KERALA HOUSE BOAT
Kerala Houseboats (Riceboats) or kettuvallam are country boats that were used in the early days for the transport of goods from the isolated interior villages of Kerala Backwater area to the towns like Alleppey, Kollam, Cochin and Kottayam. With the advent of roads, bridges and ferry services, gradually the kettuvalloms went off the scene. Now these kettuvalloms are back again as a major tourist attraction as a modern moving boat house that is kerala houseboats . kerala houseboats size vary from, about to 95 feet feet in length and a width of around 13 feet to in the middle for one bedroom houseboat and , big houseboats with up 107 feet long and up to 19 feet wide. The materials that go into the making are all local and Eco friendly bamboo poles, coconut fiber ropes, bamboo mats, coir carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjili".
Kerala house boats have fully furnished single double triple and five bedrooms with sundeck, private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with WC. In addition there is also separate rest room.
houseboats in Kerala have a three member crew - a chef, driver & cabin assistants. The cuisine is traditional Kerala flavor with the local specialties; delicious local fish. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people.and 3 bedroom houseboat for 6 , and 5 bedroom houseboat for 10 People.
The spectacular beauty of Kerala's backwaters needs no introduction. A Kerala Houseboats cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala in luxury houseboats is the most enchanting holiday experience in India today. In this world of simple pleasures, you will skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves. A guided tour down the backwaters would provide you with a complete and most enchanting experience on the back waters of Kerala and will also reveal to you some interesting facts about the life of local village people. This month's lens view takes you to the backwater stretch of the Vembanad, where one can go for a leisurely cruise on a multi deck boat, allowing you enjoy the scenic backwater life.
One Bedroom Houseboat, Two Bedroom Houseboat , Three Bedroom House, Four Bedroom House cruise along the palm-fringed waterways of Kerala in a luxury houseboat is the most enchanting holiday experience in India today. In this world of simple pleasures, you'll skim past ancient Chinese fishing nets, water lilies, lush paddy fields, coir villages, rustic homes, temples and coconut groves.
Innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers make up the 900 km backwater network of Kerala. The backwaters mainly cover four districts of the State Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam and Kochi. The largest backwater body, the Vembanad Lake flows through Alappuzha and Kottayam districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port. The Ashtamudi Lake, the second largest backwater stretch, offers the longest ride (eight hours) and is considered the gateway to the backwaters.
Your holiday home in this tranquil world is the comfortably furnished houseboat. Traditionally, the houseboat was called kettuvallam, which means a boat made by tying together pieces of wood. Unbelievable as it may sound, not a single nail is used in the making of a kettuvallam. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and then coated with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells.
Today, these giant 80 foot long crafts have been adapted into luxuriously furnished houseboats. A kettuvallam usually has one or two bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge, deck, kitchenette and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook and guide.
Come, check into a houseboat for the most amazing experience of your life.
Welcome to yet another splendid, unparalleled attraction of God's Own Country. An event that is as much part of the land's ethos as the elephant pageant. A sport that signifies the excellent team spirit, integration and amity of the people of this backwater country. Occasions of great excitement that is a reflection of a vibrant people.
Welcome to the snake boat races of Kerala. Magnificent fiestas that brings alive the tranquil backwaters. Snake boat races are held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival in August/September. Scores of long snake boats and other smaller crafts participate in these events. The largest team sport in the world, the snake boat races are preceded by colorful water parades.
Usually a snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100 - 125 oarsmen who row in unison to the fast rhythm of the vanchipattu (song of the boatman). Thousands of people crowd the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish. The oldest of these events have curious legends and myths attached to their origin. Myths closely linked to the rustic people and their beliefs.
This portion contains a calendar of the snake boat races of Kerala with a detailed description of four of the oldest and most important events :
- Champakulam Moorland Boat Race – June/July /li>
- Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali – August/September
- Nehru Trophy Boat Race - August
- Payippad Jalotsavam - August/September
|Other boat races held during Onam(August/September):
ATDC Boat Race, Alappuzha, Rajiv Gandhi Boat Race,Neerettupuram Boat Race, Kumarakom Boat Race,Karuvatta Boat Race,Kavanattinkara Boat Race, Kumarakom,Arpookara Vanitha Jalamela,Mahatma Boat Race, Thazhathangadi Boat Race, Kottapuram Boat Race and 8 Kumaranasan Smaraka Jalotsavam.
Champakulam Moolam Boat Race
Harippad, Alappuzha - July
The oldest and most popular snake boat race in Kerala, this event is closely connected to the Sree Krishna Temple at Ambalappuzha. The race is held on the Champakulam Lake on the moolam day of the Malayalam month midhunam, the day of the installation of the deity at the Temple.
Legends say that Maharaja Devanarayana of Chempakasseri, as instructed by the royal priest, built a temple at Ambalappuzha. But just before the installation of the deity he was informed that the idol was not auspicious. The king was disturbed, but his minister suggested an inspired solution. To bring down the beautiful idol of Sree Krishna - presented to Arjuna by the Lord himself, from the Karikulam temple in Kurichi. The minister with a few others went to Kurichi, met the authorities there and returned with the idol. On the way back they stopped at Champakulam to spent the night and perform apooja. The next morning boats from the entire region assembled to escort the idol in a colorful, ceremonial procession through the lake to the Temple. Years later the .pageant is still re-enacted with the same enthusiasm. An exotic procession of water floats, boats decorated with colorful parasols and performing arts greets the spectator before the race. The race proper is held in various stages for various categories of boats.
Nehru Trophy Boat Race
Alappuzha – August/September
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is one of those events which the people of Kerala look forward to with excitement. Thousands of Keralites - men, women and children - throng the watersides of Alappuzha to witness the spectacle. Pavilions are set up for spectators on the banks and in the middle of the Punnamada Lake - the venue of the race.
This boat race is so named because the trophy for the winners was instituted by former Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Over 16 chundan vallams participate in the race along with scores of smaller crafts like the churulan, veppu, odi etc., with a prize for each category. There are separate races for women too. The race begins with a colorful pageant of floats, performing arts and decorated boats. And goes on late into the evening.
Aranmula, Pathanamthitta District – August/September
The two day Aranmula Boat Race is more a water fiesta than a competition, conducted during Onam. The event is a re-enacting of the legend involving a devout Brahmin who made a votive offering of feeding one pilgrim a day. One day Sree Krishna himself appeared to him and the overjoyed Brahmin vowed to offer 51 measures of rice and all the provision for the thiruvona sadya (the sumptuous Onam feast) at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. Once, the thiruvonachilavu thoni (the boat carrying the offerings) was intercepted by rivals from another village, but the Brahmin's own villagers came to the rescue on snake boats. From then on the offering was carried by a fleet of palliyodam - about 48 of them representing the nearby backwater villages. (A palliyodam is a large, luxurious snake boat used by gods and royalty.)
Today, only 26 snake boats participate in the event which is marked by a colorful water carnival - an imposing effigy of Sree Krishna is taken out in procession on the lake with children dressed as nymphs and princesses. On the second day, snake boats decorated with silken parasols, carrying helmsmen, oarsmen and singers assemble near the temple early in the morning and then move away in pairs, creating a magnificent pageant. The boat race proper is held in the afternoon.
Alappuzha – August
The three day annual fiesta on the Payippad Lake, 35 km from Alappuzha, commemorates the installation of the deity at the Subramanian Swamy Temple, Haripad. The story is that the people of the village decided to build a temple with Sree Ayyappa as the presiding deity. After the temple was ready, they had a vision directing them to a whirlpool in Kayamkulam Lake where they would find the idol of Sree Subramaniya which was to be installed at the temple. Accordingly, the elders of the village with divers and swimmers rowed to the spot and found the idol which was escorted back ceremoniously by devotees from the entire region in colorfully decorated boats. This happened on the Thiruvonarn day of the Malayalam month of Chingam. To this day a water fiesta is ,conducted along the route traced by the auspicious' procession. Besides the boat race, spectacular water pageants are organized with water floats, decorated boats, performing arts, children in fancy attires, etc. The vanchipattu is a characteristic feature of these processions. The event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over.