Known for its endless backwaters and beautiful climate, Kumarakom is a famous tourist destination located in the state of Kerala. Kumarakom is situated near the Vembanad Lake, the largest in the state. The festival of Onam has the biggest celebration here, in the form of a boat race. Tourists from all over the country come to see and participate in it. The winner bags the Sree Narayan Ever Rolling Trophy, a prestigious treasure.
Local tourist spots include the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall, the rubber plantations, Pathiramanal Beach etc. Another thing that Kumarakom is famous for is its houseboats. It is a very popular culture among tourists. The best of the houseboats is mentioned ahead.
1. Amruthom Houseboats
This fleet of houseboats provide a luxurious cruise on the backwaters of Kerala. A single day cruise around Kumarakom and Alleppey is also available as is an overnight and two-three nights package. Board games and others like caroms, playing cards etc, a top class music system, a sun deck, a TV are available for your entertainment. You can even take a ride in a canoe, swim in a protected area, indulge in a cooking lesson with the main chef, fish in the sea or even visit the villages nearby. Amruthom Houseboats provided vary in the number of bedrooms, and not in facilities and class.
2. Aqua Jumbo Houseboats
This is the premier private houseboats operator in Kerala to offer eco-friendly tourism. This company which is in business since 2005, provide personalised tour packages to suits the needs of all customers. A notable feature of their houseboats is that only natural products like wood, bamboo trunks, leaves etc are used for construction. Their focus is to preserve the nature and untouched beauty of Kumarakom. The normal Aqua Jumbo houseboats have either one or two bedrooms, and they are equipped with all facilities. Their most luxurious and stylist boat, Aqua Castle, is laden with modern amenities and is centrally air conditioned. They even offer exclusive elephant safaris. The charge per person is Rs.350 and the ride consists of a 30 minutes’ safari, photograph with the elephant and even feeding it.
3. Saam’s Luxury Houseboats
Saam’s houseboats offer you a chance to cruise through the backwaters of Kumarakom under their royal class treatment. All rooms in the houseboats have modern facilities, air conditioning, a large balcony overlooking the serene backwaters, a mini bar in the dining area, a lounge and an upper sun deck. The best part is that the dining area is also air conditioned, making it unique from every houseboat in Kerala. All houseboats are constructed with the smooth finish of teak wood.
4. Lake View Houseboats
Lake View group of houseboats almost rule the backwaters, thanks to their luxurious fleet. They cater to the requirements of all kinds of tourists, reasonable to royalty. Lake View Houseboats are under the management of Sree’s Tours and Travels. With houseboats, they provide other facilities like plantation tours, trekking trails, elephant safari, Ayurvedic massages, and other traditional activities. One, two, three and eight bedrooms houseboats are available, with options of different luxury items like indoor pool and sun deck.
5. Skylark Houseboats
Skylark Houseboats is a famous and sought after houseboat service in Kerala. They offer reasonable tour packages and very good in house service. From one to seven bedrooms are available in the houseboats. They help tourists explore the culturally ethnicity and beauty of Kerala through local food delicacies, Ayurveda knowledge, elephant safaris, wildlife and bird watching, fishing and even visiting nearby villages and learning their language. They also offer special honeymoon packages.
In the local dialect, houseboats are called Kettuvallam in Kerala. The word means a floating object, essentially a boat, made out of logs of wood. Astonishingly, back in time, even a single nail was not used in its construction, as they were tied together. So enjoy this unique culture only in Kumarakom’s best.