Alappuzha boat ride: The Venice of the east

Alappuzha is a famous tourist destination in Kerala for its beautiful and scenic backwaters. There are many canals that run through the region, dividing it into smaller land masses which seem like they are floating on water. It is astonishing to see that people reside and farm on this land with water boat the only way of access to other towns or cities. One can watch all this awe by renting a private houseboat. But there is another cheap way to witness this. Kerala state water transport corporation operates boat services from Alappuzha to different regions for local people, where you can also travel and experience the magic of the backwaters.
This write-up will talk about the boat ride from Alappuzha to Kottayam, from the beginning till you reach the destination.

Alappuzha boat jetty

Basically, the boat does not actually go to Kottayam, but finishes off its journey at a place called Kanjiram which is 7.2 km from Kottayam. So you have to board the boat from Alappuzha boat jetty which reads Kanjiram and take a seat at the front rows if you want unobstructed view of backwaters.

Alappuzha boat jetty to Kanjiram route. (inset) Kanjiram to Kottayam

The ticket will cost you around Rs.16 to Rs.20 depending upon when you are actually visiting the place. Once all the passengers have boarded, the journey begins.

A house boat seen as we wade through the waters

Wading through the narrow canal, you arrive at a much larger part of backwaters known as Punnamada finishing point. This is the place where the annual Nehru trophy race(Vellam kali) of snake boats takes place. Here you will also observe many hotels, resorts and ayurvedic centres around the periphery of land.

A church on the way to Vembanad

As the boat moves at snails pace(about 10km per hour), we can easily look around the beauty and click photographs. The boat advances to enter the largest portion of backwaters, the Vembanad lake.

View of the lake with stretch of trees on both sidesNature

This is the point where the routes change. If one has to go to Kumarakom, they should move further up. Because we are heading to Kanjiram, we turn right. After few hours in the lake, you again enter a canal, but this time, you can observe many houses around the narrow piece of land. There are even huge churches, hotels, farmlands on individual island. Coconut trees are planted on extremely long strip of land of about 1 m wide with no offset for pathway. This scenario is truly astonishing to watch.

The narrower part of lake on the way to Kanjiram

One would love to live and be a part of this lovely ecosystem, but the sad part of it is that, boat is the only major mode of transport. One second. Did I say major mode of transport? Yes, because while you advance, you could also see vehicles parked near their house. No idea how it reached there!


Every comment makes this article better! So please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Alappuzha boat ride:…

Read time: 2 min