The Backwaters of Kerala ~ mesmerizing, stunningly beautiful and incredibly soul stirring!! The Kerala backwaters are an experience in itself and is a must visit in a lifetime for any traveler.
I spent 24 hours along with the husband(afternoon, evening and overnight) travelling and living in a houseboat in backwaters of Kumarakom, Kerala and the memories are etched eternally in my mind and heart.
The backwaters of Kumarakom and Allepy are most popular among travelers. We booked one houseboat exclusively for ourselves for one day and one night excursion through the backwaters of Kumaraom, into Vembanad Lake and back to Kumarakom.
For a city person, the backwaters seem unnervingly calm and slow initially; life in and around the backwaters seem to move at a snail's pace (including the houseboat one is travelling in!!). However, in a while, the calmness pervades the soul within and taking a deep breath, I began to enjoy the stunning scenery around me, the lovely soft breeze on the skin and the gentle sounds of the water.
The backwaters offer a wonderful variety of scenes, of daily life of the natives (as its very much part of the daily life and trade of the native population of coastal Kerala).
Chinese Fishing Nets - used by local fishermen still
Meandering through the narrow channels of Kumarakom backwaters, the houseboat slowly traveled into the waters of the Vembanad Lake (one of the largest lakes in India) into late afternoon.
The lake is truely maginficent and is one of the major wetland listed under U.N. Ramsar convention(read details here).
The houseboat was tethered at some point in the Lake, where we could watch the views while the crew prepared lunch for us. It was an incredible life, those moments, while we lay down and watched the world go by!! (Literally!!)
The lunch was simple yet delicious, being made of fresh and local ingredients. The husband particularly loved the fish!!
Post lunch, our boat again headed lazingly from Vembanad lake, into one of the narrower backwater channels and we lost track of time. Only, when the sun began to set, did we realize it was evening.
Sunset in the backwaters is a speechless experience, there are no words to describe it, but one has to be there and feel it!!
The night was spent chatting with the crew (they were a friendly and helpful lot!!) having dinner and going to bed early, since we did not want to miss out on watching the early sunrise.
The morning came, quiet and pristine in its beauty.
However, the only time the backwaters seem to be in a state of considerable traffic is in the mornings , when the fishermen (in their various sized boats) set to work. It was a nice experience watching them hard at work.
While the fishermen worked, we had our breakfast, which was piping hot idlis and sambar!! The houseboat travelled slowly and we enjoyed the sights as we had our food.
With the end of breakfast, we had also come to the end of our backwaters journey in Kerala. the boat moored to the jetty and we bid adieu to our crew.
I would definitely go back for another experience of the incredible backwaters of Kerala, and wish every traveler goes here just once!!
Also see this and other travel photos at my FaceBook Page