Kettuvallom - Riceboats - Houseboats - romance of kerala backwaters


  

    Not just cashew and fish
  

Located 71 Km to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is the centre of the country's cashew trading and processing industry. One of the oldest ports of the Malabar coast. Kollam was once the port of international trade. Thirty percent of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi Lake, making it the gateway to the magnificent backwaters of Kerala. The eight hour boat trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest and most enchanting experience of the backwaters of Kerala. The district also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in the traditional ornate architectural style.

 

Places to visit

Thangasseri :
 This seaside village of historic importance has the ruins of an old Portuguese fort and churches built in the 18th century. The Thangasseri lighthouse which is 144 feet high, is open to visitors from 15:30 - 17:30 hrs. There are buses at 15 minutes intervals from Kollam town.
 
Mayyanad :
Mayyanad is noted for its shrines and temples. The most important of the nine temples here is the Subramanya Temple at Umayanallor. This shrine is said to have been consecrated by the great Hindu Philosopher Sree Sankaracharaya. There are frequent buses from Kollam to mayyanad.

Sasthamkotta : 
This vast fresh water lake surrounded by hills on three sides, is the largest of its kind in Kerala. The ancient Sastha Temple which lends its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre. There are frequent bus services from Kollam. 

Ochira :
The unique feature of this famous pilgrim centre is that there is no deity or idol at the famous Para Brahma temple dedicated to universal consciousness. Ochira Kali in mid June and the twelve day 'Panthrandu Vilakku' in November/December are the two main annual festivals. Ochira Kali is a mock fight enacted between groups of men dressed as warriors an the padanilam (fighting spot). They perform a martial dance standing in knee-deep water, brandishing swords and shields, and splashing water every direction. There are frequent buses from Kollam and Alappuzha.

Kulathupuzha : 
Situated on a forest range on the Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottai road, Kulathupuzha is known for Sastha temple. The Vishu Mahotsavam in April/May is the most important festival. There are frequent buses from Kollam to Kulathupuzha. The Thenmala railway station is just 10 Km from here.

Thenmala :
The area is covered by dense forest, rubber and tea plantations. An Eco Tourism Development Project is under implementation here. Thenmala is also a dam site.

Palaruvi Waterfalls :
Palaruvi which means "milky stream" makes its "milky way" down the rocks, falling from a height of 300 feet. The Palaruvi wood is a beautiful picnic spot. There are frequent buses to Ariankavu from Kollam. The PWD Inspection Bungalow and the KTDC Motel offer comfortable accommodation.

Matha Amrithanandamayi Ashram, Vallikavu :
The residence and headquarters of Matha Amrithanandamayi Devi, is situated at Amrithapuri near Vallikavu. The Ashram is accessible both by road and boat. There are bus connections from Alappuzha 

Jatayupara :
A huge rock at Chadayamangalam takes its name from the mythical bird 'Jatayu' in the epic Ramayana, who is believed to have collapsed on the rock after failing in his attempts to thwart Ravana's kidnapping of Sita.

Thirumullavaram Beach: 
This beautiful beach, filled with coconut palms is ideal for an early morning walk as one can see fishermen gliding into the sea for the day's catch. The beach is a beautiful picnic spot with good bathing facilities and has frequent bus service from Kollam town.
Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary: Formed around the Kallada Irrigation Project, the Shenduruny valley is one of the richest floral areas of Kerala. Elephant, tiger, leopard, bear and the lion-tailed macaque can be found here. Close by is Tenmalai, the headquarters of this forest division. A large number of tea and rubber estates can be found here.

About Kerala
About Kettuvallom
About Houseboats 
About Backwaters


 

Kerala  Tour Operators 
 Fact Sheet
Population: 25,84,118
Area: 2579 sq km
Altitude: Sea level
Rainfall  278 cm
Climate:  Tropical
Summer Max      Min
36C    22C
Winter 30C    18C 
Season Aug to Mar 
Clothing: Tropical cottons 

Access

Air: 
The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, 71 kms away. 

Rail: 
Quilon Junction is an important station in the Southern Railways network in Kerala and connects Quilon to almost all important centres in the rest of the country. Kochi is about 156 km north of Quilon and takes 3 to 4 hours by train. There are also metre-guage trains from Quilon to Chennai via Madurai, which offer a rather different and interestingly scenic journey. 

Road: 
Quilon is an important transit point for buses on the NH 47 highway from Thiruvananthapuram to the northern towns of Kerala. Buses are frequent and fares reasonable. The trip to Thiruvananthapuram takes under two hours and to Kochi, about one hour.

Boat/ Ferry: 
The boat jetty is adjacent to the KSRTC central bus stand, about 3 km away from the Railway Station. There are daily ferry services through the scenic backwaters to Alappuzha and more frequent ones to smaller destinations, viz, Guhandapuram (one-hour journey) and Muthiraparamb (2 hour journey.)
 
Local Transport:
Private and KSRTC buses, Yellow-top and tourist taxis, Autorickshaws.

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Houseboats Backwaters Kerala