Welcome to Alleppy Houseboats
The wonderfully relaxing houseboat overnight cruise in and around the backwaters off Alappuzha has to rank in any 'Top 100 things to do before you die' list. This is a luxury cruise with one crucial difference when compared to the luxury yachts or ostentatious cruise liners of the Western world- this great holiday that you are embarking on is eco-friendly.
The reason tourists visit Alappuzha is for its backwaters. But, until a few years back, Alleppey was still on the fringe of the tourist trail in Kerala. A stop-over point for the Alleppy-Kollam motorboat day tours. Since then, with the Kerala Houseboat tours’ meteoric rise in popularity, Alleppey is the most sought after tourist destination in Kerala, one could say, it is the highlight of a tourists’ visit to India.
In fact, the overnight alleppey houseboats tours is now considered the no.1 activity for tourists to do in India. Alleppey/Alappuzha Tourism figures have experienced incredible growth since Johnson started his home stay business in 2001. Yes, when Johnson started his business here, there were about only 30 houseboats in Kerala . In the 10 years since, there are now close to one thousand active houseboats or Kettuvalloms plying their trade in Alleppey
An overnight trip on a houseboat around Alleppey offers tourists a more meaningful, diverse, scenic and enjoyable trip than the never ending dull Alleppey-Kollam 8 hour day-trip motor boat cruise. Even though more expensive, tourists slowly but surely switched to the wonderfully relaxing, all inclusive overnight trip on the ‘Only in Alappuzha’ built houseboat or Rice barge
Information on Kerala Backwaters
The Kerala backwaters are a network of connected rivers, lakes, lagoons and smaller canals. Over 900 km's long, dotted by picturesque rice fields, stunning natural landscapes, bird life, wonderful sunrises and sunsets make it one of the most visited tourist locales in the world. The Kerala backwaters are interspersed by villages and connects a number of major towns and cities of Kerala including Kochi, Kollam, Kottayam and Alappuzha.
Information on Alleppey/Alappuzha backwaters
Defintiely the most scenic and meaningful part of the backwaters is in and around Alleppey. The hub of houseboat tourism, it attracts tourists, both Domestic and International throughout the year. Kuttanadu, the famed rice bowl of Kerala, is a scenic village- a huge area partly reclaimed form the water. It's one of the few places in the world where the water level is higher then the land level. Alappuzha also hosts most of the major Snake boat races of Kerala, including the world famous Nehru trophy boat race.
The Origin Of Alleppey Houseboats
Houseboats were used in earlier years as a means of transporting goods between various districts of Kerala.Aleppey or Alappuzha, once termed 'venice of the east' .
Alleppey Houseboats are made with locally sourced wood . The hull is made of wooden planks that are held together by ropes of cocunut fiber; the usual wood is 'Anjili'. There are also hulls that are made of iron, though there is nothing eco-friendly about them.
The roof is made of bamboo poles and palm leaves. The exterior of the boat is painted with protective coats of cashew nut oil.
So how did it all begin? Well, a tourism entrepreneur had the brilliant idea of converting these traditional barges that transported rice, spices, wooden logs across the state in the old days. Our man modiffied the same for the purpose of tourism. And here we are.
From the first few boats in early Nineties , there are now close to 1000 houseboats in kerala
Facts: Houseboats in Alleppey
Number of houseboats- 1000 and rising
Hub of houseboats - Principally the Finishing point before Punnamada junction. However , there are number of new jetties coming up in Alappuzha
Cost of hiring houseboats in Alleppey - Unfortunately , the rate varries accroding to season and demand. Expect to pay Rs 6500/ on during low season(April to Sep) and upto double or treble of that during high season. The rate varies again from basic one bedroom to mammoth boats that can host upto 100 pax for day cruises or upto 20 or more on 6 bedroom overnight cruises.