Tag Archives: Alleppey tourism

Enjoying the Houseboat Experience at Alleppey

Unique, unforgettable, mesmerizing, or perhaps, subliminal are adjectives that seem inadequate to describe the houseboat cruise experience. It is a humbling experience to watch local villagers get on with their daily routine without much fuss and with as little as possible. It is equally overwhelming to observe the breathtaking beauty of the backwaters and the rich marine biodiversity.

These houseboats were once used to transport grains and other produce from Kuttanad through the backwaters an were called kettuvalloms. These boats are made from the wood of the jackfruit tree, joined together by coir and painted with cashew nut oil. A single kettuvallom can carry around 30 tons of goods and yet last for several generations. Today, they’re used to ferry passengers across the beautiful lagoons, estuaries and lakes. Although the backwaters stretch across three districts of Alapuzha, Ernakulam and Kottayam, houseboat tourism is most prominent in Alleppey.

Houseboats today are grand and luxurious; some are multi storey and air conditioned m while some are equipped with a plunge pool. Sadly, these are taking their toll on the environment. Engines and toilet waste are major pollutants that destroy the marine life in the swamps.

Rather than a large boat, it makes sense to book a small boat that is either solar operated or has a smaller engine and makes use of a chemical toilet. A smaller boat also offers an advantage in the sense that it can travel to narrower and less visited lagoons.

At Kerala Hop On and Hop Off, we do our bit to the environment by hiring only eco friendly houseboats that use smaller engines and dispose of toilet waste responsibly.

Best Time to Visit Alleppey

Planning a Kerala tour and wondering on the best time to visit Alleppey? Here’s our rough guide to help you.

  • Summer lasts from March to May with April and May being intensely hot and humid. Temperatures can soar up to 37 degree Celsius. This is the time for budget holidays as hotels offer as much as 50% discount on accommodation. Tour packages are also cheaper. You can also book a houseboat stay at almost half the cost charged during peak season.
  • Monsoon starts from June and lasts until September when the southwest monsoon hits the state. Normal life is often disrupted thanks to the heavy rains that hit during this season. September and October are relatively better with less rains and cooler climate. Beach activities are almost impossible, but Alleppey is still worth a visit during the monsoon if you are a nature lover. Besides, houseboat stays are heavily discounted.
  • Winters: This is the best time to visit Alleppey. Except for the few traces of rain, the weather is pleasant and temperatures range from 17 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius. This is also the time for the famous Nehru Trophy or the snake boat race that was inaugurated in 1952.

Irrespective of the season that you book a houseboat stay, make sure that you stay environmentally responsible by booking on boats that cause least damage to the fragile ecology of the place. The larger and more luxurious boats often contribute to the pollution levels.