The calm waters of the canals stir up in the mornings, when people come out of their homes to wash clothes, bathe and clean utensils along the river. Bright smiles, waves and an up-close glimpse of local life offers vast photographic opportunities. It's the time when kids are heading to school, the women are busy with household chores and people are going to work using the overhead bridges and the paths along the canals. Expect many a wave and smile. You will have the experience of a lifetime on your Kerala backwater cruise.
Coconut Husk Removal
While on your Alleppey backwater cruise, you cannot miss coconut trees or the consistent use of their produce at all times. They are literally your constant companions in Alleppey. Removing the husk of a coconut is an integral step to use the coconuts productively, and is done with a special instrument. Watch and learn – and give it a shot in a local home.
Having been part of the community for decades, a lot of local homes are delighted to host our guests as their own to see local life at close quarters. Chutney making is a favourite with our guests. The delicious coconut chutney tastes best when ground on a traditional flat grinding stone. A village grandmother shows the tricks of the trade and lets you get a hold of her magic grinding stone.
Mussels are a big part of the Keralan diet near the backwaters, but de-clamming the shells is not an easy task. We take you to a village home where you can see this process up close. The lady of the house boils water and steams the clams, and then loosens the flesh. You can grab a handful of mussels fresh from the shells and taste them right away.
Our guests are offered a fishing rod, but the teachers are the expert fishermen of the backwaters. Watch how they cast large to small nets, sit patiently on their canoes and also use the rudimentary Chinese fishing nets. We also show you the spectacular fishing process of diving without gear and catching fish with hands. Only a handful of fishermen do this, but we’ll be happy to see you give it a go.
Toddy, the local arrack harvested from coconut trees, is a popular alcoholic beverage in the backwaters. The tapping activity happens thrice a day in the early morning, afternoon and evenings. It is a fascinating process, where nimble footed toddy tappers climb the trees (monkey style) and collect the toddy in earthen pots. They're happy to share the fresh produce if you're game to try it. Trust us, it's delicious!
Village walks in the Kuttanad region give you a perspective of the bright green paddy fields, fringed by tall coconut palms and local homes built along the canals. This is best experienced in the morning when the backwater canals stir with action. A host of fascinating local things bring you closer to the backwater life. One such thing is the small Chinese fishing nets propped outside homes. Rice cleaning in big barrels and toddy tapping are the other things that you can see.
We provide comfortable cycles to our guests to change the pace from the boat, or foot and onto two wheels to take in Alleppey and the surrounding areas. The lush Kuttanad region is a delight to cycle through. The paths take you through paddy fields, villages and canal sides. You can pause, photograph or just stop for a cup of 'chai' in small teashops.
The robust bird life in Alleppey is a veritable hook for seasoned and new birding enthusiasts. And you get to see them from the comfort of your personal boat. Needless to say, this lush green area is home to a number of endemic and migratory birds. It’s equally thrilling to spot a Kingfisher close to the boat, cormorants diving to grab a fish, Kites swooping low and see bright white Siberian cranes and Herons take over paddy fields.