Kerala has an extensive network of water ways that lace the interior coastline, from Hosdurg in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south, covering a distance of 560 km. Besides the large inland lakes that dot the land, the backwaters include the entire network of canals, estuaries and water bodies formed by the inimitable craftsmanship of nature. The waterways pulsate to a different beat, and are characterised by a lifestyle and ethos non existent else where in the country.
Kumarakom is typical of this water world. With its backdrop of rich green paddy fields and still grey waters, the region is resplendent in scenic beauty. The many resorts that have sprung up in and around Kumarakom have transformed this once quiet and peaceful settlement into a much sought after destination.
The 205-km-long waterway from Kollam to Kottapuram (near Kodungallur), running nearly parallel to the coastline, facilitates inland transport, cargo movement as well as backwater tourism.Alappuzha, Kollam and Kumarakom are the three most popular backwater destinations.Extensive paddy and plantation crops grow several feet below sea level at Kuttanad.There are plenty of options for tourists ranging from short cruises costing a couple of hundred rupees to packageholidays on houseboats costing as much as Rs 30,000 a day.Annual snake boat races are much-awaited events, popular with both locals and tourists.