ANAMIKA

'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Impressions - Kerala Houseboats

Two months back: Our cheap and functional Sarkari ferry had just moved out of the Aleppey boat jetty onto the open Punnamada lake (Kuttanad, Kerala's lake district, begins here) when I saw the famous houseboats for the first time - swarms of them. All were chunkily built craft. Some were smallish, one room affairs; some, two-storied behemoths up to 30 meters long. All had noisy diesel engines; all had bamboo mat awnings - some decaying and blackened with soot, some freshly painted. Most had firangees and obviously wealthy desis chilling out on the upper decks with mugs of beer.

The boats felt about as authentic a part of the landscape as their occupants. They gave an impression of alien monsters that somehow got washed up into these placid backwaters - and have come to lord over them.

A month back: I call on Gyani at a small homestay resort on the Pampa channel in Kuttanad. The place had decent food and drink and hammocks stretched between coconut palms. My plan for a snooze in one of them failed - mainly due to the 'grr' of houseboats chugging past at the rate of almost one per minute and the none too subtle smell of diesel which never seemed to go away (that the day was sultry did not help). The resort proprietor says wistfully, comtemplating the beasts: "My cousin owns nine houseboats. I too hope to get a couple soon; the best way to make quick money!"

Later that evening, Gyani messages. "It is 8 pm. The houseboat show has mercifully ceased. The river is silent and I just had some 'Kallu'. The place is probably what it used to be and what it really ought to be. Seen Magritte's 'Empire of Light'?"

Today morning: Recovering from a bad cold, I lazily sit and watch the Republic Day parade on the telly. Along comes the float representing Kerala. A near life-size replica of a houseboat, effigies of an assortment of palefaces (probably some desies too) on its deck, looking thru cameras and binocs - no, no beer mugs, we Mallus are a sherief people, aren't we?! The Tamil devotional song 'Alai payuthe' plays in the background. I swear and switch off.

Today afternoon: A houseboat tipped over and sank. Four hapless Tamil tourists died, many more are in the hospital. The state government has ordered an enquiry and issued some threats that if need be, it will amend laws and restrict the house-boat business.

Update (Jan 31at): Heard the Houseboat was adjudged the best R-day float and won a GOLD MEDAL for Kerala. Hooray!

5 Comments:

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger Sun Goog said…

    Your Travel blog is absolutely fantastic! Great deal of Kerala houseboat packages information and this can be useful some or maybe the other way to visitors. Keep updating your blog, anticipating to get more detailed packages information.

     
  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Biju Kurian said…

    yes it is best place for your vacation ….Alappuzha also known as Alleppey, is a town in Alappuzha District of Kerala state of southern India. Alleppey is situated 62 kilometres (39 mi) to the south of Kochi and 155 kilometers (96 mi) north of Trivandrum. A town with picturesque canals, backwaters, beaches, and lagoons, it was described as the one of the places known as “Venice of the East” by Lord Curzon. It is the administrative headquarters of Alappuzha District. Malayalam is the most spoken language. Hindi, English and Tamil are also widely spoken in the town.

    Alleppey is an important tourist destination in India. Backwaters of Alleppey are world famous and is the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin towards north and Quilon(Kollam) to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, held on the second Saturday of August every year, is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India.

    Apart from Backwaters some other attractions in Alleppey are Alappuzha Beach offering one of the most beautiful views of the Arabian Sea, Ambalappuzha Sri Krishna Temple, Edathua Church, Krishnapuram Palace also attracts lot of tourists. Coir is the most important commodity manufactured in Alappuzha. The Coir Board was established by the Central government under the provisions of the Coir Industry Act, 1955. There is also a Coir Research Institute functioning at Kalavoor.

    http://www.kvhouseboats.com
    http://www.keralahouseboattours.co.in

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Biju Kurian said…

    Alleppey is an important tourist destination in India. Backwaters of Alleppey are world famous and is the most popular tourist attraction in Kerala. It connects Kumarakom and Cochin towards north and Quilon(Kollam) to the South. Alappuzha is also the access point for the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race, held on the Punnamada Lake, near Alappuzha, held on the second Saturday of August every year, is the most competitive and popular of the boat races in India.
    KV houseboats "" has additional photos of this product 20 % off

     
  • At 12:31 AM, Blogger Debosmita Roy said…

    Thank you for sharing the post on boat ride to Alappuzha,also known as Alleppey. With various beautiful places to visit in Alappuzha, it is known as the "Venice of the East". It is a land with richest nature bounties and a must visit for travelers.

     
  • At 4:00 AM, Blogger Archana Raju said…

    Thanks for the information... I really love your blog posts... specially those onPicture Gallery on Kerala's Backwaters stretches, Kerala Tourism

     

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