A houseboat cruising on a narrow waterbody flanked by lush greenery

Best Backwaters in Kerala

Kerala, fondly known as “God’s Own Country” is arguably one of the most scenic places in India. Tourists from across the country flock to this wonderful state for numerous reasons. One of the biggest contributing factors to Kerala’s high tourism rate is its incredible backwaters. These are a complex system of waterways that stretch for about 900 km. The backwaters have their own unique ecosystem consisting of a variety of birds and fishes. Backwaters are crucial for the local population since it allows for local trade, and the freshwater is used extensively for the irrigation of numerous crops.

The highlight of the backwaters is the panoramic views of tiny islands filled with lush greenery as you traverse through narrow strips of various water bodies. Rhythm Kumarakom is the best place for houseboats in Kerala since we offer a ride on the Kumarakom backwaters. Here, you can indulge in an exquisite meal while you enjoy the sights! Apart from houseboats, it offers a swathe of luxuries in the form of well-equipped villas and cottages, three dining outlets, meeting rooms and bespoke activities.

We have picked some of the best backwaters of Kerala that you should explore during your visit to this wonderful state.

Two housboats in the distance cruising through a narrow waterbody with lush greenery on either sides

1. Kumarakom Backwaters

Located in close proximity to Kottayam, Kumarakom is a small village comprising tiny islands on the Vembanad Lake. The location witnesses a high inflow of tourists due to the prevalence of numerous migratory birds. Darters, cuckoos, wild ducks, waterfowls, egrets, Siberian cranes, parrots, owls, herons and teals are some of the most predominant birds that bird-watching enthusiasts can view at the Kumarakom bird sanctuary. An ideal way to appreciate the beauty of backwaters is by exploring these waterways in a houseboat. Guests can take part in fishing as well.

2. Alleppey Backwaters

George Curzon, who was the Viceroy of India, had described this place as the “Venice of the East”. Alleppey is located on the Laccadive Sea, approximately 62 km from Kochi. It is considered one of the best backwater destinations in Kerala. While exploring the backwaters on a houseboat is a great way to experience this hamlet, guests can also experience the world-famous Nehru Boat Race. Snake Boats spanning over 100 ft. in length are operated by 64-128 paddlers in each boat. This event takes place on the second Saturday of August annually. Guests who visit Alleppey should definitely witness this electrifying event!

Houseboat traversing through a lagoon with plants floating on water and trees on either sides
Image of boats and ships on a water body that is surrounded by lush green trees on either sides

3. Kollam Backwaters

Located on Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam is a town that is of great historical significance. Kollam, formerly known as Quilon, was an important commercial spot that witnessed traders from across the globe. Arabs, Chinese, Phoenicians, Ethiopians, Syrians, and Jews have carried out trade operations in this place. Mentions of Kollam can be found in texts written by the likes of Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta. It serves as a gateway to the rest of the backwaters in Kerala. Guests get plenty of time to soak in the sights of these enchanting backwaters since the route from Alleppey to Kollam is one of the longest cruise routes in Kerala!

4. Kasargod Backwaters

If you are looking for a tranquil experience, then Kasargod backwaters are perfect for you. Unlike places like Alleppey and Kumarakom, Kasargod is known for its tranquil environment as it witnesses fewer crowds. However, you will be bewitched by the beauty of lush green islands as you cruise through the narrow water bodies.

There are plenty of backwaters in Kerala, and each place offers something unique. During your next visit to Kerala, be sure to visit one or more of the aforementioned places to truly appreciate the beauty of God’s Own Country!

A house boat containing people floating on a narrow stream flanked by coconut trees on either sides