We own 07
Air Conditioned house boats with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, 2
Non Air Conditioned houseboat with 1 and 2 bedrooms.
ever gone houseboat cruising on the backwaters of Kerala?
If you haven’t, make sure you do. This one’s really an
absolutely wonderful, unforgettable experience!
The houseboats of today - huge, slow moving, exotic barge
used for leisure trips - are the reworked kettuvalloms of
olden times. The original kettuvalloms were used to carry
tones of rice and spices - a standard kettuvallom can hold
up to 30 tones - from Kuttanadu to the Kochi port.
The kettuvallam or ‘boat with knots’- was so called
because the entire boat was held together with coir knots
only - not even a single nail is used during the
construction. The boat is made of planks of jack-wood
joined together with coir. This is then coated with a
caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. With
careful maintenance, a kettuvallom can last for
of the kettuvallom was covered with bamboo and coir to
serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would
be cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from
the backwaters. Today, the tradition is still continued
and the food from the local cuisine is served by the
Kuttanadu localities, on board.
When the modern trucks replaced this system of transport,
some one found a new way that would keep these boats,
almost all of which were more than 100 years old, in the
market. By constructing special rooms to accommodate
travelers, these boats cruised forward from near-
extinction to enjoy their present great popularity. Now
these are a familiar sight on the backwaters and in
Alleppey alone, there are as many as 120 houseboats.
While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, care is
taken to use only natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks
and wood of the aracanut tree are used for roofing, coir
mats and wooden planks for the flooring and wood of
coconut trees and coir for beds. For lighting though,
solar panels are used.
Today, the houseboats have all the creature comforts of a
good hotel including furnished bedrooms, modern toilets,
cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for
angling. Parts of the curved roof of wood or plaited palm
open out to provide shade and allow uninterrupted views.
While some boats are poled by local oarsmen, most are
powered by a 9 HP engine. Boat-trains - formed by joining
two or more houseboats together - are also used by large
groups of sight-seers.
What is truly magical about a houseboat ride is the
breathtaking view of the untouched and otherwise
inaccessible rural Kerala that it offers - while you