¤ The Kerala Backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. The network includes five large lakes (including Ashtamudi Kayal and Vembanad Kayal) linked by 1500 km of canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually the entire length of Kerala state. The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range.
¤¤ Alappuzha Backwaters
This Kerala Backwater destination is also known as the "Venice of the East," because of its surrounding waterways and canals. Alappuzha, previously known as Alleppey, is famous for the annual Nehru Trophy Snake Boat race held here every year, around the festival of Onam. Large Snake boats called" Chundanvalloms" propelled by teams of rowers compete for the trophy instituted by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minster of India
¤¤ Kuttanad Backwaters
Known as the "Ricebowl of Kerala" Kuttanad brings to mind images of verdant paddy fields. A unique feature of Kuttanad is that the fields are below sea level and are barricaded from the surrounding backwaters by earthern bunds similar to the dykes of Netherlands.
¤¤ Pathiramanal Backwaters
This little island on the backwaters is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. This island is accessible only by boat.
¤¤ Kumarakom Backwaters
A voyage north of Alappuzha takes you to the rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad lake. An enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, Kumarakom provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating.
¤¤ Kottayam Backwaters
Bordered by the lofty Western Ghats on the east, the Vembanad lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is land of unique characteristic.
Panoramic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and a totally literate people have given this district the title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.
¤¤ Trivandrum Backwaters
The southernmost district of the State, Thiruvananthapuram is bounded by the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats on the east and northeast, and the Arabian Sea on the west.
A long shoreline, with secluded, internationally renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage give this district some of the most enchanting picnic spots.
¤¤ Kollam Backwaters
Located 71 km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, this historic coastline district known for its marine and cashew industries was one of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast and a major international trading point in day gone by. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style. 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater cruise in Kerala. The District Tourism Promotion Council here offers a wide range of backwater tours and cruises.
¤¤ Kochi Backwaters
More popular as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi is a cluster of islands on the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. Some of these picturesque islands are Bolgatty, Vypeen, Gundu and Vallarpadam. The lake opens out into the Arabian Sea here to form one of the finest natural harbours in the world. It is this natural advantage that has made Lochi a fascinating blend of the cultures and influences of explorers and traders who visited this wealthy land. The Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and Gritish have all left their mark here. The Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese Fishing nets, and other remnants of European and Asian architecture merge smoothly into the traditional fabric of the seaport city. Half the fun of visiting Kochi is moving around on the local several quaint spots. Boat cruises from Kochi harbor to Willingdon Island, Mattancherry Place, the Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi and Bolgatty Island. Sunset cruise. 3 hour backwater village cruises which include visits to coir villages and coconut plantations
¤¤ Kasargod Backwaters
The northernmost district of Kerala, Kasaragod is situated on the sea coast with the Western Chats on its east and northern borders. Backwater trips on the Chandragiri River and at Valiyaparamba are fascinating experiences.
¤¤ Kozhikode Backwaters
Once the capital of the powerful zamorins, a prominent trade and commerce center and the land of the Malabar Mahotsavam, Kozhikode was the most important region of Malabar in the days gone by. Today, ancient monuments, lush green countrysides, serene beaches, historic sites, wildlife sanctuaries, rivers, hills, a unique culture and a warm, friendly ambience make this district a much sought after destination.
Unexplored, unspoiled, the backwaters of Kozhikode hold great promises of enchanting holiday options. Elathur, the Canolly Canal and the Kallai river are favourite haunts for boating. Kadalundi, with its beautiful bird sanctuary is a charming site. Korapuzha, the venue of the Korapuzha Jalotsavam is fast becoming a popular water sport destination.