Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller!

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Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! 1/1 by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Kerala is truly God’s own country. With its endless beaches, exotic wildlife and enchanting backwaters, Kerala gives you many reasons for you to fall in love with it. One such experience that is a quintessential part of your Kerala tour is experiencing the magic and calm of the backwaters. The scenic Kerala backwaters comprise of stretches of lakes, canals and lagoons located parallel to the Arabian Sea.

One such popular backwater destination is at Alleppey. Being a gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, it is often thronged by tourists and is thus losing its charm for many. However, if you are keen on exploring the backwaters and having a memorable boat experience then there are a lot of options to visit. These off the track locations are more serene and can be a perfect option for you to recharge your senses. Here are 8 offbeat backwater destinations to plan for your next visit.

Poovar backwaters

Photo of Kerala, India by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located in the south of Kerala near Kovalam, this beach destination is surrounded by small canals and the Neyyar river. With unexplored beaches and swaying palm trees, Poovar is a rare find as it still stays quite untouched by tourism. Unlike Alleppey backwaters, the water level here is much higher due to which the trees here often remain half submerged. Bird watchers will be delighted to find a variety of exotic species such as Kingfisher, Brahminy Kite, Night Heron, Sea Egret, Black Darter, Indian Cormorant eagle and many more. Also, Poovar being closer to Kovalam and Trivandrum, makes it a great place to entirely skip Alleppey and experience the peaceful Poovar backwaters.

Ideal For: Bird Watchers

How To reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram railway station.

Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

What makes Vembanad lake unique is that it remains untouched by modernity. With its attractive low-priced packages, it is perfect for a budget trip to the backwaters. During Onam season, you can witness the historic Snake boat races here with hundreds of men rowing their boats in this otherwise calm tourist village. While visiting this place, a visit to the Kumarakom bird sanctuary is a must

Ideal for: Experiencing the village life

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is at Kottayam

Thiruvallam backwaters, Thiruvananthapuram

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

If you are looking at experiencing solitude with some excitement, then Thiruvallam is the place for you. Known as one of the most exciting backwater destinations, it offers options like canoeing, kayaking and adventure sports. You can also cruise to the nearby villages which showcase the surrounding beauty of the region and experience how houseboats are handcrafted. The famous temple of Parshurama, creator of Kerala is located nearby. This place is also famous for a visit to the “Veli Tourist Village” which is surrounded by Veli lagoon and Arabian sea by a small stretch of sand and offers many water sport facilities.

Ideal For: Adventure enthusiasts

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest Airport is Trivandrum International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram

Padanna backwaters, Kasaragod

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located in Kasaragod district, it is a one of its kind theme village. Known to be the hub of oyster and mussel farming, tourists can also engage in the farming process which is the highlight of this place. It is no wonder then that the fresh cuisine of these backwaters is well known to many. A popular tourist destination is the nearby Kareem’s forest which is a manmade forest spread across 32 acres, housing variety of plantations and spices. The unique highlight of these backwaters though are the moonlit backwater cruises that are offered here.

Ideal for: Foodies and couples

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Calicut International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Kanhangad

Kavvayi backwaters, Payyanur

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

One of the largest backwaters found in the northern part of Kerala, Kavvayi backwaters are famous for their exquisite houseboats. They are a perfect place to explore the natural surroundings while experiencing the cultural vibe of the town. The theyyams and temple festivals are a regular highlight in Payyanur. A must visit while on a trip here is the Edayilakadu Island where you can find a forest dedicated to worship holy snakes, a tradition unique to Kerala.

Ideal for: Experiencing local culture at its best.

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Calicut International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Payyanur railway station

Valiyaparamba backwaters

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located in the northern district of Kerala, Valiyaparamba backwaters are what postcard worthy pictures are made of. Formed by 4 rivers and about 30 kms away from the Bekal fort, Valiyaparamba is the perfect backwater destination with its calming waters and scenic views. Covered in Mangrove trails, it is a favourite with adventure and photo enthusiasts. You can enjoy ferry rides to the Bekal fort when here and combine it with a visit to the nearby beaches of Pallikere and Kappil.

Ideal for: Photo enthusiasts

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Calicut International Airport

By Train: Near railway station is the Payyanur railway station.

Alumkadavu, Kollam

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Known as the birthplace of houseboats in Kerala, Alumkadavu offers a unique chance to experience boat making first hand. The kettuvaloms are modified to make the houseboats that are a delight to watch and experience. Craftsmen use eco-friendly materials such as coir to make these houseboats and various other handicraft and souvenir items. This and more can be seen at the various coir producing industries in the village. It is also famous for the relaxed atmosphere that gives visitors a chance to unwind and relax.

Ideal for: Travellers seeking relaxation along with other activities such as local shopping and boat making.

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Karunagappally railway station

Sasthamkotta backwaters, Kollam

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located in the Kolam district, this is known as the “Queen of lakes” and rightly so with over 375 hectares of area surrounded by hills on three sides. The lake is considered to be of religious importance by many. The famous temples of Lord Ganesha and Lord Ayyappa are visited by many tourists and the monkeys surrounding these temples are considered to be divine by most.

Ideal for: Travellers seeking spiritual peace

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Kollam railway station.

Ashtamudi backwaters

Photo of Looking beyond Alleppey: 8 offbeat backwater destinations for every kind of traveller! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Composed of 8 channels, the Ashtamudi backwaters form the second largest backwaters in Kerala.This lake forms an excellent network to the backwaters in Kerala. A variety of high end luxury resorts surrounding this place give you an added option of experiencing the richness of the culture while relaxing in the backwaters. It is known for its scenic views and traditional styled food which is served in these luxurious houseboats.

Ideal for: Travellers seeking luxury while experiencing the backwaters.

How to reach:

By Air: Nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport

By Train: Nearest railway station is Kollam railway station.

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