[h3a] Kerala Boat House [/h3a]
Do you want to experience the traditional way of living in Kerala in the midst of all the comforts and luxuries? Plan a Kerala houseboat / Kerala Boat House cruising along the shimmering backwaters of Alleppey or Kumarakom. A backwater cruising in a Kerala Boat House can be a mind-blowing experience for each visitor to this enchanting Indian state.
Backwaters and traditional Kerala Boat House are major parts of Kerala tourism. Once a part of traditional living, the slow-moving, large houseboats in this state are now used only for cruise purposes.
The eco-friendly houseboats in Kerala, popularly known as Kettuvallams in the local Malayalam language are made using local materials like coconut fiber, bamboo mats, bamboo poles and carpet. Most of the houseboats are country crafts with a length of 60 to 70 feet. The traditional kettuvallams were used to transport agricultural harvest like rice and spices from the rich paddy fields of Kuttanad to Cochin or Alleppey. Due to the absence of proper roads, kettuvallams were a convenient way of transportation. The thatched roof covers of the kettuvallams over its wooden hulls could protect the cargo easily from the heavy tropical rains of the state.
Houseboats are certainly a part of the rich culture and heritage of Kerala. Besides, they offer an innovative holiday idea for the travelers who visit this scenic state. Most of the cruise houseboats offer the facilities of a star hotel to their guests. Boats of different sizes and shapes have been an important means of transport of both men and cargo in the state since ancient days. A standard Kerala houseboat could be a length of 100 feet has the capacity to carry 30 tons. In coastal Kerala, these houseboats were significant means of transportation as people can easily access many remote areas by a houseboat.
The huge floating structure of kettuvallams with a capacity to carrying high loads has been a part of the rich culture and heritage of Kerala for many years. The arrival of road transport and the advent of motorization in waterways cause the decline in the importance of kettuvallams / Kerala Boat House as a great way to carry bulk cargo in the state. Later an entrepreneur in Kerala remodeled a traditional kettuallam to function as a cruise boat for tourists. They made several modifications later and made full-fledged houseboats to suit the needs of the travelers. Over the years, these remodeled kettuvallams redefined their function and structure and today houseboats play an important role in the tourism scenario of Kerala.
For every traveler, cruising along the shimmering backwaters of Kerala can be a wonderful experience. As your luxurious houseboat glides over the backwaters of the state at a relaxed pace, you will realize that the sounds and sights are new. Travelers love to have merry time with their family or dear ones in a houseboat and enjoy the beauty of the majestic lagoons, palm-fringed canals, picturesque lakeside and unique rural life. A cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala can be a mesmerizing holiday experience for each traveler to the state. Of course, houseboats have emerged as an amulet for the tourism industry of Kerala.
In fact, houseboats are among the most interesting tourism product in the state. Contemporary houseboats in Kerala are large and slow moving which are designed exclusively for complete leisure trips. A full-fledged cruise houseboat is approximately 60-70 feet long and about 15 feet width at the middle area. The hull of the exotic barges is made up of using many heavy-duty fine planks of jack-wood. They are held together by using coir knots without using even a single nail. Black caustic resin prepared from boiled cashew kernels is used to coat this framework which lasts for several generations. The exterior of the houseboats also coated with cashew nut oil for protection. Palm leaves and bamboo poles are used to make the roof of houseboats.
Everybody should appreciate the all-natural décor of kettuvallams / Kerala Boat House which can be an excellent platform to watch the exotic flora and fauna and unique underwater life. You can also watch the majestic rural lifestyle when you glide away in a kettuvallam. Houseboats are motorized and by means of a rudder or oars it can be shoved in deep waters. When it passes through shadow areas, bamboo poles are used to propel. Two oarsmen and a cook generally comprise the crew of a kettuvallam. Travelers love the fresh food prepared by the cook of the kettuvallam in the unique Kuttanadan way.
Designed basically to carry goods, a traditional kettuvallam / Kerala Boat House needs many transformations to make it a stylish tourist vehicle. For the makeover, the height of the roof was enhanced for getting enough headroom. Since the hull of the traditional kettuvallams has curved shape, it can make difficulty for sitting and walking. Such disadvantages were reduced by placing a plank through the length and make it comfortable for walking and sitting. For getting sufficient light, airflow and beautiful views, windows and other openings were provided to the kettuvallams. With a hung top panel in the middle of the linear axis, the entrance of the barge is provided.
There are more than 500 kettuvallams to glide along the serene and scenic backwaters of Kerala and offer outstanding cruising experience for the travelers. Out of which approximately 15 are under deluxe category and about 100 are of superior quality. The major embarkation point in Kerala for houseboat is Alappuzha but Kumarakom is also an important jetty. With the comforts and facilities of a standard hotel like well appointed rooms, modern toilets, stylish living room, balcony for angling and a well equipped kitchen, one can enjoy a relaxing holiday experience in a Kerala Boat House.