Backwaters in Kerala is a network of lagoons, lakes and deltas of about 44 rivers that flows into the Arabian sea. Vembanad lake is the largest among the backwaters in Kerala. Lake Ashtamudi which has eight arms is the second largest backwater. Backwater tourism in Kerala is concentrated in Kollam, Alapuzha, Kumarakom, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikkode. People of Kerala have used the backwaters for trade and travel for many centuries.
The backwaters has a unique ecosystem. The sea water from the Arabian sea and the fresh water from the rivers meet in these backwaters. Many species of creatures live in these backwaters. A cruise through these backwaters will be an enchanting experience for the tourists. There are many backwater tourism operators and resorts in Kerala like Kumarakom and Alappuzha.
Kumarakom Backwaters: Kumarakom is a very beautiful place with variety of flora and fauna. Many species of birds find shelter in the Kavanattingara Bird Sanctury. Backwater resorts of Kumarakom find their places on the other side of this mangrove forest. Kumarakom lake resort are in the models of Manas, the traditional homesteads of old Kerala. Paddy fields and coconut groves adds to the beauty of Kumarakom backwater. A visit to Kumarakom should not be missed out if you tour Kerala.
The lake resorts offers all the modern amenities for a luxury stay along with the traditional food. Ayurvedic treatments are also on offer on these resorts. There are many house boats which provides a joyful voyage through the beautiful backwaters.
Alappuzha Backwaters: Alappuzha backwaters is one of the most beautiful and prefered location of many tourists. The backwaters are interlocked by various canals and bridges. Alappuzha is also famous for the Nehru Trophy Boat Race held in the Vembanad Backwater on the second saturday of August every year. The houseboats with all the modern facilities can be rented and one would have an enchanting experience boating through the Vembanad lake.
Kollam Backwaters: Kollam famous for the Cashew and Marine industries, is also famous for its Backwaters. Ashtamudi lake which lies as a door to Kerala backwaters is a major tourist attraction. About 30% of Kollam is covered by Ashtamudi backwater. One can have an eight hour long cruise trip through the backwaters from Kollam to Alappuzha. One of the must see destinations on the banks of Kollam backwaters is the Sasthamkotta fresh water lake.
Thiruvananthapuram Backwaters: Thiruvallam near Thiruvananthapuram is also a famous backwater destination in Kerala. This backwater promises an unforgettable experience to the tourists. Veli tourist village sandwitched between Veli lagoon and Arabian sea offers a beautiful picture to anyone who visits Thiruvallam backwater.
Kozhikode Backwaters: The backwaters of Kozhikkode are unexplored and beautiful. Elathur, the Canolly Canal and the Kallai river are favourite points for boating. The beautiful bird sanctury at Kadalundi is charming site.
Backwater Resorts: There are many backwater resorts on the banks of Kerala's marvellous backwater lagoons. The major ones are listed below:
Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91-484-2668221
Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91-481 2524377
Kumarakom lake Resort, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91 481 2524900
Waterscapes Backwater Resort - KTDC, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91-481-2525864
Golden Waters Backwater Resort, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91-80-25591416
Backwater Ripples, Kumarakom, Kottayam 91-481-2523600
Ashtamudi Resort, Chavara South, Kollam 91 476 2882288
Aquaserene Backwater Resort, Kollam 91-98100 02772
Pagoda Resort, CCNB Road, Chungam, Alleppey 91 477-2251697
Punnamada Backwater Resort, Alappuzha
Pristine Island, Kuthiathode P.O., Cherthala, Alappuzha 91-478-2561900
Shanthitheeram Heritage Lakeside Resort, Varanam, Alappuzha
Kayaloram Heritage Lake Resort, Alappuzha 91-477-2232040
Coir Village Lake Resort, Thrikunnapuzha, Alappuzha 91-477- 2243462
Green Palace Resort, Chempumpuram P.O., Alappuzha 91- 477- 2736262
Thanneermukkom Ayurvedic Lake Resort, Thanneermukkom, Cherthala,
Kadavu Resorts, N.H.17 Calicut Bye Pass Road, P.O. Feroke College,
Nalanda Resort, NH.17 Jn. Nileshwar, Kasaragod
Kairali Heritage, Kattampally, Kannur 91 4602 241665
Bolgatty Palace - KTDC, Mulavukadu, Kochi 91-484-2750003
Taj Malabar - Taj Group, Willingdon Island, Cochin 91- 484 2666811
Kamyakam Haven, Boat Jetty Road, Vaduthala, Kochi 0484 - 2436705