Understanding the Houseboats of Kerala

alleppey backwater cruise

If you are planning a luxury holiday in South India, especially in the state of Kerala, there are certain attractions that you just can’t miss. One of those attractions is the luxury houseboats Kerala has to offer, which are also known as Kettuvallam in the regional language.

So, what exactly is a Kettuvallam?

The name ‘Kettuvallam’ is a combination of two Malayalam words ‘Kettu’ and ‘Vallam’. Kettu means ‘to tie’ and Vallam translates to ‘boat’. The name comes so because the whole structure of the boat is tied together with the help of coir ropes. Not a single nail is used in the construction of the houseboat. The material that is friendly to the environment and is easily available is used in the construction of the houseboats like coconut fibre, palm wood, bamboo poles.


Luxury houseboats in Alleppey | Spice Routes Luxury Cruises
Luxury houseboats in Alleppey | Spice Routes Luxury Cruises

The original purpose of the Kettuvallams was to transport large quantities of spices and rice from one place to another. Today, modern versions of these Kettuvallams have been built which are used as a tourist attraction. In these modern versions, the design and shape of these houseboats have been altered a bit to accommodate new facilities. The length of these luxury houseboats ranges from 70 to 100 feet. The houseboats navigate the backwaters and provide a relaxing means of travel to the travellers who can enjoy the scenery as the houseboat moves around.

Kerala houseboat tour is famous among tourists as it provides an opportunity to see the beauty of Kerala while travelling on a luxurious houseboat. The most popular sites for these ultra luxury houseboats are Kumarakom, Bekal, Alappuzha, Alleppey and Kollam. It is these sites that have some of the best houseboats in Kerala and serve as the starting point for these boat rides. More than 1,500 houseboats are available on these sites to serve the tourists. There are around 500 houseboats in the Alappuzha area alone. The Kerala backwaters houseboat rates usually start from approximately INR 7,500 rupees.

Now, don’t make the mistake of thinking that these Kettuvallams are just ordinary houseboats. They are mobile resorts that can travel on water. The premium houseboats in Alleppey and Kumarakom have all the facilities needed by a person to lavishly spend his time during his or her stay on the ride. The facilities include bedrooms, kitchen, lounge, and bathrooms. Some of the houseboats even have two storeys. In addition to that, a chef is also present on the boat that prepares delicious local cuisines for the tourists. Some of these houseboats are so high-end and luxurious that they have the option of air conditioning. For maximum satisfaction, it is advisable to opt for an Alleppey houseboat or a Kumarakom houseboat.

Throughout his or her journey on these houseboats, a person bears witness to the beautiful wildlife that surrounds him or her. You can see villages along the sides of the lake where people live in an old-fashioned way and practice agriculture and fishing. Apart from that, Exotic birds like kingfishers, water ducks, cormorants, egrets, etc can also be seen by tourists on the boat ride of backwaters cutting through the state of Kerala. A person can relax under the sun on the sun deck or do fishing using fishing rods on these boats.

So, after reading this article, you must make a mental note that if you plan a holiday trip to God’s own country Kerala, you have to go on a ride on these luxury houseboats.

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