Project 365: Day 75 – The great Indian Backwaters

14th September 2014 – Vaikkom, India

Thatched roof covers, and myriads of coir mattresses,
They trudged leisurely through the backwaters, through the day.
The oarsman judged a good swell, and wave, and moved his long stick.
Only the people keep transiting, the house boat is here to stay.
Every house needs a driver. - Vaikkom, India
Every house needs a driver. – Vaikkom, India

From Cochin, I went to Vaikkom today, roughly 35KMs away, to try the famous backwater tour. The Kerala backwaters are a large labyrinth of 900KMs of water, comprising inlets, canals, lakes and rivers. Most tourists headed to Alleppey or Kumarakom to take a tour of the backwaters, but I headed to Vaikkom, for the simple reason of avoiding ‘houseboat traffic’.

At just 850 INR, (roughly 15USD) you bought yourself a 7-hour tour of the backwaters with pickup and lunch included. Well, thats off-season price, but you get an idea. Each Kettuvallam (houseboat) has 2 oarsmen, one at the front and one at the rear. Some houseboats also offer an overnight stay, but the prices are minimum 4000 INR. This is generally a honeymoon package, you know, for the ‘rock the boat’ experience!

The other famous houseboats in India, are on the Dal lake. Click here to check them out!

After taking the full-day tour, I have only one thing to say. Take the half-day tour!! The backwaters are great, but the boat moves at leisurely pace, and after just 2 or 3 hours, you will feel the lack of blood circulation, and slowly fall asleep.

And the nice lunch, does not help to mitigate the situation either.

Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here

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