Well, Kuttanad is the traditional name for a vast low lying region in southern Kerala.
Kuttanad saddles Alappuzha (Alleppy) and Kottayam districts.
The very geographical peculiarities makes this region unique and a major tourist attraction. Boasted as the 'Rice Bowl of Kerala' for obvious reasons, this is one of the few places on earth where farming is done at vast stretch of land lying below the sea level!
The hallmark of Kuttanad is labyrinth of shimmering waterways crisscrossing the lakes, rivers and rivulets and canals lined with thick coconut groves and unending rice paddy fields.
While at Kuttanad region, never miss to take a local canoe ride through one of the zillion narrow canals fringed with the tropical vegetation.
Get to Alleppy or Kottayam, these are your gateway towns to the heartland of Kuttanad.
The sprawling Vembanad Lake and the many waterways connecting to it makes the heart of Kumarakom's backwater tourism. The once marshy land fringing the Vembanad Lake is now teaming with a plethora of actions : farming, fishing , tourisms to name a few, and of course the bird life.
There are any number of resorts and tourism driven hotels located around this otherwise laid back village in Kottayam district. You'll see the likes of the upscale Tajs and Zuris rubbing shoulder with many local players.
Take a backwater cruise, check-into a houseboat, some of the local curries or slimly relax at a waterfront resort, that's what the actions for you at Kumarakom.
Get to Kottayam or Ernakulam and travel by road to Kumarakom.
The very name (8 branches) explains the topological complexity of this backwater system. Ashtamudi covers almost 30% of the Kollam district. Rather, the towns and villages of this district is located on the fringes of this backwaters. Kollam (Quilon) town is boasted as the gateway to to the southern backwaters of Kerala.
Take the 8 hours Kollam to Alleppy backwater cruise, one of the longest boat services in India.
On the fringes you can see the Chinese fishing nets, traditional coir making, tile factories and a lot of traditional kerala lifestyle.
So, that's about the top Backwater locations in Kerala. You may be also interested in exploring the backwaters on a shoestring budget.
Kerala backwaters map showing the locations of Lake, Kayamkulam backwaters, Thottapally Lake, Kuttanad Backwaters, Vembanadu Backwaters, Enamavu backwater, Chettuva Backwater, Ponnani Backwaters, Kavvayi Backwaters, Valiyaparamba Backwaters, Padanna Backwaters, Padanna Backwaters, Thiruvallam backwaters,Aakkulam Lake,Kadinamkulam backwaters,Edava-Nadayara Backwaters,Paravur Backwaters, Ashtamudi Backwaters, Vattakayal
See Also : Backwaters Map of Kerala
Boasted as the longest backwater cruise in Kerala, the Kollam to Alappuzha (Quilon to Alleppey) boat ride is an 8 hours affair. The route practically connects the two towns.
The pomp and fanfare apart, touring backwaters of Kerala in houseboat is an expensive affair. The rates are usually steep, running into a couple of thousand rupees per night, even during the off season.
Ashtamudi literally means , eight branches, depicting the complex topography of this sprawling backwaters.