Kerala Backwaters Photo Blog

After spending a couple of days decompressing in Munnar,we made our way to Alleppey, the so-called Venice of India and gateway to the famous Keralan backwaters. 

Munnar town

Communist flags in Munnar

We managed to get accommodation in a local homestay, a house belonging to a wealthy Indian who is based in the middle east and found a chap to take us on a tour in his canoe. The day began with a trip on the local ferry boat across the main backwaters, which stopped off along the way to pick up and drop off school children and villagers going about their business and to work. 

One of the many house boats that floats along the backwaters

View from the ferry

Venetian-style boats can be spotted on the waters

We were given breakfast in the family home:sweet coconut rice and noodles, chai and natural cigarettes made from leaves. The house was nestled between a quiet canal and rice paddy fields, where the chap who conducted our tour worked before he made money from canoeing.

The family house where we ate breakfast
Workers in the rice paddies

The spotless garden where our plates were washed in preparation for breakfast

The family had two daughters and one son and so – because on this excursion there were three of us – two girls and one boy, the Indian couple decided that we should call them ‘dad’ and ‘mum’. Apparently their son, who works in television and is a champion athlete, was allowed to marry who he liked. Their first daughter had an arranged marriage but the second was sent to a convent to save them the dowry. Throughout the day, ‘dad’ threatened to send Liz to a convent too! 

Floating beneath the banana and coconut palm leaves

Post and pans outside the house 

Relaxing in the canoe

We whiled away a pleasant afternoon, floating past small villages and even having a swim in an enormous round lake. Afterwards we spotted a water snake sliding across the surface and were relieved that we hadn’t seen it until we were safely back in the canoe. 

Children wave from the banks 
‘Dad’ takes the helm 
Canal traffic
Dad serves us lunch

At lunch time, ‘dad’ produced some cannisters and served us up a fabulous lunch, home-made that morning by ‘mum’ – rice, beans, chutney and, of course, the ever-present samber. 

The ubiquitous samber! 
Brightly coloured boats add a vibrant hue to the green backwaters

We rounded off the day with more chai back at ‘dad’ and ‘mum’s’ place before taking the ferry back, where we were the source of great fascination for chattering crowds of school children.  

Rice boat
Houseboats on the backwaters 
The morning school run by ferry 
Communist flag at the ferry stop

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9 thoughts on “Kerala Backwaters Photo Blog

  1. Thank you for your praise, Althaf! Unfortunately I am no longer in India as I am embarking on a world tour that has now seen me visit Nepal, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. I hope to visit again next year and spend more time floating on the heavenly backwaters!

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