Alleppey backwaters are known worldwide along with the houseboats. Alleppey has its own charm. Backwaters surrounded with coconut trees, beautifully decorated houseboats, smalls houses, churches on the lake side, it is surreal.
It is around 140 km (4 hrs.) from Thekkady and 60 km (1 hr.) from Cochin. We started for Alleppey after doing the boat tour in Thekkady and reached by noon. We have visited Alleppey twice. Last time we did not book the houseboat beforehand as it was off season (May-June). But unfortunately, we could not get one after reaching there as a large group had booked many houseboats. So we ended up hiring a Shikara.
We hired Shikara for 3-4 hrs for around INR 2200. The shikara had recliners as well as chairs. It is a comfortable ride for 4-5 people.
After half an hour of sailing, the helmsman stopped at one niche area for lunch. We were treated with authentic Kerala meal. Food was really awesome. We also got a unique opportunity to pet an eagle (domesticated). It was so cool!
After lunch, he took the Shikara to the main lake and the canals. But the best part was going through narrow canals. We were excited as we passed under the bridges. We had houses just at touching distance from the boat. And you could see the lifestyle of the natives unfold before your eyes as you meander through the streams. No wonder Alleppey is called Venice of the east. It was an unbelievable experience. In this regards the Shikara ride was better than the houseboat as the houseboat cannot go through such narrow places.
After checking in to our resort, we immediately went down to the beach across the road. The Alleppey Beach was clean and less crowded. We were strolling along the beach when it started raining. It is a great feeling to enjoy rain on the beach. Rain coming down from above and endless sea in front of you. We loved it. Monsoon on the beach would not be such a bad idea after all. 😉
Ayurvedic Massage (MUST DO)
Kerala’s famous Ayurvedic massage is a MUST do activity. It is one thing which you should not skip when you come to Kerala. You would not forget the experience for a long time. Luckily our hotel staff knew the best place for the traditional Kerala massage: SreeKrishna Ayurveda Centre. They also arranged our pick-up and drop to the massage center (Free of charge).
The Ayurveda center was a modest and clean establishment. It has massage experts separately for male and female patrons. The staff who were assigned to us had over 7-8 years of experience. We selected one of the simple but long massages.
We were taken into separate rooms. There we had to strip down completely and wear some specific clothes. It was embarrassing at first. But once we got over that initial shock, it was an absolutely relaxing experience. You would feel like melting under the experienced hands of the masseuse. We were completely refreshed and rejuvenated. After the mandatory bath for cleaning the oil, it didn’t feel like end of a long hot day anymore. All fresh and happy!
Stay at Resort
On our second trip, we stayed in a beach resort. Resort was very good with all the required amenities. Staff was courteous and food was good too. They had a separate travel desk which provided pick-up and drop facility to places in Alleppey. For us, it was the best stay for that trip.
Other info (Houseboat stay)
You should experience houseboat for sure if you are coming to Allepey for the first time. There are houseboats with 1, 2, 3 or more rooms. So you can book according to your requirement. Try to book in such a way that you have whole houseboat for you. Like if you are a couple, book a houseboat with single bedroom. We stayed in a houseboat for one night and loved it.
Do you have a story to tell about your Alleppey experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.