In the popular imagination, monsoons involve the sort of violent rain that soaks you to your underpants, washes away roads and effectively exiles you to a life indoors playing Monopoly and Scrabble. As luck would have it, this isn’t the case with Kerala’s mid-October monsoon, the second of two rainy seasons that pass over the Indian state. Here, rains typically involve a few hours of serious downpour, swiftly followed by sunshine that sets soggy trees and rooftops sparkling. One place where the rains definitely don’t cause transport problems are the Keralan backwaters – a network of lagoons and canals along the state’s western coast where everyone gets about by boat. Join in by chartering one of the houseboats that putter up and down the waterways near the town of Alappuzha – watching water hyacinth and coconut groves drifting past by day, and falling asleep listening to the patter of monsoon rain on the jack-wood roof after dark.
Kerala’s backwaters consist of a network of lagoons and lakes fed by 38 rivers, many flowing from the inland Western Ghats range
Karmic Tourism offers houseboat tours out of Alappuzha.