Houseboats have never been prettier. Nor have the mangroves. Only 27 kms from Kollam, the backwaters of Ashtamudi Lake and Kallada River take you on a canal cruise to the island named after Colonel Munroe, the British President of erstwhile Travancore. The slow life of the Munroe isles is a sharp contrast to the buzz of the city watch ﬁshermen take boats out early in the morning, ladies of the village make ropes with coconut fiber, an abundance of coconut trees lining the riverside, orange sunsets on the backwaters, and migratory birds ﬂying into the horizon.WHAT TO DO:Book a deluxe houseboat on Queen Ashtamudi (queenashtamudi.blogspot.in) that takes you from Kollam to Munroe. The journey is as beautiful as the destination—introduce your kids to Keralite cuisine that is served onboard on a banana leaf.2. Diu - GUJARAT
5. MUNROE ISLANDMost people give Kollam a miss during their time in Kerala, which is perfectly understandable as there aren’t that many attractions worth visiting in comparison to other places in Kerala. The main reason to make this place a stopover is for transit; as this is the home to the ferry port for the journey through rivers and waterways to Alleppey. That being said there is a little known area not too far from the town called Munroe Island. The tranquil island in the midst of the Keralan backwaters feels as though it is a thousand miles from away from civilisation, and it was one of the best experiences we had on our trip. The landscape is home to lush, tropical foliage and a slow paced, traditional way of life.We experienced the island from its tiny waterways in a small canoe with a friendly local guide, Vijeesh (who now operates a homestay as well). Losing count of the vibrant kingfishers and stunning wildlife, we visited coir rope makers and tried our hand at climbing one of the thousands of palm trees. This whole area is home to the backwaters that Kerala is famous for, and a canoe trip here is one of the greatest ways to experience the rural tradition of Indian life.
This winter, travel to the Munroe Island, which is at the confluence of two rivers and has the most serene backwaters. The island still preserves its age-old heritage and culture; they even have the tools used during stone age. Munroe Island is named after its first resident, Colonel John Munroe. The island has some of the oldest architecture in the country, and buildings that once upon a time belonged to the Dutch. However, the Munroe Island faces a threat of submerging, so for us travellers the clock is ticking.How to reach Munroe Island:Munroe Island has its own railway station, and is well connected by both road and rail. The best way to reach Munroe Island is by taking a flight to Trivandrum and from there hiring a vehicle to the island, which is about 80km away.