Backwaters refers to the large inland lakes of kerala, consisting of an entire network of lakes, canals, estuaries and curious water formations. The backwaters of kerala stretch over 1900 kms, providing, drinking water and irrigating paddy fields.
The water ways of kerala have played a main role in the economy of the state. Riceboats and small ships used to ply in these waters, carring coconut, rubber, rice and spices to various trading centres of kerala. Even today, these waterways link remote villages and island with the main land. It is an incredibly different experience to cruise in the backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of the villages.
A beautiful backwater spot, kumarakom, slumbers by the vembanad Lake, The scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of breath – taking greenery and deep blues. As the boat glides along, the gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets. For an enthralling and intensive experience on the backwaters one should take a rigorous ride on a ferry from Quilon to Alleppey, lasting almost 9 hours. But if you are less adventurous, there are short cruises arranged by private boat-owners in greater comfort. A cruise between Alleppey and kottayam could be an unforgetable experience. You can also travel up to Cochin via these waterways. On a boat voyage to Alleppey through the Kuttanad rice bowl of kerala, you can find yourself travelling along canals where the level of the water is often higher than that of the green fields on either sides.
The life of kerala revolves around the waterways. Rice and every other commodity are transported by special boats. A wonderful boat culture has developed in this region. On the way you could ask your boatman to take you into one of the thatched country toddy shops for a glass of the fermented water which is served with delicious array of fish and meat. Explorers of the Backwaters drifts under little hump-backed bridges, through long avenues of palms and past temples and churches.