The Beauty of the Backwaters
The curved prow of a boat cuts through the deep shimmering ripples of the Kerala backwaters. Slender coconut trees, lining the shore on either side, tilt yearningly towards the water, trying to catch a glimpse of their own swaying reflections. White egrets perch on the rocks, inquisitively watching the houseboats sail by. Beaches, houses and villages slip by silently, as the boat makes its way through this shimmering emerald waterway of lagoons and lakes, canals, rivers and inlets along the Malabar Coast in Kerala.
Here, fresh water meets sea water. Here, fresh green canopies of leaves and branches curve over the water as you glide through a small inlet. Here, the waters are churned into a frenzy when the annual Snake Boat Races begin. Here, fresh fish is ready to be grilled into succulent and flavourful bites, washed down with a cold beer.
All is calm, all is right, when you visit the Kerala backwaters by booking a luxury holiday in Kerala with Taj Holidays.
A Day to Drift
Our hotels and resorts are the gilded gateways to a wonderful experience of these stunning backwaters. At the Taj Bekal Resort & Spa, you can spend your time in a houseboat – on land and water. The resort has 66 laterite villas and rooms, inspired by the design of Ketuvallam houseboats. Once you’ve rested, it’s time to greet the backwaters, by booking a lovely Kettuvallam Cruise. Settle under the protective embrace of the houseboat, with a thatched roof to shade you from the sun. Watch the waves ripple by, as you enjoy a steaming cup of chai. These backwaters are fed by the generosity of four rivers. Sail past the island of Valiyaparamba – a favourite destination of houseboat cruises. This is the perfect place to experience a quiet moment with a loved one, amongst the unsullied backwaters of North Kerala. A mere 20 kilometres away is a Malabar mangrove trail, where you can see birds roosting in the twisted roots.
Coconuts and Coir
Don’t go searching for the backwaters. Let them come to you. At Taj Green Cove Resort & Spa in Kovalam, the windows of your Balinese villa offer you views of the ocean, with a serene lagoon in between. Let the backwaters accompany you, as you explore the wooden walkways along the coastline. Sample the exquisitely prepared food at Bait – a seafood restaurant. As you savour the delicacies, hear the roar of the Arabian Sea on one side, and the sound of silence in the rippling lagoon on the other side. When you’re ready to dip your toes into the true backwater experience, book a romantic lagoon boat ride. Watch herons swoop through lush paddy fields that dance along the shore. Lie back on the deck of a houseboat and let the sun spill its warmth over you, sip on fresh coconut water from its shell, let the cool spray tickle your skin and the breeze tease your hair. If you’re looking for a more active experience, some houseboats also allow you to fish in Kovalam’s backwaters. Let the beauty of the backwaters ignite your creativity, as you make coir products (mats, bags, baskets) on the trip.
On your return, a session at the Jiva Spa, grilled delicacies at Bait restaurant, and your deluxe suite cottage at the resort await you. It’s the encapsulation of luxurious Kerala vacations.
Waterway Back in Time
You’ll be surprised how far these backwaters flow. Some are a journey of miles. Others are a journey of decades. Let us take you back to 1881, when the Baker family (the founders of modern Kumarakom) set up their residence. You’ll find this prosperous house today, at the shore of a slumberous, stunning lagoon - a magnificent bungalow, now known as the Taj Kumarakom Resort & Spa. Spend the day exploring colonial history of the house. Then, wind your way through the water for a houseboat stay on the Kumarakom backwaters. Float along the mirror-like surface of the Vemabanad lake, where you will be joined by traditional rice boats, rafts and canoes. Visit the nearby Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, where you’ll meet migratory birds from as far away as Siberia. Time and distance mean nothing here. Slip into hidden lagoons, where tangled mangroves curl and curve out of the water. Let the chirp, honk, hoot, and cries of the owl, cuckoos, water ducks, herons, parrots and egrets serenade you on your journey through the Kumarakom backwaters.
From Skyscrapers to The Scenic
Throw open your curtains at your luxury suite at Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin. Let the breeze from the Arabian Sea leave its salty kiss on your skin. Head down for a meal near the water’s edge, at Sunset at the Jetty – the hotel restaurant. Explore the wonder of Cochin during the day – the beaches, museums, churches, palaces and more. In the evening, slip away to the shimmering backwaters of Kochi, with a complimentary backwater cruise. Take in the view of the magnificent Chinese fishing nets that hang over the water, watch the skyscrapers slide by, until you reach the serene lakes of Cochin. Exchange the view of glossy buildings for the old-world charm of tiled-roof houses at Marine Drive. Glide by the Willingdon Islands. Wave to the cargo and passenger ships as they leave the shipyard.
If you want your finger on the pulse of Ernakulum city, then Gateway Hotel Marine Drive , Ernakulam is perfect for a scintillating holiday in Kerala. Every so often, though, when the pace of this cosmopolitan city overwhelms you, you can look out of your window and catch the shimmer and ripples of the calm backwaters. Slip away for a serene backwater cruise, where you’ll encounter the popular Willingdon Island, Bolgatty Island, and Vypeen Island. Sail by the magnificent Kochi Fort, Mattancherry Palace and then out into the maze of canals, inlets and rivers that make up the backwaters of Kerala.
When you book a vacation with Taj Holidays in Kerala, you invite the backwaters into every experience. From the views you see, to the boat rides you take, to the delicacies on your plate. Experience one of Kerala’s most prized possessions – the beautiful backwaters.
With the best in class hospitality, inimitable dining, unique experiences, picturesque locations and exciting holiday packages, create memories for a lifetime with Taj Holidays. Every holiday is crafted with impeccable details just for you and your loved ones.