KUTTANAD BACKWATERS

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» South India
» Kerala
Location: Spread Over Kottayam, Alapuzha And Pathanamthita
Known As: The Rice Bowl Of Kerala
Main Feature: Kumarakom
Unique Feature: Farming Done Below Sea Level

Kuttanad - The Waterlogged Land, KeralaKuttanad is an expanse of water-logged land lying below sea level. It bears strong resemblance to Holland in terms of geographical features.

Three rivers, namely Pampa, Manimala and Achankovil, criss cross the length and breadth of Kuttanad. Until a few years back, water was the main mode of transportation, though today buses and trains ply in the region.

However, so unique is the landscape that a boat trip is irresistible, not only for tourists but natives as well. Kuttanad, known as the 'rice bowl of Kerala' because of her wealth of paddy crops, is the very heart of the backwaters. The scenic countryside here is a rich crop of Bananas, Yams and Casava. This is one of the places in the world, where farming is done below sea level. Inland waterways, which flow above land level is an amazing feature of this unique land.

The 75 kilometre long sparkling network of rivers, canals, lakes, lagoons and tiny streamlets between Quilon and Cochin and beyond to Thiruvananthapuram, of which the Kuttanad (backwaters) consist are akin to a tropical land of canals.

On the shores of the enchanting Vembanad lake, 14 kms from Kottayam, lies Kumarakom in its small town .....hush, redolent of restful peace.

Kumarakom: The Picturesque Backwaters of Kerala
Kumarakom slumbers on the banks of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and tributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web.
The Rice Bowl of Kerala
The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets A boat ride in the countryside offers a close look into an engaging rustic life. Skilled-fishermen launching their cockshell boats.

Large flotillas of ducks waddling down to the water from thatched houses on the banks. Women, neck-deep in water, with their waist-length hair heaped in a crown, searching for fish with their feet.

And aimless cattle grazing in lush pastureland, where white lotuses lie here and there in small, low-lying pools.
Best Time To Visit
The time when one can enjoy the enchanting backwaters is from December through March. A visit around January15 provides the chance to see the Boat Race at Alleppey on January 19 and the Great Elephant March Jan 17 to 20.

Second Saturday of August is Nehru Trophy Snakeboat Race.



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