We boarded the train Jan Shatabdi express early in the morning in spite of all the odds because so far, in this trip, we weren’t able to wake up in the dawn. In the train, my friends from abroad had their first ever south Indian breakfast and they loved it. We reached Alleppey station around 8:30 in the morning.
Backwaters at Alleppey is undisputedly the main tourist attraction in Kerala. Traveling through the wide network of waterways that infringe the coast and trickle through the inland makes one realize how beautiful backwater transport actually is. Long before the advent of roads, these waters were the uber-cool highways. Many villagers still use paddle powered boats as their mode of transport. Trips through the backwaters traverse palm-lined lakes studded with cantilever fishing nets. It’s the gateway to the fabled backwaters, a sprawling network of canals; Float along and gaze over rice fields of succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and village life along the banks.
We checked in to ArtPackers hostel. We had plans to rent a houseboat but we realized that renting a houseboat, designed like a rice-barge, could be one of the most expensive experiences in Kerala, even though it meant drifting through quiet canals lined with coconut palms, eating delicious Kerala food and meeting the villagers. It’s almost like a world away from the clamor elsewhere. So we had to pool more people. In our same hostel, we asked people if they were interested to join us. With the hope of getting more people on board with us, we parked our thoughts and straight away went to the Alleppey beach, where we had a French breakfast.
Later that evening, we got complimentary beers from our host. Being with them I learned how to play UNO. The whole night was followed by Kingfisher and good times (pun intended!). We had an intense discussion on political chaos all over the world and archaeological discoveries as well.
The next day we went on a canoe trip. In one canoe, a group of 4 people can hop in and the tours last from two and a half to six hours. It costs about 500rs to 900rs per person. On longer trips, a “Sadya” is provided, which is a traditional full course Kerala meal.
What I had experienced in those few hours, was something beyond the beauty of the Kerala backwaters. On this ride, I understood that the locals, who lived not only “on” the Kerala backwaters but also “off” it, had made it come to life, and it was a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon.
But sadly, I had to set off for Bangalore soon even though I didn’t feel like leaving!
My Recommendations to Stay, Eat and Explore
- Artpackers.Life Hostel, The Wind n Waves Alleppey beach (Budget Stay).
- Dreamers Cafe, Alleppey Beach, Backwaters ( for sightseeing)
- Rent a Bicycle at just Rs 100/- (Get in touch with the locals or host of your hostel)