The backwaters in Kerala are the most enchanting features of Kerala. Backwaters are formed by the accumulation of Sea water at the beach by the to and fro motion of the waves. They are usually formed in the form of lagoons, lakes and estuaries. The Backwaters in Kerala is an esquisite network of canals, lakes, lagoons and deltas of about 44 rivers emptying into the Arabian Sea. The main mode of transport on these backwaters is through houseboats as more than 900km of this water world is navigable.
The backwaters in Kerala plays a major role in the Kerala Tourism industry. It has become one of the 50 must see places in the world. Enjoying a cruise in these backwaters is not to be missed, as it leaves you feeling fully rejenuvated. The banks of these backwaters in kerala are the most enchanting picnic spots. You get to experience the native way of living.The They search for the fish with their toes and when they locate them, either a line of fishermen will swim abreast, stretching a net. Fish trying to avoid the fronds swim effortlessly into the net. Or else the women submerge to grab them by their tails and heap them up in their pots. The men set out at night with a lamp and a butterfly net, and the fishes attracted by the light are scooped out..
The best way of experiencing the beauty of the backwaters in kerala is to cruise along either in a rented boat, a canoe or in Houseboats which are specifically for tourists.The extra ordinary houseboats, or Kettuvalloms as they are natively called, are giant boats measuring around 80 feet in length. They are constructed by tying wooden planks together with ropes made of coir(coconut husk) without using a single nail. To cater to the tourism industry, these Kettuvallams have been made more luxurious with one or two bedrooms with attached bath, an open lounge, a deck and a crew of three consisting of a cook, an oarsman and a guide. Dormitary services are also available for tourists
The most interesting area in the backwaters is the Kuttanad region, called the rice bowl of Kerala. The area is probably the only place in the continent where farming is done below sea level, using a system of dykes and bunds.
The largest backwater stretch is the Vembanad Lake, which opens out into the sea at the Kochi port and flows through three districts-Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. The Ashtamudi Lake has eight ‘arms’ covering a major portion of Kollam district in the south, and is the second largest lake in the state.