Of all the places I have visited to date, my most favourite has been Kerela. I am still dreaming about it and if I get a chance to visit the place again, I am sure I am going to do it. From lush green tea gardens to amazing waterfalls, to boat rides across the backwaters, Kerela is a complete package for travel lovers who are in constant search of adventure and beauty.
There are so many interesting things to do on a trip to Kerela that you will feel that a single trip is not worth. In the true sense, it is called God’s Own Country. What excited me the most was the backwaters, since a very young age I heard a lot about the famous backwaters and houseboats of Kerela and when the time came to witness the beautiful backwaters I became very excited. Most of my friends who had visited Kerela earlier told me they went for a few hours motorboat ride or shikara boat rides for 2-3 hours on the backwaters.
But my husband had some other plans in his mind. He decided that to enjoy the backwaters, a few hours wouldn’t be enough so he asked our travel agent to book a houseboat instead. The experience that we had of staying in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerela is something I can never forget, over and over again I drift back to that day when I was on the houseboat and saw the water making ripples and the soft gush of wind touching my face making careless whispers! If someone happened to be selling a boat on those backwaters, I would definitely have bought one instantly so that I could stay forever…
My Experience of Staying in a Houseboat on the backwaters of Kerela
We drove from Munnar to Alapuzzha, it was a drive of around four and half hours. It was almost 12pm when we reached our destination. Our travel agent had already booked a houseboat for us. On arrival, a man received us at the port and took our luggage. We reached our boat via a few more boats, which was quite exciting.
Overnight booking of houseboats are little expensive, they charge between 10-12k per night for a houseboat meant for two people. The number of members you have in your group you will have to book a houseboat with a few more rooms and that can be expensive. Thus generally people travelling in large groups prefer the shikara ride or they book a houseboat for a few hours. But trust me the experience you have staying in a houseboat overnight is thrilling.
After that, we were introduced to our boatman the one who will drive the boat and our cook who will be our constant companion throughout the journey. Luckily the cook was from Darjeeling so we could talk comfortably in Hindi. We were given refreshing welcome drinks and light snacks.
They showed us our room which was very comfortable, there was a dining area, a kitchen and bathroom. Also, we can go upstairs to relax and enjoy the ride. So we started, the driver played some light music as we were like all over the backwaters of Kerela.
There were lots of other houseboats floating, scattered here and there. It became our own small world. The cook asked us about lunch and what we want to have. We were interested in eating seafood. So the driver took us to a small fish stall which sells fish and other seafood, we did some fish shopping.
We also met a guy who was from our state Assam, it feels good to meet someone from your own land in a distant land. The cook started preparing lunch, in between he offered us tea and vegetable fritters (Pakoras that goes well with tea). Everything was perfect, we drifted into a different world.
It was around 02:00 pm when suddenly the weather change and it became quite dark. A heavy shower followed, we came into the lounge area downstairs. There were huge curtains and they covered the boat with it. It rained for about an hour. Amidst all beauty we also got to see the wrath of nature, at times it looked quite fearful.
By the time rain stopped our lunch was ready. It was a huge spread for just the two of us. In between, I also did a small photo shoot wearing the Kasavu traditional saree of Kerela and adorning some jasmine flowers on my hair. We had our lunch and took some rest.
In the evening we were served coffee and some snacks. They took the boat and parked it near the bank. On the banks of the backwaters is a settlement, where people had their homes and various shops and important offices. The people who live on the banks use boats as water taxis for communication. Besides our boat there was another huge houseboat was parked, it had many rooms and there were total 10 people from other nations.
We interacted with them, some of them were swimming, some were reading books. Even we engaged in angling with vain attempts. It was a beautiful evening and the sunset stole our heart. The cook got busy arranging for dinner, he was a very dedicated person. He didn’t neglect any of his duties and served us wholeheartedly.
He arranged whatever we wanted to eat. Dinner was also quite elaborate but we could not eat much as were so full after lunch. At night the swaying of the houseboat due to ripples on the water gave us pleasure and relaxed our mind. The boat kept on swaying whole night, at times I felt I was floating on water. When a water taxi passed by it created huge waves on the water and with the waves, the boat moved and it gave a wonderful feeling especially late night.
We woke up early morning, we wanted to see the sunrise but anyhow missed it. It was a beautiful morning and everything looked fresh and lively. We had to start our journey back to the port. We were served tea followed by breakfast and later on refreshing fresh fruit juice. Everything is still fresh in my mind, I could not forget a single moment of the journey.
That was all if you have a wonderful experience of staying in a houseboat on the backwaters of Kerela do share in a conversation in the comment section below. For more details of my Kerela trip, you can read the posts HERE and HERE. Thanks for reading. Also, share with your friends.