Places to stay near Alleppey Boathouse
Reviews of Alleppey Boathouse • 9
Day 05 - Alleppey Backwater Houseboat Tour
We were welcomed with a delicious coffee/tea and onion pakodas by the boat operators. We navigated around the waterways of Kerala backwaters during the afternoon. I saw locals and children coming from work and school respectively on a boat as there was no other mode of transport.Evening - Great photo points. The evening was totally enjoyable, relaxing with music system, similarly many houseboats with tourists were there, and the boat trip around the waters is resting, and there are some great photo shots. The boat driver took us to local seafood vendors. As its tourists' destination, the coconut and crabs they were selling was expensive.
Alleppy is a delight to experience. Backwaters, Houseboat, food, scenery, etc. People use boats for conveyance to office, school and other places. You can take a Houseboat for stay to experience the calmness of nature as it rows amidst the lush of trees. For sea food lovers, Alleppy offers food delights cooked in indigenous local spices. Not to forget, Kerala spices was the reason why Europeans got to India which makes the food a must to do on the list. Local tea more popularly known as 'Masala chai' is another refreshing experience for tea lovers. If you are a fish lover don't forget to enjoy Karimeen fish baked inside banana leaf. Alleppy has lots of seafood options available cooked in local spices in traditional way.Anyway, I had a very mixed experience at Alleppy . While the lifestyle is a jewel of an experience, much of what is written, heard is contrary to what I saw. The water in the lakes and estuaries is getting dirty gradually. I wonder how do the locals survive using it for their daily needs. There is an urgency to address this issue to keep the famous backwater attractions alive and popular as they are . This place is best for tourists and travellers.*You can enjoy the magical backwaters without paying any hefty amount you can take :Canoe - for only Rs 200 per hour with the driver constantly guiding you.Chakara - in less than Rs 500 you can enjoy backwaters in this large covered boat.OrYou can choose public boats available for local people.
Day 4- This was a day at leisure as there is not much to see in Alleppey, what we actually wanted and as this is not the peak time, we got a deal for the houseboat for Rs 2000 for 2 hours and enjoyed our ride. The views were really beautiful, came back, enjoyed a little bit in our hotel after which we had our light lunch in a small bakery. Now was the time for shopping, bought few sarees from Maheswari, not sure if it is a reliable showroom or not but got lovely sarees.
On the next day we had planned a one day houseboat experience in Alleppey backwaters. We got up at 12 am and stayed till next day 9am. We were served fruits as we got up. Then the entire day we roamed around the backwaters and we had a good seafood lunch. On the verge of sunset they tied the boat to the land and we got down and met a couple of french people from the next houseboat who were travelling through India for the past 2 months. After a hearty discussion we made our way back to our houseboats.
We reached the boarding point on time and were quickly escorted to our houseboat. The sight at the dock is pretty interesting with many houseboats nestled close, side by side as well as one behind the other. Since our houseboat was harbored behind another one, we had to go through it to reach ours. We were asked to remove our footwear while crossing the other houseboat and same rule was extended on our houseboat as well which after sometime was relaxed. Once on board we got busy exploring our Kettuvallam (local name for it) and our journey had begun.
Upon reaching Alleppey early morning at 5 o'clock, we checked into a nearby lodge for freshening up and within 2 hours , we were ready for the breakfast which we had in the lobby. We checked out soon after the food and headed straight to the boarding point of the famour Alleppey Houseboats, located some 3-5 kms from the Alleppey bus stand. The autorickshaw charges was suprisingly (at least for us who hail from Bangalore where the auto fare sky rockets beyond control !) cheap and didn't need any bargaining. Although there were several agents along the streets of Alleppey trying to lure us with attaractive offers for a houseboat ride, we preferred to book it through the Office of State Govt. Toursim Dept., called as District Tourism Promotion Council Office. After analyzing different sizes of Houseboats (like 1BHK, 2BHK and even 3BHK types), considering the amenties required, the duration of the ride (which varied from few hours to a maximum of 20 hours) and ofcourse our overall budget, we booked a 1BHK based House Boat with A/C facility. TV anyways was not needed. The houseboat ride cost us about Rs.22,000/- i.e, Rs.5,500/- per head for roughly 20 hours starting at about 12 noon till 8 am of next day. Once the booking was confirmed, we were taken in a small boat some 2 kms into the back waters where our house boat was waiting for us. We four guys boarded into our floating house at about 12 noon, right on time. Fresh coconut water and pineapple juice were served as Welcome Drink and after loading the necessary food ingredients and other essential provisions needed for the 20 hours ride, the house boat set off on its voyage and soon we started crusing through the very scenic backwaters of Kerala both the banks of which were mostly covered with lush green paddy fields, coconut plantations, human settlements etc. The green landscapes were truly breathtaking and we really enjoyed the tranquil surroundings of the countryside. Localites were busy in their daily chores all along the back waters with the men engaged in their livelihood works and womenfolk managing their household activities. Based on our feedback, our on-board cook started cooking our lunch which included fried pamphlet salad. The houseboat stopped by a village where we handpicked fresh pamphlets and tiger prawns for lunch and dinner respectively. First few hours flew away very fast. We spent most of our time in personal photoshoots at different corners of the houseboat such as in the dining area, deck area, in the narrow alleys of the house boat, in the terrace area, rear side and even in the kitchen & the bedroom. I took hundreds of snaps of the surrounding landcapes which was nothing less than scenic, sublime and serene, dotted by several other house boats (simple ones to some of the most luxurious & expensive houseboats equipped with TVs, CD players, refrigerators, barbeque and even bars !). We realized that this land is truly God's Own Country where nature has remained untouched and is duly respected. Soon lunch was ready and we relished every bit of the variety of dishes prepared by our on-board cook. The fried pamphlet salad was exceptionally mouth watering. After a hefty lunch, some of us started dozzing off and started preparing for a short afternoon nap. But our hosts had some other plans in stock. Soon one of our hosts handed over a fishing rod to each of us with lots of fish baits, encouraging us to pass time fishing rather than sleep at that time. We bought the idea and soon found it to be more funfilled than doze off on a pleasant afternoon in those beautiful backwaters. Just before sun set, we were served ripe banana fries and tea, which had an interesting taste. As Sun was nearing the Western horizon the skies turned red. We captured a lot of sceneries such as silhouetted Church, schools, buildings, trees etc on the shores, with sun set at the backdrop. Just when it went dark, the house boat was anchored at a village and we went on a short walk through the paddy fields, narrow lanes and the village market with the promise of an unique type of local drink. But when we discovered it to be some kind of alcohlic in nature, we politely refused. However, the short walk was nevertheless in vain as we enjoyed the country side ambience a lot and this enriched our travel experience further. By the time we returned to our houseboat, our delicious dinner was ready which was served to us hot along with the fried tiger prawns. After hours of gossipping among us and with our hosts, we hit our beds at about 11 in the night. We woke up early morning next day. We didn't miss a single chance to capture the flawless beauty of the backwaters when the Sun was on the Eastern horizon and also, when the villages around us were waking up for the morning chores, like the school boats ferrying children to schools and people waiting for the boats to reach their workplace etc. After a hour or so, breakfast was served which consisted of hot puri, potato curry and boiled eggs, exactly as per our choice. Soon time came for the houseboad ride to end. It was about 8 am when the houseboat toched the banks and before dismebarking from it, we had some snaps taken with our hosts as a part of our travelogue.
Normally lasting for 18 to 20 hours, the house boat rides in the backwaters of Alleppey, rightfully regarded as the Venice of East, is one of the cherishable experiences of me with 3 of my friends. All meals- Lunch, evening supper, Snacks, Dinner, and the farewell breakfast- were all served on board the houseboat. You too get a chance to venture waterside markets to handpick fresh sea food ingredients such as Pamphlets, Tiger Prawns etc., which the on board cook prepares for you. The overall experience, as far as food is concerned, was truly splendid.
Houseboats and backwaters are a splendid combination. Its an ethereal world out there. Of the sun and the greens, of the houseboats in backwaters and the ayurvedic spas, of the girlfriends and this trip to God's own country! #DearDiaryMoment