Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Backwaters of Alleppey

DAY 2: “BACKWATERS CALLING”

A visit to Kerala can never be complete without visiting its backwaters.

We had already asked Jose to arrange for a Shikara Ride on the backwaters in the morning for four hours.


Alleppey Backwaters
We had decided to go for Shikara ride and not for the houseboat (Kettuvallam) as a houseboat is very expensive compared to a shikara ride. Plus unlike a houseboat which has to be rented for either 12 or 22 hours, you have an option of renting a shikara for just 2 hours. 


View from the Room Balcony
A 22 hours houseboat ride will cost you around Rs 25,000 (or higher) depending on the facilities it has. On the other hand we took a shikara ride at Rs 350 per hour. So for us, a four hour shikara ride on the backwaters was worth every penny of the Rs 1,400 we shelled out. :)  


Houseboat on Alleppey Backwaters
Houseboat on Alleppey Backwaters

Shikara Ride on Alleppey Backwaters
Shikara Ride on Alleppey Backwaters




The shikara is a small boat with its roof covered. All the other sides of the boat are open and there are luxurious reclining chairs, cushions, pillows etc. The Shikara takes you leisurely through the backwaters and again back to the boarding point.


Colourful Buildings near Backwaters
Colourful Buildings near Backwaters





Once the Shikara starts, it slowly moves through the backwaters channels. The surrounding is lush green and lined with numerous coconut trees.  Houses are made on the banks of the backwaters and you can witness people going through their daily work. You see women washing clothes, people taking a dip in the back waters, fisherman on boats trying to sell their wares…


People at work on backwaters
People at work on backwaters

People at work - That's me cyling next to Backwaters :)

Since the boat goes through waterways, the air is cool and the breeze is relaxing.

Backwaters have always been there in Alleppey; families have settled on its banks and have used the water for every purpose – be it washing clothes, washing utensils, brushing teeth or taking a bath. Every family has its own small boat, there are many big ferry boats which serve the purpose of public transport. There are huge flat platform boats which are used to transport trucks from one end to another end of the backwaters and houseboats ferry tourists on the calm waters.



In Alleppey, we did not have much to cover. We were here for back waters and Kerala massage. Since we were heading to Lakshadweep, we were not very keen on Alleppey Beaches. So after our beautiful stint with the backwaters and two massages in two days, we had half a day to chillax.


Keraleeyam Massage Center
Keraleeyam Massage Center

We took an auto to Mullackal Road where we had our lunch at Kream Korner Art Cafe. After a fulfilling lunch we decided to stroll the market and do some shopping. The first thing we shopped for was “Lungi” ;) Post that Preeti and I bought some beautiful and very economically priced sarees. I don’t wear sarees but I could not resist the beautiful sarees. We also went to a beautiful temple which is located in the main market. There are few shops where you can buy souvenirs. 
Alleppey Temple
Temple at Alleppey

After our shopping we headed to Indian Coffee House to sip coffee. We decided to get few masala dosas packed for our dinner.


Water Transportation - Interesting Sight
Water Transportation - Interesting Sight

It had started drizzling by now and had become dark. We again took an auto rickshaw (some language problem here) and headed to our resort. We had bought a torch which came in handy to reach our resort.



Shikara on Alleppey Backwaters
It's Raining !!!

Life in Alleppey is quiet and peaceful. You can stare for hours – swaying coconut trees, blue sky, emerald backwaters, green paddy fields, ducks in the water floating around, water birds and the beautiful water lilies.  Alleppey is a perfect place to relax, unwind and chill.

Dil Chahta Hai Moment
Dil Chahta Hai Moment


Points to remember:
  • Alleppey is all about backwaters. Do go for a ride on the backwaters depending on your budget.
  • If you can splurge then rent a house boat (Kettuvallam) on the backwaters for 22 hours. It’s an experience that you will cherish.
  • Mullackal Road is the main shopping area in Alleppey. If you are not doing shopping in Kochi then Mullackal Road is the place to shop. You can buy famous kerela and silk sarees and souvenirs from here.
  • Expense Details of the day:

Expense Particulars
Amount for 4 people
Amount per head
Shikara Ride at the backwaters for 4 hours
                                1,400
                             350
Breakfast enroute backwaters ride
                                    325
                               81
Lunch at Kream Korner Art Café
                                    850
                             213
Auto ride - To & Fro
                                    120
                               30
Dinner at Indian Coffee House
                                    290
                               73
Stay at Malayalam Lake Resort
                                2,400
                             600
Misc expense at Malayalam Lake Resort
                                    200
                               50
TOTAL
                                5,585
                         1,396