If you are at Kerala you must spend some time in Houseboats inside backwater of Kerala. Backwater canals are natural waterways formed by rivers, lake, sea connected lagoons etc. Houseboats locally called as Kettuvallom are popular among tourist visiting this beautiful state. Houseboats are now became the symbol of Kerala tourism. There are different types of houseboats available. Some houseboats can accommodate two to four families as all types of facility is available. Some houseboats are with more seating arrangements for a group to travel together. One can stay in houseboats for one or two days moving around the backwaters.
We left our hotel at Cochin at 8 AM and after 30 minutes drive towards Alleppey we reached a village. The place was looking more like a small farm house and at the jetty there was a big houseboat with more seating capacity were waiting for us. This houseboat was made of hardwood 'Anjili' and was of 70 feet long and 13 feet wide. It had one bed room with toilet. Outside the room in the top covered deck there were chairs to accommodate around 15 persons. There were total five families and we all were comfortably at the deck.
The boat started traveling at a speed of 10 KM/h. We were at the border of Ernakulam, and Kottayam district of Kerala. It was a wide river connected to sea at the end. There were some Chinese fishing nets by the side of the water way. The guide was showing us some villages and residence of film personality. We are passing through some of the developed areas of Kerala state. It was total greenery at both the sides of the river. There were small boats floating as the boat man was busy in collecting shells from the river bed. We found many such small boats around as we move. Some boats were collecting sand from the bed. Finally we reached near a lime factory.
After a five minutes walk inside a garden full with coconut and other fruit trees we reached a small factory. The guide explained us about the process in which shells collected from the river beds used to get calcium and other products. After that we went to one spice garden where there were different spices plants. Guide explained us about different plants and the spices they grow. Some of the plants are used for Ayurvedic treatment of diseases. Kerala is famous for Ayurvedic Herbal Massage and treatment of diseases.
We returned to our jetty and had our lunch on the houseboat. It was delicious traditional Kerala food.