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Houseboats in Kerala

by afiatajdar 6 year, 5 months ago

The houseboats of Kerala are a popular means to explore the beautiful backwaters of the state. These luxury houseboats are like floating hotels that offers excellent amenities and promise the traveller with the most exotic and exciting experience.

Relax, unwind and let the nature take a toll over you. That is all and that is what one should do while on a houseboat ride in the backwaters of Kerala. Plan a visit to Alleppey, which is said to be the citadel of these houseboats. Noted for their luxury amenities, fresh food cooked in Kuttanad style and invariable option for fishing, a stay is these houseboats is pleasure personified.

Houseboats - Comfort and Amenities
A cruise on these houseboats on your Kerala holiday tours, also known as Kettuvallam, is the best means to explore the local parts of the state and enjoy some of the most exotic views. These houseboats are like floating hotels that offer all the comforts available in a regular 5 star hotel viz, hygienic washrooms with eco friendly sewage facilities, comfortable living rooms with and without air conditioner, dining space and a balcony from where the guests can enjoy the view of the backwaters at any time of the day. Made from bamboo products, these boats are usually 100 feet in length and 17 feet wide in the middle and are available in single room, double room, triple rooms and four rooms accommodation.

Types of Houseboats
These houseboats are divided in two categories - Gold Star and Silver Star. The Gold Star houseboats are of premium range and provide world class amenities and also offer various facilities on board like speed boat, doctor on call, canoeing and fishing. They cost around Rs 12,000 for a day’s stay. The Gold star rated houseboats are also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment serving as great venue for business meetings as well. The Silver star at facilities houseboats too have great facilities and are best suited for those who do not wish to spend too much money on luxury. A silver star houseboat usually does not have an AC and charge Rs 6000 for a couple per night with the meals included. The price for a four bed room with 3 meals in charge Rs 15,000 for a night.

The price of staying in a houseboat can range around Rs 6,000 for a single night. For a couple the price may start from Rs 3,500 for 24 hours, while accommodation for four people can cost from Rs 9,000 to 12,000 for a night. These houseboats do not operate from 6 in the evening till 7 in the morning. Please do check the rates before booking as the prices tend to rise during the holiday season.

Food and Activities In a Houseboat
These houseboats boats of a fully equipped kitchen that serves the guests with the most clean and hygienic variety of Kerala cuisine like Idli, veg curry, Karimeen Pollichathu (baked fresh water fish) Konchu Varuthathu (fried lobster). Also note that the cost of these houseboats includes all the meals as well. Do no miss trying the local traditional drink of tender coconut. These houseboats boats of modern furnishings with a welcoming hint of traditional decor. To add to the charm, there is a sundeck for all those who like to enjoy sun bathing. Guides too are available on board. Angling can also be enjoyed from the balcony of these houseboats on your holidays in South India.

Best Places for Hiring or Booking Houseboat

·          Alleppey

·         Kumarakom

·         Kollam

Alleppey is the most well know place for hiring houseboat trips. You will find a wide variety of houseboats here including a traditional thatched roof Kerala houseboat. Hiring a houseboat from Alleppey will take you through the various backwaters to places like Kumarakom, Kottayam and Alinkadavu (near Kollam). Houseboats usually move slowly at 40 to 50 km (25-30 miles) per day. There is also a variety of destinations to select from to meet all your travel plans and budgets.

Best Season to Hire a Houseboat Trip

Houseboat can be hired all year round but the best time to hire is from November to January when the climate is cool and dry. Some tourists do prefer in monsoon season too and often choose to combine their houseboat with an ayurvedic treatment. When hiring during March to May months, an A/C houseboat is best recommended as the weather in this time is very hot and humid.

Duration for Houseboat Trip

You have the option to book a houseboat for as little as a day, or even a week and it’s your choice. Day trips starts from mid-day till 6 pm, while an overnight hire (22 hours), which return on 9 am or 10 am next day, is the most popular one and this is mainly because of the price involved. However, Alleppey – Kumarakom trip which takes around 2.5 hours is the most scenic and enjoyable one.

Options for Budget Travellers

If you are travelling on budget or can’t afford to hire a private houseboat then there are options too. You can travel on sharing basis with other travellers at reduced costs. Taking a canoe is also an option to explore the backwaters, which is worthwhile and at the same time reasonable and affordable. Moreover, you can get access to smaller canals that houseboats can’t. Another alternative would be to opt for a local ferry, which is extremely cheap and at the same time you get a chance to interact with locals.


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