Stay at Keralan Houseboats (Rice barges)
Locally known as 'kettuvallam', these traditional rice barges are a wonderfully relaxing way to see the backwaters.
Keralan Houseboats (Rice barges), IndiaOur rating: Simple
Locally known as 'kettuvallam', these traditional rice barges are made by tying jackwood planks together with coir rope and then coating them with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells. Today these giant 80ft long crafts have been converted into simple, furnished houseboats with one or two en-suite bedrooms, an open lounge and eating area, a deck, a kitchenette and a crew comprising captain and cook. Cold water showers are available but the crew can provide a bucket of hot water on request and the bedroom air-conditioning can be switched on at night.
You will board your houseboat for lunch and cruise the backwaters until the boat moors just before dusk. Soft drinks and beer (no other alcohol) are available to purchase on board. Check-out is after breakfast, usually at around 9.30 the following morning, but subject to change depending on your onward journey arrangements.
As lights lit on the deck at night attract insects dinner is usually taken early and guests retire early to bed.