Friday, April 12, 2024

The splendid gliding houses of Kerala

Kerala tourism is no doubt one of the best in our country. With the wide variety of landscapes, tourist spots, culture and spices it truly seems to outwit a lot of other tourist’s locations. What is so unique about Kerala? There are many aspects that seem to make it beautiful and the same time serene place to be. Kerala is not all village, it sure does have its quota of cities that are developing at a rapid rate, however, every Keralite seems to hold his culture and tradition close to his heart which makes it different. It is a land of nature endowed resources. Starting from back waters to hills, Kerala seems to break all traditions of similarity of regions. It also is a sovereign state that takes along with it the various beliefs of different religions. Kerala in simple worlds depicts the traits of India as such that sticks to the concept of ‘unity in diversity’.

Kerala also has various beaches out of which Kovalam is a world renowned one. The coconut grooves in this state are humongous thereby solving the puzzle of coconut oil being used the most here. Apart from back waters and beaches Kerala also is a home for various mountain ranges of the Western Ghats. The famous Anamudi peak in Munnar is the tallest in south India. With so much variety in place this state becomes a famous tourist destination for people within the country and without.

One unique specialty of Kerala which is a feather to its glorious hat is the house boat. We are all aware of the modern house boats and their amazing facilities, but how many of us are aware of how they came into being? Most elders in Kerala would be able to tell you story of the then famous Kettuvallam, which was made by tying wood using coir which was later coated with caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. Though the concept of Kettuvallam could sound unrealistic and weak, they were long lasting with proper maintenance. These Kettuvallams later were transformed to the modern day house boats. The older version of the modern day house boat was used to ferry large tons of rice and spices from various places to Cochin in earlier days. It is an amazing transformation from Kettuvallam to the house boats of today.

If you have never been on a houseboat and are in Kerala, it is time for you to explore the unique way of knowing the Kerala’s back waters. The slow moving or rather gliding houses give you moments that could take your breath away. Be it the birds flying near the back water and their unique reflections, the slow and constant movement of the surface beneath or the picture perfect houses on the shore, all of them give you the feeling of serenity and joy. Allapuzha and Kumarokom are places that are famous for house boats and the houseboat services here are equipped with all the basic and modern day amenities. So why wait on the shore and look at the back waters longingly, when you can be in it and at the same time not get wet?

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