15th March 2015
When I first heard of Kerala state when we started planning our trip to India, everyone kept talking about the Kerala Backwaters. Honestly, I had no idea what it was all about until I checked it very briefly on Kerala Tourism website. Ok, so you mean like a river or a canal, right? I thought.
But Kerala Backwaters turned out to be beyond my expectations.
According to the main leaflet, ”this fascinating geographical feature was formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats mountains.”
Backwaters are one of the top attractions in Kerala attracting many foreigners so of course we just had to explore them, too.
The bus picked us up at the Raviz Ashtamudi hotel in Kollam and after a short visit to Kollam port with the very easy-going Minister of Tourism, we headed off North to Alleppey to board a Backwaters Houseboat.
As it was more than 30 of us, plus the photographers and organizers, we were divided into groups of 2 and 3 to board more kettuvallams, the houseboats. At our Lake & Lagoons Houseboat company, we were greeted like superstars. A group of local women were playing drums and other musical instruments and dancing to the music. My boat partner in crime, Preeti from Delhi joined them as she was the only one who kind of could figure out the dance steps 😀
Then each of us received a fresh young coconut (I kindly asked for 3 of them and then also got the meat from one, yay, happy girl!) I knew the best experience was ahead of us and we were ready to rock on with jasmine flowers around our necks 🙂
There was a little shop to buy some chocolate, chips, local cashew nuts Kollam area is famous for, and some drinks and we did not miss our chance to do so.