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Incentive Holidays at Kerala
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BACKWATERS OF KERALA
Back Water of Kerala There is a Kerala that lives along these backwaters, throbbing with its own unique culture. For you, as a visitor to Kerala it can be an incredibly different experience just floating these waters in a country craft and absorbing this unusual representation of Kerala life. You might begin at Alapuzha (Alleppey) which is hailed as the Venice of the East, because of its intricate maze of backwaters, canals and bridges.

A few minutes after you move out of the old fashioned dock, you will find yourself surrounded lush palm groves and lovely stretches of paddy fields the swaying coconut palms almost dip into waters and on chunks of land that mudge the backwaters are little children playing in the sun. You might see housewives cleaning rice for the days meal or pounding Coconut husk for coir fiber or sweeping the Muttom (front yards), completely oblivious of the regular traffic that ply to and fro across these waters dawn to dusk.

And there are boats packed with coir, whizzing along to some commercial centre. There are small boats/canoes too, and Chinese style junks often manned by women dressed in the typical check dhotis and stark white blouses. If you wish you could break journey and actually taste its raw sweetness. You could even ask your boatman to take you into one of the thatched country shops for a glass of fermented nectar, which is served with places of delicious carp or Karimeen - a fish that is special gift of these backwaters. A beautiful backwater spot accessible from Alappuzha to Kumarakom.

Breathtaking green, the village slumbers by the Vembanad Lake. On cruise scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of lush greens and deep blues. As the boat glides along gorgeous blues of the fringed palms ripple in the blues waters and blend into the little wavelets.. Again from Alappuza, you could go up to Kollam (Quilon). The route winds up the Pampa river to Chempa Kulam an Island hamlet them into the Karumadi canal. The statue of Karumadi Kuttam is believed to be of Buddha. The past Trikunnapuzha, across Kayamkulam lake & Ashtamudi lake finally drawing into the ancient port of Kollam.

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KETTUVALLOMS - Rice boats of Kerala
Rice Boats of Kerala The "Green Gateway of India", Kerala, with its palm-fringed backwaters and waterways surrounded by lush green countryside is a tourist's delight. A ride on a traditional houseboat known as "Kettuvallom" may bring along an incredible experience of their life and culture. This, apart from the fact that one keeps enjoying the floating holiday throughout the course of the journey, makes backwater cruises a trip down fantasy lane.

Stretching over 1500 kms, the serene, palm-fringed backwaters-a unique glistening web of lakes, lagoons, canals and rivers-are the essence of Kerala. The 900 kms of navigable backwaters can now be explored on the country-made traditional. "Kettuvalloms" (or boats). Gliding along the calm waters and viewing picturesque scenery of backwaters, canals, lush coconut groves, paddy fields, screw pine hedges and mangrove forests can be a unique experience while visiting this southern coastal state.

These traditional houseboats of Kerala are one of the most enduring images of the backwaters-its natural, cocoon-like profile complementing the surrounding countryside. As the boat slowly cruises through backwaters, absorbing this unusual representation of Kerala life, the traveller enjoys an ultimate vacation experience-an experience of a floating holiday. "Kettuvaloms" were traditionally rice boats used for transporting paddy and other commercial goods in the olden days. These study flat-bottomed rice boats were specifically designed to carry heavy cargo and to provide living accommodation for the boatmen.

One couple has the exclusive run of the entire boat-ensuring privacy for the guests who are attended to by a personal cook and two boatmen. There is a cosy double bedroom mid-ship, with an en suite bathroom and a well furnished sitting-room complete with its own sun deck at the bow. In the stern, there is a fully-fitted kitchen. Ever mindful of the environment, in some boats, power is supplied by discreet solar panels hidden in the roof. The boat, almost 50 feet long, is propelled from the bow and stern by the boatmen using punting poles (an outboard motor is sometimes used on longer cruises).

There are no fixed itineraries for houseboat cruises. These houseboats are mainly based at Alleppey, Kumarakom and Quilon from where one can board the same for stay and cruise for one, two or more nights, as desired.