Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 21st November 2008, 11:53   #46
Senior - BHPian
 
akroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posts: 2,414
Thanked: 29 Times
Default

SB, speechless, I am simply speechless. Simply amazing pics and narration. Must say you have captured the real essence of the boat ride and conveyed it extremely. Every post of yours in thead was an experience.
I need to do this someday soon. Will take your help surely.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience. Voted a 5star for this thread.
Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 21st November 2008 at 11:54.
akroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st November 2008, 12:16   #47
Distinguished - BHPian
 
supremeBaleno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Weekdays@Chennai, Weekends@Kerala
Posts: 5,164
Thanked: 1,638 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticeyes
how abt this location for the home sweet home?
Wow, that home and surroundings look superb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy
SB, speechless, I am simply speechless. Simply amazing pics and narration. Must say you have captured the real essence of the boat ride and conveyed it extremely. Every post of yours in thead was an experience. I need to do this someday soon. Will take your help surely.
Thanks, Abhi. Feel free to contact me when you are ready for this and I would be glad to help.

Monsoon (Jun-Jul) is kind of off-season in Kerala and rates are cheaper. But I think there is a beauty in the rains too and I would love to do this again when it is raining. Imagine sitting on the deck, drinking a hot cup of tea/coffee with the sound of raindrops hitting the water. Pure bliss.

For those that plan to do the Alappuzha boat thingie, there are atleast 3 options that I know of :

1) The house-boat thing described in this thread, which is too good.

2) Second best is the ferryboat ride organised by KTDC daily from Alappuzha to Kollam and vice-versa - a distance of 90kms or so. Tickets are cheap @ around 200 bucks per person and they serve lunch on board and the boat leaves in the morning at 9:30AM or so to reach the destination by 6PM or so. It goes via the waterways of olden times and takes you through villages, coir-factories, temples etc, and they also stop at places of interest so that you get an idea of rural life.
I want to do this once - should be a real experience.

3) Last option is renting a small motor-boat on hourly basis and they will take you to Kumarakom, Paadhiramanal etc. But I did not find this much fun because for most of the time, all you see around you is just water - no humans, houses, vegetation etc.
supremeBaleno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st November 2008, 12:30   #48
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: mumbai
Posts: 237
Thanked: 94 Times
Default

wow! this is indeed brilliant!! on my wishlist now
magiceye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st November 2008, 13:11   #49
BHPian
 
vrvarier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ALP->Bangalore
Posts: 141
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Hi SB,
I'm out of my bearings ! Simply superb. I hate to admit that, in spite of being born, brought up and lived in alleppey for the first 26 years of my life, I have not taken a single boat cruise. Not even once !!! Criminal offence. That said, I have done innumerable ferry boat rides between alpy and Kumarakom which is my fathers native place. Perhaps, you need to come out and give it an outsider's perspective to appreciate the beauty.
regards,
VV
vrvarier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st November 2008, 14:04   #50
Senior - BHPian
 
rjstyles69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bengalooru..
Posts: 4,345
Thanked: 790 Times
Default

Biju isn't this called the Kettu Vallam or something like that ?

Name:  DSC01086 Small.JPG
Views: 4142
Size:  60.9 KB

How I miss Kerala and you are to blame for this now . The last time Sharath posted his travelogue about his trip to the backwaters I had decided on paying a visit. Somehow never materialized till date gawd knows when..

I envy all you chaps who live in Gods Own Country for the serenity and greenery that you live in( Minus the hartals) .

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 21st November 2008 at 14:05.
rjstyles69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st November 2008, 15:37   #51
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: goa
Posts: 981
Thanked: 43 Times
Default

Great write-up, and super pictures SB. Brought back memories of 2005 when I did this with wife and three kids. We paid 5k for the boat, probably a little more than usual since it was done thru my travel agent.
One thing I noticed now there seems to be a helluva lot of water hyacinth. See the pics in 2005, waters were remarkably free of plants then.
It was a great experience. Thanks for bringing back the good times.
Attached Thumbnails
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc00952.jpg  

A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc00917.jpg  

A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc00878.jpg  

filcord is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd November 2008, 04:05   #52
Senior - BHPian
 
kuttapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,155
Thanked: 12 Times
Default

Good writeup and beautiful pictures.

I had done this cruise in May this year with some of my college mates, we had to pay 16k for one boat for cruise and an extra boat to sleep during the night. I guess it was on the higher side as the person booking it went through the corporate route.

I had fun playing "Sranku"..meaning I steered the house boat for a while. It was nice doing that, only you had to start to turn a km before you had to. And it required constant corrections, just to go in a straight line . Food was awesome, but the mid-kayal supermarket they took us to, quoted unearthly prices for everything from Sprite to Pearlspot !!

As a sidenote - the canal officers(and their cronies) are minting money in these parts. It seems for a houseboat to run legally, they have to keep greasing palms of the 'concerned' people. The great Indian corruption at work. Seems everyone is happy with the situation, though. Even the guy who takes it upon himself to wash all the cars at the Jetty, regardless of whether the owner wanted it washed or not. Wonder how much he makes, a dumb friend of mine gave 100Rs for just a morning scrub. Let tourism thrive !!
kuttapan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd November 2008, 08:23   #53
Distinguished - BHPian
 
supremeBaleno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Weekdays@Chennai, Weekends@Kerala
Posts: 5,164
Thanked: 1,638 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69
Biju isn't this called the Kettu Vallam or something like that ?
This is called a "Kodhumbu Vallam" in local parlance. "Vallam" being Malluspeak for boat and 'kodhumbu' being a part of the coconut tree, the shape of which happens to be the inspiration for this boat and hence the name. More details here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69
I envy all you chaps who live in Gods Own Country for the serenity and greenery that you live in( Minus the hartals) .
Add the fresh air to the list of advantages. Ofcourse like any other place, it also has its own cons - hartals just being one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord
Great write-up, and super pictures SB. Brought back memories of 2005 when I did this with wife and three kids. We paid 5k for the boat, probably a little more than usual since it was done thru my travel agent.
Thanks, filcord. Yeah, prices vary depending on whom you book with and also with season and demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan
Food was awesome, but the mid-kayal supermarket they took us to, quoted unearthly prices for everything from Sprite to Pearlspot !!
Yeah, you have to bargain hard. They look at everyone as tourists and quote exhorbitant prices.

P.S. : Usually Tamil and Malayalam have quite some words in common, with the same meaning. But while 'Kayal' means 'backwaters' in Malayalam, it means 'fish' in Tamil. eg. Kayalvizhi means "someone with eyes like a fish". Ofcourse, if I am referring to backwaters, I would write it with an extra 'a', - Kaayal - which is how it is pronounced in Malayalam.
supremeBaleno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd November 2008, 10:50   #54
Senior - BHPian
 
ramkya1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palakkad, Keral
Posts: 1,817
Thanked: 362 Times
Arrow

Supreme Baleno,

Thanks for that wonderful thread and knock-out pictures which have captured the charm of the back-waters. As you said, no camera can do full justic to the place.

Brings back memories of 80's; during field-work in Aleppey district, there were many beautiful spots where we had to take boats / vallams or whatever was available to meet customers. We had so many sessions in local "shops", of-course after work is over.

Interesting thing to note; the water level in the water-ways are above that of the levels in the paddy field, something of a speciality to Aleppy waterways only.

Happy Driving,

--Ramky
========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 22nd November 2008 at 10:51.
ramkya1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th November 2008, 14:23   #55
Distinguished - BHPian
 
supremeBaleno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Weekdays@Chennai, Weekends@Kerala
Posts: 5,164
Thanked: 1,638 Times
Default What is life like in & around the backwaters ?

1) Home is where the heart is. Grandpa watching the world (& tourists) float by, while the lady of the house has no water-worries for kitchen-work. And for the kids, there is this huge swimming pool stretching for miles.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01090.jpg


2) And it is not just humans who are priveleged to have an abode above water. See the chicken-coop (kozhi-koodu in Malayalam) in the pic below, which is on top of water.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01096.jpg


3) What if you feel like a late-night drive ?
Just jump into your canoe (most homes have one personal canoe like we have bikes/cars) and cruise on water. Ofcourse, when your home is landlocked, a canoe can mean the difference between life and death in case of medical emergencies, snake bites etc.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01007.jpg


4) What if I want more exclusivity in my home and wheels ? Well, here is a pcituersque home with water on all sides, enough greenery to give the required privacy & its own buoy.
And no M800 (canoe) for this guy - he has a big spacious sedan (boat) parked in the driveway (waterway).
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01013.jpg


5) While water might lock them in, they are connected to the world via cellphones. Checkout the guy checking his calls/sms before rowing off - as per water traffic rules, it is a penal offence to use the phone while rowing your boat.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01010.jpg


6) What's life without some mods ? Here's a ride modded for looks and with some Suzuki power added.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01047.jpg


7) The water helps keep the home fire burning. A fishermen duo set off with nets, supplies etc for fishing.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01050.jpg


8) Parking spot hassles are there in the backwaters also. All the spots are taken.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01069.jpg


9) Looks like the politicians here also are bitten by the flyover bug. IIRC, this was built using the MPLAD fund.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01118.jpg


10) Hey I need to post a letter. Worry not, IndiaPost is in the vicinity.
A 24-hour cruise (houseboat) in the Alappuzha backwaters-dsc01114.jpg

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 24th November 2008 at 14:41.
supremeBaleno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008, 14:48   #56
Senior - BHPian
 
pjbiju's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Karamattom, Aluva, Kotagiri, Yercaud, Hospet, Indore, Nashik, Pune (now)
Posts: 1,178
Thanked: 460 Times
Default

Biju, wonderful photos and narration. I loved the question and the answer style captions. I could not take my family for such trip during my last trip home although you had given me all the details. If I show these pictures to my wife and son, they are sure to pout and not talk to me for a couple of days. I had one day and took them to a different place however.

My younger brother's marriage was solemnized at a Church which was on the banks of the backwaters (in Ernakulam, somewhere near Parur) a few years back. During the wedding I and my son boarded the ferry near the church to cross the backwaters while everyone else was in the Church. We simply started going from one side to the other and then back to where we started from - I do not remember how many trips we made. After the first two trips the boatman refused to take any money from us (Rs. 2 per head).

It is a dream to build a small house somewhere along the backwaters and live there. During the hartal days do they block the waterways as well?
pjbiju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008, 15:04   #57
Distinguished - BHPian
 
supremeBaleno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Weekdays@Chennai, Weekends@Kerala
Posts: 5,164
Thanked: 1,638 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju
Biju, wonderful photos and narration. I loved the question and the answer style captions.
Thanks (from one Biju to another).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju
I could not take my family for such trip during my last trip home although you had given me all the details.
There is always another time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju
We simply started going from one side to the other and then back to where we started from - I do not remember how many trips we made.
I make it a point to do this everytime I take my son to the river near my home for swimming. Though my wife is a little afraid about the stability of the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju
During the hartal days do they block the waterways as well?
LOL. Nice question. Dont think the waterways are blocked.
supremeBaleno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008, 15:18   #58
BHPian
 
Mysticeyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Trivandrum
Posts: 369
Thanked: 347 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
It is a dream to build a small house somewhere along the backwaters and live there. During the hartal days do they block the waterways as well?
Dear Biju, usually waterways are not disrupted even during harthal days. But in september & october, twice, house boats were forcibly tied by the goons (u can call party workers) when the boats were docked for lunch. Seems like this is a symptom which is slowly gaining momentum
Mysticeyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008, 15:34   #59
Distinguished - BHPian
 
supremeBaleno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Weekdays@Chennai, Weekends@Kerala
Posts: 5,164
Thanked: 1,638 Times
Cool Its always good to get a second opinion.

The New Indian Express newspaper dtd 26-Jul-2008 had an article about the Alappuzha backwaters. The journalist did the going around not by houseboat, but a normal boat. A nicely worded article, which catches your instant attention with the catchy title and the following picture.

Name:  cheAlappuzha.JPG
Views: 3454
Size:  78.2 KB

Can't seem to trace the link to the full article online.

PS :
1. Toddy is a drink local to South India, which is extracted from the stem of the coconut or palm tree. White in color, it is sweet when extracted, but gets fermented after few hours giving it not only a sour taste, but also intoxication.

2. Tapioca is a tuber which is a favourite food item in Kerala. Goes well with hot 'n spicy fish curry.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 26th November 2008 at 15:36.
supremeBaleno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th November 2008, 15:54   #60
Senior - BHPian
 
pjbiju's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Karamattom, Aluva, Kotagiri, Yercaud, Hospet, Indore, Nashik, Pune (now)
Posts: 1,178
Thanked: 460 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysticeyes View Post
Dear Biju, usually waterways are not disrupted even during harthal days. But in september & october, twice, house boats were forcibly tied by the goons (u can call party workers) when the boats were docked for lunch. Seems like this is a symptom which is slowly gaining momentum
Afterall it is God's own country. Nothing is really impossible, especially when the "no-religion; no-god" people are in power
pjbiju is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A night & two days on a Sundarbans Houseboat shashanka Travelogues 7 1st June 2015 16:58
RE Classic 500 trip to alappuzha beach nims Travelogues 7 31st December 2010 16:18
Quick meet in Alleppey / Alappuzha trrk The Team-BHP Meet Section 79 12th August 2010 21:16


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:21.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks