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Kerala Houseboat

 
The Houseboats of Kerala are a new addition to the travel and tourism of the state's backwaters. These crafts, measuring up to 120 feet in length, retrieved from the age old cargo vessels of the State.  Once they ruled the backwaters, poled along by one or two men, heavily loaded with rice, coconut and other commodities.  But in the recent times, these big vessels have been replaced by more and modern modes of transport, relegating them to neglect and decay. But like the phoenix it again raises to the attention of the modern world, with a difference – this time the cargo is comfort and rippling relaxation.

   

It takes great skill and meticulousness to construct these giant houseboats by tying huge planks of jack wood together.  Curiously enough, not a single nail is used in their making of a houseboat.  There used to be an entire clan of artisans who were involved in house boat construction.  Today, an innovative holiday idea has restored these majestic representatives of a unique culture and with them their makers.

The Kerala houseboats that cruise these emerald waterways are an improvisation on the large country barges, which were an essential part of the land's ethos in days gone by.  Modified to meet a novel concept of holidaying, the kettuvalloms (houseboats) are comfortably furnished with an open lounge, one or two bath attached bedrooms and a kitchenette, and are extremely eco friendly, merging smoothly into the panorama.  Every houseboat is manned by a crew of 3 men, usually a cook, guide and oarsman.
 
 
House boating can be the most relaxing experience for any age, size or type of people. The following are a few suggestions and ideas are the result of many years of experience, and with an intension to help make your trip more fun. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another, so you may find only bits and pieces of this useful to you. Feel free to use your imagination to expand your experience on a lazy houseboat trip in any way you can think of. The idea is to have fun, and there are lots of ways to do it.

   

To go house boating
Houseboats generally have one, two and three bedrooms, which can sleep 1-6 people. Putting a couple per bedroom together is the usual way. Here are several suggestions for which you might include on your trip. (Don't feel limited to these, however)
A. Family & Extended Family
Some people have a large enough family that they can fill a boat with family members, which can be a lot of fun and can create some really meaningful experiences among siblings and/or cousins. You might just decide to make it an annual reunion, as many people do. For this type of large number of passengers, houseboats with five or above rooms are desirable.

B. A Group of Friends
Inviting a group of all single adults (which can be all male or all female), or adult couples, can be loads of fun. Enjoying the water by day in the cool tropical climate without the noises of the modern life, this is going to be the ultimate vacation. For this cruise, we have a mammoth vessel, which can accommodate 40 people for the cruise.

C. A Group of Co-workers
Inviting your friends from work can build bonds beyond the workplace and create memories you love to reminisce about when you return to the drudgery of your job! Think of inviting a group of families, or make it an all male or all female outing.

D. Two or Three Unrelated Families
Often great friends make a tradition out of an annual house boating trip together. Their children have lasting memories, and the adults have fun, too. There are no limits, to which you might invite, and many times your friends might bring their friends and new friendships are formed!

 
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