Authored by Sneha Marappa
A pinch of humidity, few spoons of fresh air, and a plate full of scenic views as far as the eye can see is Kerala for you. Between beaches, tea estates, paddy fields, mountains, rubber plantations, pepper, and beautiful backwaters, this Indian state has it all. It’s no wonder they call it God’s country.
And it’s possible to experience it all – to witness each of the stunning landscapes people flock to Kerala to see. You’ll just need to hop on a houseboat (there are many Kerala Tourism Packages which offer this).
50 years ago, houseboats in this region were setup to transfer goods from one place to another, as most of the state was not reachable by land. Though in recent decades the secret of Kerala’s beauty has got out, and these historic houseboats have been made accessible to the public as tourism takes hold.
A Day on a House Boat in Alleppey, Kerala
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Considering the history and the chance to travel via such an authentic mode of transportation, I have wanted to experience life on a Kerala boat house for some time. A few years ago, I watched a documentary which followed a group of locals who spend their lives on the water, and since then have been inspired to experience the same, if only for a day. So it was with excitement that this day finally came.
Houseboats in Kerala move at a very slow pace, allowing residents to enjoy and fully appreciate the real beauty of the landscapes. As I sat on my balcony looking out over the water, I took in palm trees bowing their heads by the shores, a clear blue sky, villagers fishing by the shores, fellow house boats waving as they passed, and school children arriving home on smaller boats!
Nature formed such beautiful pathway for us to explore, and time stood still as we passed through these stunning rural scenes. While the experience was fleeting, it felt as though I was locked amidst nature for many weeks.
Come sunset the sky began blushing. Our clear blue sky had turned orange, and the reflection of sky on the river had changed the color of the water. Only ripples could distinguish the difference between sky and water, which otherwise blended into each other.
Birds flew overhead back to their nests, villagers were packing up their fishing, and boats were setting to park in the side. As the pace of our houseboat reduced, it was time to wrap the day.
Houseboats in Kerala don’t move throughout the night, so we stopped to spend the evening by a set of paddy fields. It was an opportunity to explore the region as the sun set, to walk around the village and watch as kids played in the water, listen to a call for evening prayers from nearby houses, and take in the smell of home cooked dinners before it was time to say good night.
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