Kerala is an Indian state in South India on the Malabar Coast, to the South of Goa. Kerala seems to me like it could belong in Southeast Asia, instead of the India we used to hear.
For many travellers, Kerala backwaters is the most serene and relaxing experience ever. Backwaters in Kerala is a network of 1500 km of canals both man-made and natural. Every year during the monsoon season, the paddy fields with lagoon, lake and rivers extends to the sea, meanwhile the high water in the river rushes into the sea as well. You can never tell if the water is from the sea of from the river because they all merge and join together, at the same time, they are all separating. I really enjoyed the ride along the deep green stagnant water.
I had the early breakfast in Kochi and left the city for Kottayam, where my backwater trip begins. I loved the South Indian breakfast: diverse and many many dipping sauces.
You can enjoy backwaters in different ways:
- By public water bus from Kottayam to Allepey, which is the cheapest way. I think I paid 20 Euro cent for a 3-hour ride.
- Take a tour from Alleppey, make a tour around Alleppay area with a more touristic boat.
- Take a 8-hour ferry from Alleppey to Kollam where you get to see more small villages of the backwater area.
- Of course the most famous and luxurious water cruises. You can stay the night or two in the water and enjoy the amazing South Indian meal on the cruise. I know some one who stay two weeks in the cruises, just to enjoy the serenity. It’s a lifetime experience.
I chose the first way. In a narrow canal of Kottayam, I found the water bus stop. Locals use the water bus as their daily public transport to get to the city.
After a while, after passing the narrow water lanes where there’re houses alongside, we went into much more wide waters. The views were wonderful, water that reflects the sunshine and shines, the blue sky, the sea breeze, palm and coconut trees jungle on the side. Super delightful.
A completely palmy paradise, I saw many backwater cruises.
Arriving in the last stop: Alleppey. It’s a base for backwater trips and also a coast city like many other city in Kerala, no wonder as Kerala gets a super long coast line along the Arabian Sea. The city was busy like most cities in India which made the 3-hour backwater trip like a dream. India is magic, it’s busy, crowded but at the same time, you can always find the calmness and serenity somewhere.