Tag Archives: alleppy

Kerala Part 3: the Houseboat Tour of the Backwaters

Leaving from Alleppy, we took this very relaxing cruise on a houseboat (with a captain, mate, and cook) through the backwaters of Kerala, a “must-do” when visiting. The food was excellent, as was sitting on this boat reading, relaxing, watching Kerala as we floated by.

Here was an odd aspect. I really wanted to do this tour, because the novel (The God of Small Things) is set in a village that is along the backwaters. I wanted to see the scenery. But, you are basically touring people’s neighborhoods. Granted, it was on water, but the American equivalent might be if foreign tourists rented RVs and toured around suburban streets. We actually “parked” in front of someone’s house for the night. I know the residents must be very used to all of the tourists, but it’s got to be very annoying. I cannot imagine waking up and seeing an RV parked in front of my house with gawking tourists. (And that is basically what we did.)

We saw rice fields growing famous Keralan rice, which is very different from basmati. There are a lot of photos from the houseboat tour, so I will simply let you look at them below. Click on individual photos to enlarge them.

A note about the photos: the long skinny boats full of men are snake boats. They are preparing for the famous snake boat races. The hammers and sickles are indicative of the strong presence that the communist party has in Kerala, which plays a large role in the novel The God of Small Things. The rest are photos of views we saw while on the boats — or pictures of my family.

After we got off the boat (into pouring rain), we got into a car for a twisty ride up to Thekkady and the Periyar Wildlife Preserve.

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Kerala Part 2: Marari Beach

We next went to Marari Beach which is near the town of Alleppy. We had only one night there, but it was lovely to be on an ocean beach.



We spent one day swimming there and hanging out at the resort. Again, being monsoon season, we were one set of few guests, so we had the place to ourselves. We stayed at the Turtle Beach Resort, which was lovely, but this is where our reservation trouble began. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you plan to travel Kerala, I recommend the CGH Earth group of hotels over the ABAD group of hotels. The ABADs were very nice, but we just kept running into trouble with our reservations, and the CGH hotels are really nice (and eco-friendly!).

Thus began the rainy part of our trip (click on the photo to enlarge it, so you can better see the rain):


Keep in mind, it was monsoon season. Frankly, it did not rain as much as we expected. As we moved into the interior of Kerala, it rained more and more, but for the most part, we had decent weather considering the season.

The night we stayed at the Turtle Beach Resort, we went to a lake resort for dinner (one that involved a very long drive during which we got lost), which was a very lovely place. We had a delicious dinner of fish and crab.


Here is a cute family picture by a Krishna statue:


The next morning, we headed to our houseboat for a backwaters tour.

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