Kerala is known for its panoramic backwater stretches, lush green paddy fields, highlands and beaches. The backwater is a unique product of Kerala and is found nowhere else in the world. The Kerala Backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast of Kerala.
One of the most preferred ways to get close to the backwater life in Kerala is the houseboat. In the early days houseboats were used for the transport of goods (a standard kettuvallom can hold up to 30 tones) from the isolated interior villages to the towns. With the advent of roads, bridges and ferry services, gradually the Kettuvalloms went off the scene. Now these kettuvalloms are back again as a major tourist attraction.
A houseboat is about 67 feet in length and has a width of around 13 feet in the middle. The materials that go into the making are local and eco friendly; bamboo poles, coconut fiber, ropes, bamboo mats, carpets etc. The main wood used is "Anjili". There are houseboats with fully furnished single room, double room, triple rooms, five rooms etc. All of them have a living area with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet. In addition there is a separate rest room for the crew. Modern houseboats are a tribute to traditional design, ingenuity, aesthetic values and commitment to the environment. Many of the boats are equipped with solar lighting, chemical toilets and outboard engines. The crew includes a chef, and two oarsmen. The cuisine is of traditional Kerala flavour.