paddy fields…this is the place in your dreams.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha


Alappuzha Kochi Cruise

Are you a bit tired of walking to explore God's Own Country?

How about a backwater cruise, enjoying the comfort of a luxurious houseboat?

Cochin (Kochi): The "Queen of the Arabian sea" is believed to be the finest natural harbor in the world.

Ferry rides and cruising around man-made islands with lush green lawns sloping down to the water's edge fascinating experience.
Cochin is an exquisite combination of traditional and the modern of intense nostalgia and high revelry.

So be ready for a string of wonders. Giant Chinese fishing nets catch the glowing sun, sending you running for your camera.

Antique masks give you the eye as you keep exclaiming in delight down Jew Street's shopping alley.

The silence of the Jewish Synagogue fills you with a strange peace.

Local ferries take you put-putting to Willingdon Island and the renowned St.Francis Church where the mortal remains of Vasco da Gama were buried.

As you travel along, you'll find that the British, Chinese, Portuguese and Arab influence are very evident.

Let us steer towards Kumarakom, one of the prime tourist attractions of Kerala. En route, Vembanad Lake offers you sights of backwater village life and a lot of backwater activities.

The green shores throbbing with vigour and pure beauty will never tire you.

The soft sunlight lends the calm water a new enchantment as the palms on both shores welcome you with a gentle whisper in the wind.

Your mind will assure you that this scene will remain within you, to relieve you during all your busiest hours.

Once you enter QST and R Block Kayal, it is an added enchantment. It is situated at Kuttanad, popularly known as the rice bowl of Kerala. Cruise leisurely through the canals, which are fringed by palm groves and paddy fields.

On reaching Kumarakom, you enter another world of wonders. This small backwater village, which is a cluster of islands, has a life of its own, with a slow, serene rhythm. The sights, sounds and fragrances will simply captivate you.

After staying back at Kumarakom for a bit and relaxing, you may proceed to Vaikom.

It is time again to enjoy the placidity of the Vembanad Lake, in all its splendor.

On the way, you will find a small island, Pathiramanal, seemingly afloat in the middle of the backwater.

Have a brief stop and your guide can share with you many interesting myths surrounding this region.

On resuming your journey, the next halt point for you is Thanneermukkom, a village known for its Salt Water Barrier, popularly known as Thanneermukkom Bund.

It is the largest mud regulator in India. Travelling through this region and savoring some delicious Kerala snacks is a simply marvelous experience.

Your next backwater destination - Vaikom offers you many interesting sights and lifestyles. You may find here the specimens of Kerala's grand tradition.

A famous TEMPLE dedicated to Lord Shiva is the prime attraction of this town. The refreshing greenery here is another add-on for you.

From Vaikom, after recharging with a delicious Kerala meal, you may proceed to Kumbalangi. We travel via Thykkattussery,

a small village surrounded by coconut groves and paddy fields, enchanting constituents of backwater life.

The first sight that welcomes you to Kumbalangi is that of majestic Chinese fishing nets lining the sides of the backwaters.

Pokkali cultivation, a traditional indigenous method of cultivation in which the practice of taking a paddy crop is followed by prawn filtration, is a unique farming practice at Kumbalangi.

Once through the breezy backwaters of Kumbalangi, it is time for us to proceed to Fort Kochi, known for its share of Chinese fishing nets and many historic sites.

The place is worth a walk, if you would like to. However, the sights from on board are also fascinating.

Bidding adieu to Fort Kochi, let us steer towards the Bolghatty Island, our final destination.

En route to the Bolghatty Island, you would pass by the panoramic view of the mainland of Ernakulam city, its skyline and the shipyard on the eastern side.

Once in Bolghatty, it is time for us to unwind. Loosen yourself to the soothing cool breeze and the reassuring touch of serene sunlight.

Sweet is the memory of the last few hours that is sure to haunt you fondly for all the years to come. Disagree? Try the trip and you certainly won't.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha Town


Chandragiri Fort and River

Situated on the banks of Chandragiri River, Chandragiri Fort is said to have been built in the 17th century by Sivappa Nayak of Bednore, who established his authority over the area and built a chain of forts.

marked the traditional boundary between Kerala and the Tuluva Kingdom. The fort offers a breathtaking view of the Chandragiri River joining the Arabian Sea.

The fort is also a vantage point to watch the sunset.

The ancient Kizhur Siva Temple at Chandragiri village celebrates the annual Pattutsavam- a nine day festival.

A mosque is situated nearby and the view of the bridge with the mosque in the background is one of the most attractive sights on a drive along the NH 17 from Kannur to Kasaragod.

A longest railway tunnel in Kerala passes through Chandragiri Hills.

Chandragiri is situated 4 km from Bekal.

Chandragiri Cruises: At Chandragiri boat trips to nearby Islands and palm grove is offered by the Chandragiri boat club.

Fishermen near the Chandragiri Bridge will give you a ride on the backwaters and arrange trips to nearby islands in country boats.

Fishermen near the Chandragiri Bridge will give you a ride on the backwaters and arrange trips to nearby islands.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kasaragod, about 7 km
Nearest airport: Mangalore Airport (Karnataka) about 67 km.

Chithari - A small Tropical Island

Chithari a picturesque land located 5 km away from Kanhangad in Kasaragod district.

Blessed with beautiful backwaters and white sandy beaches,

this unexplored destination is a good place for those who want to go on a peaceful vacation.

Chithari has also got a small tropical island surrounded by lagoons for nature loving sightseers.

One can reach Chithari by road and the island through water. The views of the enchanting land with lush greenery from a boat or wooden canoe that belongs to the local people are to behold.

The island is part of the Bekal Fort project and has just started receiving attention from travel buffs.

It is sure that soon it will find a place in the list of ‘must see’ destinations on Kerala.

Mangalore and Kozhikode are the nearest airports to reach Chithrai. To come by train, you should get down at Kanhangad and travel by road to reach there.

As Chithari is close to sea, climate will be pleasant always, However, September – January is the perfect season to enjoy the beauty of this virgin territory.

After visiting Chithari, if you have time, you can also travel to see other destinations such as:









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kanhangad, about 5 km
Nearest airport: Mangalore, about 50 km and Calicut International Airport, about 200 km


Kavvayi Backwater at Payyanur

Kannur, also known as Cannanore, is a beautiful city on the northern side of KERALA State in INDIA.

This place is famous for theyyams and temple festivals. Kannur is the administrative headquarters of the district of Kannur.

It is known as Land of Theyyams.

This is the largest city of "North Malabar".

Other cities administered from Kannur include Thalassery (21 km south), Thaliparamba (20 km north), Payyannur (40 km north), Mattannur (25 km east), Koothuparamba (22 km southeast), Chakarakkal (16 km south east) and Iritty (42 km).

The main language spoken is Malayalam. However, English, Hindi and Tamil are the other languages which are also spoken and understood by the majority of the people.

"Kavvayi Backwaters" located near Payyannur is the third largest backwater in Kerala and the largest one in 'north Kerala'.

The Kavvayi Kayal (Backwaters) is dotted with several small and large islands.

'Valiyaparamba island' is the largest among them and stretches over 16 km2. Located north to Payyannur, Kavvayi is the largest backwater stretch in North Kerala.

It stretches from Kavvayi near Payyannur in Kannur district to Neeleshwar in Kasargod district.

There are several small and large islands in the backwateradding to its enchanting beauty.

The backwaters is fed by four rivers. Kavvayi backwater is named after the Kavvayi island close to payyannur.

Kavvayi used to be an inland port and a major administrative center during the past centuaries.

Now the importance of "Kavvayi island" has diminished but still there are several educational institutions in this small island as a remnant of its years pride and glory.

From an ecological point of view the backwater of Kavvayi and its surrounding region is considered to be of significance. The backwater and the wetlands are home to a variety of fauna and flora.

Kavvayi backwaters also give you an opportunity to step in one of the country boats and relax while relishing the richness and lushness of surrounding greenery.

You can also relax yourself by taking a quiet walk along the stunning land which covers the 'Kavvayi backwaters'.

Tourists who visit this place are thrilled for sure while exploring the wide range of flora as well as fauna that Kavvayi backwaters hold inside itself.

A boat ride ideally from Kotti-Kottappuram would enable a visitor to see and enjoy the many inspiring sights of Kavvayi Kayal.











Getting there
Nearest railway station: Payyannur, about 3 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 154 km



Situated 14 km from Kottayam in Kerala, Kumarakom has become synonymous with backwater cruises across the world.

A scenic bunch of islands clustered around the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is about 70 km from Kochi (Cochin).

Kumarakom is a part of the Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of "Kerala" and is surrounded by lush paddy fields crisscrossed by canals and the lake.

The Vembanad lake has its maximum length and breadth near KUMARAKOM.

The bird sanctuary here, which is spread across 14 acres is a favourite haunt of migratory birds and an ornithologist's paradise.

wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian Stork visit here in flocks and are a fascinate the visitors.

An enchanting backwater destination, Kumarakom offers visitors many other leisure options. Boating and fishing facilities are available at the Taj Garden Retreat, a sprawling old bungalow-turned-resort.

Kumarakom is a veritable cornucopia of travel pleasures that will mesmerize your senses. It is truly a paradise on earth. It is one of the foremost travel destinations on the planet and a crown jewel of 'Kerala tourism'.

The legendary backwaters of Kumarakom have brought visitors from far and wide to its shores.

The dancing palm trees and the exquisite houseboats are just an added advantage or flourishes to your vacation.
Read more on Kumarakom.











Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 13 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 94 km


Kumbalangi - Model Fishing Village near Kochi

Kumbalangi is a village in Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala.

Located in the district of Ernakulam, near the city of Kochi, the village was selected as a model tourism village by the Government of India.

In 2003 Kerala government give more preference to village tourism and selected some villages are model villages.

The model village is a veritable treat to its visitors with the famous Chinese fishing nets and many other sights to savour.

Kumbalangi Integrated Tourism Village project is a unique initiative to transform the tiny island as a model fishing village and tourism spot.

Kumbalangi has a calm and quite landscape with warm people. It’s a virgin landscape unspoiled by excessive presence of tourist. It’s a place to relax and rejuvenate with the beauty of nature and richness of exotic cuisines.

Kumbalanghi is surrounded by backwaters. A ring of 'Chinese fishing' nets literally encircle the island -village bearing witness to the rich aquatic life.

An array of mangroves separate land from water providing a breeding ground for prawns, crabs, oysters and small fishes.

The village which is 16 km, 2 in area is home to fishermen, farmers, labourers, toddy tappers and coir spinners all alike.

Kalagramam, an artist’s village, displays handicrafts and fishing equipment. Mangroves are nurtured here as well as fish farming. Bait fishing is extremely popular among tourists here.

Many houses in the village are homestays and visitors can book their stay directly with homestay operators or seek the assistance of the village council.










Getting there
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 14 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 46 km

Kuttanad - The rice bowl of Kerala

The Kuttanad region in Alappuzha district is named the ‘rice bowl of Keralafor its picturesque expanse of paddy cultivation which forms Kuttanad-Alappuzha-Keralathe main source of the famous ‘boiled rice’ of the state.

As a tourist destination, it holds some geographical peculiarities. It is a vast area of partly reclaimed land,

The unique feature about paddy cultivation in 'Kuttanad' is that the level of water is a few feet higher than the level of the surrounding land.

It's the area with the lowest altitude in India, and one of the few places in the world where farming is carried out below sea level.

The place is an amazing labyrinth of shimmering waterways:

Kuttanad is a backwater paradise and an ideal destination for a backwater cruise in Kuttanad-Alappuzha-KeralaKerala. It is possible to drift along in a houseboat and enjoy the scenic view of the Kerala countryside.

With the Kuttanad region and the Vembanad Kayal nearby, Alappuzha attracts tourists throughout the year.

The criss-crossing canals in the area evoke comparisons with Venice, but the differences are also substantial.

Each has an identity of its own. Amongst the notable sights is the palm-covered Pathiramanal Island in Vembanad Kayal, which can be accessed through an hour’s cruise by boat from Alappuzha.

The district is famous for its snake boat races and also houses a number of historic colonial buildings and a beach.

The Kuttanad region is broadly classified into three divisions:
• Lower Kuttanad
• Upper Kuttanad
• North Kuttanad

The major occupation in Kuttanad is farming, rice being the staple crop.

Kuttanad-Alappuzha-Kerala More than two crops are grown alternately each year.

Large farming areas near the Vembanad Lake were actually reclaimed from the lake.

Following the Land Reclamation Act which decreed that whoever reclaims land from water can own it, many enterprising farmers took up the challenge leading to massive redemption of land from the lake.

As the farming in the area increased, farmers felt themselves constrained by the two cycles a year for rice cultivation owing to the limited availability of potable water in Kuttanad.

During the monsoon seasons, the water from the mountains flow through the rivers to the sea, bringing potable water to Kuttanad.

But during summer, due to the low level of the region, seawater enters Kuttanad and makes the salt content of the water high making it unpotable.

As you explore the villages, don't forget to take a walk by the numerous canals that crisscross Kuttanad, which are lined by tall coconut trees swaying in the breeze.

During most part of the day, these canal stretches would be abuzz with different activities.

You would also come across big country boats called 'Kettu Vallams' on which goods like coconut husk, rice grains etc. are transported to nearby markets in bulk.

Among the sights on the backwaters here at Kuttanad, the most fascinating obviously is that of the ducks, quacking together in high decibels and moving across the backwaters in large numbers; shepherded by men on small boats.

One can also catch men playing on the backwater; some diving down to collect lime shells from the depths and others fishing with their nets and traditional cane basket called Ottal.

For those interested in trying out few local dishes may do so by dropping at the small traditionally built wayside eateries, which are quite famous for backwater fish delicacies and tapioca.

A popular naturally extracted beverage is the toddy, which is available in plenty and enjoyed by many for its speciality.

You may also find Kuttanad, a bit more exciting, if you hire a boat.

You can hire motorboats, houseboats etc. from the boat jetty operated by the government as well as private groups near the KSRTC Bus Station at Alappuzha or else may get on one from places like Kidangara, which is on the Alappuzha-Changanasserry road.

Some of the places worth visiting in the Kuttanad area are Nedumudy, Kaavalam, Champakkulam etc.

Kuttanad Alappuzha Backwaters









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha.
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha

Mannanam in Kottayam

Besides being associated with the Blessed Father Kuriakose Elias Chavara,

Mannanam is the seat of the first seminary of the Malabar Church (1833),

the first Catholic Sanskrit School in Kerala(1846), the first private printing press, CMS Press started by Rev.

Benjamin Bailey (1846), and the first daily newspaper in 'Malayalam', the Deepika (1887).

St. Joseph's Monastery Church at Mannanam, 15 kms from Kottayam is a prominent Christian pilgrim center.

The church was built by the blessed Father Kuriakose Elias of Chavara, who is among the most saintly figures in the annals of Syrian Catholic Church history.

The mortal remains of this saintly priest is preserved here.

Thousands of devotees gather here to pay homage to the saint every Saturday.

The altar of the church is painted with gold filigree work. Every year on 3rd January, the feast of Blessed Chavara is celebrated with great devotion and solemnity.

The Chavara Art Museum at Mannnam preserves a brilliant repertory of church history.

Cruise tours in Mannanam
District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kottayam provides an enchanting boat journey through the Pennar Canal to the picturesque backwater districts of Alappuzha and Ernakulam.

Accommodation for tourists are available at the Mannanam DTPC Tourist Home.

For details contact, District Information Officer:- +91 481 2562558









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 11 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 83 km


Marine Drive - A popular hangout in Kochi

Marine Drive is a beautiful promenade in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala state of India. The Marine Drive is built facing the backwaters of Kochi. It is a popular hangout for the local populace as well as the tourists.

Even though it is called Marine Drive but vehicles are not allowed on the walkway.

Its popularity among tourists and the local populace has made Marine Drive an important hub of economic activities in Kochi.

Marine Drive boasts of numerous shopping malls and that makes it an important center of shopping in Kochi. You can find many popular fast food joints along the walkway.

Hundreds of people throng the Marine Drive walkway during the evenings to view the rising sun over the sea mouth, and feel the gentle breeze coming from the nearby Vembanad Lake.

The Marine Drive walkway starts from the High Court Junction and stretches until the Rajendra Maidan.

Several boat jetties dot the walkway, which has two bridges-

The Rainbow Bridge and the International Tourism Boat Jetty Complex are other attractions here.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam, about 3 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 29 km


Padanna Backwaters, Kasaragod

Padanna backwaters, which are located in the area of Cheruvathur, in Kasaragod district, is one of the most scenic places in Kerala as coconut trees and palm trees cover this place beautifully.

Mr. Gul Mohammed started off the Oyster Opera at Padanna.

This is the hub of oyster farming and what started off on a very small scale, provides income to thousands of people today. This is one of the few places in the state where modernisation has not set in.

The old rustic charm of the rural areas of Padanna is still evident in the backwaters today. Many tourists come here to see the oyster farms.

A trip on the houseboat and sunbathing at the Valiyaparamaba beach are some of the activities that can be enjoyed here.

The backwaters of Padanna are sourced by five big rivers that later flow into the Arabian Sea. Mussel cultivation is the main occupation of people here.

If you want to enjoy natural tourism in its best form by staying in beautiful cottages, you must visit the Padanna Backwaters. And while you are here, you must not miss the local delicacy of green mussels that melt in your mouth!

One man's passion to enhance the livelihood of his fellow villagers has now culminated in the form of a retreat, and the first theme village of Kerala.

That is Oyster Opera at Padanna with oyster farming as its theme.

It is now a source of income to thousands and a destination for those who would love to be part of the very best of available natural settings.

Facilities out here at 'Oyster Opera' reflect the cultural and traditional traits of the local people. Here, the villagers play host during your stay at the retreat.

The whole ambience does not have the sophistication of modern day resorts and the visitors are bound to appreciate this aspect the moment they land at Padanna and till they bid goodbye.

But saying goodbye to Padanna is never easy. Because such is the kind of satisfaction and pleasure that you get here, it makes you yearn for more.

The climate remains pleasant all through the year at Padanna, due the abundance of greenery all around. The place receives abundant rainfall during the monsoon months of June, July and August.

The best time to visit this place is the time just after monsoon, which is from September to February.

Cruises from Padanna:

The combined pleasure of the houseboat trip along with the cool moonlight makes it a trip that you will remember for the rest of your lives.

Prime Attractions: Padanna is a place that has many Hindus and Muslims.

Some of the most famous places of worship are Shri Mundya Temple,










More details can be had from or via email: or call + 91 467 2278101.

Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kanhangad, about 22 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 167 km



Pathiramanal Island occupies just about 20 hectares of land in the middle of Lake Vembanad.

You can reach there after 1 1/2 hours drive by motor boat or 30 minutes by speed boat from Alappuzha in south Kerala.

The green island thus forms an ideal place for a break in the journey while on a backwater cruise.

This place has been close to the heart of bird enthusiasts for a long while.

Kerala Backwater tourism picked up in the last decade. Since then,

The uninhabited island is so small that even by walking you can reach all over the island. Birds thrive among the canopy of greens in the middle of vast expanse of water.

Besides 91 'species' of local avian inhabitants, different kinds of migratory birds from around the globe make here a second home, all throughout the year.

Whisper of waves and pamper of gentle breeze calms senses, while getting lost in the world of birds.

They are usually seen restful among dense bushes or flying around scattered palms and trees.

Egrets and Kingfishers are just a few of the inhabitants.

Recognising its potential as a bird habitat and promising tourism spot, Kerala government took over the property in the early 1970’s. Kerala Tourism Department manages it with a focus on sustainability.

Similar to many other Kerala tourist locations, Pathiramanal Island is a plastic free zone.

Pathiramanal Bio Park, a dream conceived by local authorities, is progressing to execution stage thanks to the support of Indian Government.

The project envisions Pathiramanal to have a Bio Park, fish breeding facility, museum of natural history and aquarium are without jeopardising its natural beauty.

You can reach there after 1 1/2 hours drive by motor boat or 30 minutes by speed boat from Alappuzha in south Kerala.

The green island thus forms an ideal place for a break in the journey while on a backwatercruise.

The mainland Alappuzha has a vast network of lakes, lagoons and fresh water rivers criss crossing it and is a district of immense natural beauty.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Alappuzha, about 16 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 85 km north of Alappuzha


Ponnumthuruthu Island near Varkala

The Ponnumthuruthu Island, is located in a serene location, at about 20km from Varkala, is one of the most beautiful uninhabited islands in Kerala.

Within the dense greenery, a surprise element in the form of a century-old Shiva Parvati temple welcomes the tourists at this island. This island is found in the midst of Anjenjo backwaters.

This place is visited by tourists who have an eye for natural beauty. Sunset viewing is most enjoyable from this place.

Varkala, which is 35km from 'Thiruvananthapuram' city, is the main place where you need to get down toreach this island.

From Varkala, you can take the Kadakkavur Road and reach Onnampalam.

From this place, a beautiful cruise ride takes you to this island.

You will be surprised to find the expansive tree growth here that cuts you off from the rest of the world completely.

You feel you are in a completely different world as you travel through the scenic Anjenjo backwaters.

There are quite a few ducks here that greet you along the way.

In terms of fame and tourism potential, the beach at "Ponnumthuruthu Island" in Varkala is definitely a few notches lesser than the Kovalam beach.

However, in terms of beauty, this beach is surely on par with the Kovalam Beach.

The island is also the place where some Hindu devotees conduct the last rites of their near and dear ones.

There are many houseboats that from Nedungada village, in which you can travel to this island in complete harmony with nature.








Getting there
Nearest railway station: Varkala, about 5 km away
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 30 km away


Thiruvallam Backwaters in Thiruvananthapuram

Located at the distance of 6 km from the capital city of Kerala called Thiruvananthapuram, 'Thiruvallam Backwaters' is the most popular backwater destination amongst the tourists coming on the trip to Kerala.

Karamana are the two rivers that merges at Thiruvallam, which leads to the beautiful formation of these backwaters.

It is an internationally reknowned backwater spot in India. It's dream destination for the tourists, with a evergreen and pleasant climate.

You can plan out the trip to the Thiruvallam Backwaters at ant time during the year.

The Boat Club here organises tours to the nearby islands of Pozhikara and Edayar as well as visits to coir manufacturing units.








Getting there
Nearest railway station: Thiruvananthapuram, about 5 km away
Nearest airport: Trivandrum International Airport, about 6 km away

Valapattanam, Kannur

Valapattanam is a small town in the Kannur district, located in the Indian state of Kerala.

It is also the smallest panchayath in Kerala. Its area is 2.04 sqr Km. It is about 7 km north of Kannur.

Valapattanam is an important Muslim settlement area in Kannur. Valapattanam is known for its communal harmony.

On one side "Kalarivathukkal Temple" is located and on the other bank there is "Kakkulangara Mosque".

Here in the little hamlet on the banks of the river Valapattanam, is a giant of the modern timber industry - Western India Plywood Ltd., the largest wood-based industry in South East Asia.

Valapattanam is also a famous fishing harbour as well as the main source of the irrigation project in the district.

It is a fascinating experience to watch the traditional mode of timber transportation - by tying long pieces of timber together and allowing them to float down the stream.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kannur, about 7 km
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 93 km from Kannur town

Valiyaparamba backwaters, Kasaragod

Valiyaparamba Backwaters are the largest backwaters in North-Kerala and the third largest backwaters in Kerala.

Though not as popular the Alappuzha Backwaters Boat rides starting from Kotti-Kottapuram let the visitor see the important spots along backwaters and experience the local flora and fauna which is of significance.

Located 30 km from Bekal, Valiyaparamba in Kasaragod district of Kerala, is perhaps the most scenic backwater stretch in the state.

Valiyaparamba Backwaters is a region of great natural beauty.

Valiyaparamba Backwaters as mentioned is close to the Malabar mangrove trail, it is also home to migratory birds.

These birds can be seen around the tiny islands in Valiyaparamba Backwaters.

Keep an eye out for them while enjoying your boat ride.

You can also bathe in the 'Valiyaparamba Backwaters'. This is an experience you shouldn’t miss at any cost.

A dip in the cool waters of Valiyaparamba Backwaters will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and at no extra cost.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Payyanur, about 9 km away
Nearest airport: Calicut International Airport, about 175 km away

Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom

Kottayam is a vast network of canals which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Lake.

"Vembanad Lake" emits the hues of sapphire and emerald. The sight of emerald green coconut fringes flanked by the sapphire led backwaters is a treat for eyes.

People from around the world come here for a boat ride and to spoil themselves in the scenic beauty of the backwaters.

Serene and tranquil backwater of Kumarakom turns into starlit affair during the festival of Onam and snake boat race.

During these festivals, the backwater spring back to life as thousands of people gathers to cheer for their favourite Chundan Vallams to chase the title of the fastest.

More than just a sports event this grand carnival calls the international as well as domestic crowd to cheer up the participants getting involved into an energetic activity.

Canoes and houseboats are best recommended to transverse the length and breadth of Vembanad Lake.

Life at Vembanad Lake runs at very slow pace. Vembanad Lake is the place known for its serenity, peace and the aquatic animals that breed here.

Houseboat ride in Vembanad Lake will take tourist to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and small islands where they can see paddy plantation, hyacinths, traditional style of fishing, and sightseeing experience that is truly exhilarating.

Tourists can also spot fascinating yet beautiful avian species that are thriving in the temperate season.

For photographers, the lake is nothing less than a bountiful ride that will show them the most pristine form of nature. Surroundings of the lake are too-good-to-be-true.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 13 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 63 km

Willingdon Island, Kochi

Willingdon Island is an island that is the part of Cochin City located in Ernakulam District of Kerala India.

It is port of Kochi and Naval Base for Southern Naval Command of India. It was named after Lord Willingdon that governor of Madras at British Times.

The island is an artificial man-made island created from the sand dug out while deepening Kochi port.

Robert Bristow 1936 was the chief engineer and architect of this island, it was established by soil dredged out while deepening the Vembanad Lake to accommodate the new Kochi Port.

Robert Bristow, the chief protagonist and engineer for the project, owned the first building on the island.

It is also a major tourist center of Kerala and houses some of the district’s best hotels, commercial and industrial offices.

The island is the site of the city's best hotels and trading centres, the Port Trust and the headquarters of the southern naval command.









Getting there
Nearest railway station: Ernakulam South, about 3 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 26 km