Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kerala Backwaters

Backwater tour in Kerala is one of the exhilarating ways of spending your holidays in Kerala. The gorgeous greens, the canopies of coconuts, the shimmering waters, composed beaches and the tantalizing backwaters welcome you to the God's Own Country - Kerala. The complete journey along the Kerala backwaters is a moving picture with beauty of nature at its best. Kerala backwaters cruises complete the tour to southern India. Kerala backwaters take you through the winding waterways unveiling the colourful culture and customs of the remote Kerala. The coastline of Kerala is dotted with delightful backwaters destinations.Kerala's palm-lined backwaters are inland lakes linked by a network of canals. With 41 west-flowing rivers, the backwaters stretch to almost 1,900 km. The backwater routes date back over the centuries and have been long used for all transition needs, in particular trade in coconut, rubber, rice and spices. Today, these waterways connect distant villages and islands to the mainland and nerve centers of the coastal area. The palm-fringed, tranquil backwaters of Kerala were once just the state's trade highways. But today, Kerala Backwaters are one of the most captivating tourist destinations in India. Every year millions of domestic and international tourists are beckoned by its charming and enticing surroundings.

Major Backwater Regions -

Kuttanad : The most interesting area in the backwaters is the Kuttanad region, called the rice bowl of Kerala. The area is probably the only place in the continent where farming is done below sea level, using a system of dykes and bunds.

Kollam: The gateway to the Kerala backwaters is the gorgeous cashew town of Kollam. The longest Kerala backwaters cruise begind from Kollam and ends at Alleppey or Alappuzha. Vembanad Lake : This is the largest backwater stretch is the Vembanad Lake, which opens out into the sea at the Kochi port and flows through three districts-Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. The Ashtamudi Lake has eight 'arms' covering a major portion of Kollam district in the south, and is the second largest lake in the state.
Aleppey(Alappuzha):Known as the 'Venice of the East', Alappuzha with its lovely lakes, lagoons and the fresh water rivers will not fail to intoxicate you. The variant village cruises to the coconut plantations and the coir villages of Cochin will absorb you entirely on the Kerala backwaters trip.

Trivandrum: The capital city of Thiruvanthapuram is the main tourist hub for the tourists in Kerala India. Besides, it is also a major center for politics and industries in Kerala. In addition to this, soothing shoreline, beautiful beaches and the backwaters stretches make it a terrific hideout. The Kerala backwaters destination of Thiruvallam makes a great one-day tour from Thiruvanthapuram. At Thiruvallam you may indulge in the canoe rides, participate in the water sports at the lagoon or simply laze in the beach.

Kumarakom : Situated on Lake Vembanad the Kerala backwaters destination of Kumarakom offers unique boating, fishing and sightseeing opportunities.

Kottayam : Close to Kumarakom is the alluring Kerala backwaters of Kottayam with paddy fields, rubber plantations and the highlands. Kottayam is renowned as the land of letters, latex and lakes.

Best Season to Visit : Though you may plan your Kerala backwaters tour anytime of the year, the best time for cruising is from October to March.

Shop in the Nearby Areas -On your way back home from the Kerala backwaters do not forget to pick up the best buys being offered by the region ranging from the carved wooden elephant souvenirs, assorted handicrafts like bell metal products, coir goods, sandalwood, brass and wooden items, conch shells, paintings and masks.

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