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Most memorable experience of staying in a houseboat is when it is moving through the beautiful canals and rivers of Alleppey (or Alappuzha). During the trip tourist can see local villages on the banks of Alleppey canals, traditional Kerala homes, local people travel by small country boats who use these mode of transport to sell ethnic items or they used to travel from one place to another place, paddy fields, fleet of ducks, birds like eagle, king fisher etc – all combination of these experience make the houseboat trip memorable one.

Alleppey have many small and big canals, big rivers, remote villages and small lakes. Each of these canals and rivers have its own importance, like when you move in a narrow canal, you can see local villages on the both sides, but some canals one can experience only paddy fields. Some rivers are too big in width, tripping more time in this river make you boring. Always small and narrow canals are more scenic beauty than big rivers and lakes.

All the Houseboats cannot make a trip in all these canals due to its narrow in width, over bridges across the canals and the fact that some of the beautiful canals are located little far off from central Alleppey.  But have ever thought or any of the online portal mentioned that where or which narrow canal or river offer these activities can be experienced? Are you sure you are getting a trip in these famous or beautiful narrow canals? Some of the canals are just 20-22ft in width where only small houseboats which have maximum 14-15 ft in width used to cruise. In summary, big houseboats can only make a trip through big rivers and due to its size; they need to skip small and narrow beautiful canals.

Why we write this Article?

Recent years, the houseboat tourism has more commercialized than authentic. Number of houseboats gone up, more big houseboats like 5/6/7 and 11 room houseboats have started operating in Alleppey backwaters. Earlier all bookings are private and exclusive, now it’s become more sharing boats – like a hotel stay. Big booking engines like Make My Trip, Go Ibibo, booking.com etc are displaying cheap price in their site and all offering only sharing boats. Most of the guest blindly book a boat through either of these online portal or travel agent and finally when the expectations are broken down, the trip become disastrous.

Srees Tours, a local travel agent who have wide knowledge of these canals and villages writing this article to educate all those looking for a good and memorable trip in Alleppey Houseboats. Below are the best canals in Alleppey one can have a memorable trip, in case your houseboat is making a trip in these canals or rivers.

Canal Map for Akkathara canal, Venattukadu Canal, Kainakary Thod (Canal), Muttethod (canal) and Irumpanam Thod (Canal)

Alleppey Canals Map

Canal Map for Poleppadam Canal – Thayamkary Canal, Kanjippadam – Thottappally Canal and Achankovil River

Kerala Canals Map

 

#1. AKKATHARA CANAL

We choose Akkathara canal No. 1 position due to three reasons. It has just 22-25ft in width, both sides one can experience local villages and paddy fields. This is the best narrow canal where small houseboats i.e. 1 bed room or two bed room which have a width of max 13ft can make a trip. A house boat takes approximately 30-35mins to complete the trip through this canal.

Akkathara canal

During the trip through this canal, tourist have a chance to experience Kerala traditional villages on the both sides, locals traveling by country boats, birds like kingfishers – all these makes this canal more attractive than other canals.

Houseboats which have width of 13ft and less height can make a trip through this canal. Upper deck boats, boat which have a length of more than 70ft cannot make a trip through this canal. Summarily, modern houseboat which has a width of 15ft with an upper deck or top floor or any boat which have three or more rooms cannot make a trip in this canal.

For those who do not want to hire a houseboat but want to experience this canal have two options.

  • Service Boats – Some of the Govt service boats for the local people cover this canal. The frequency of these trips are very less.
  • Private Shikara – In case not choosing a houseboat, a private shikara trip can be a good idea to cover this canal.

#2. Venattukadu Canal

This is the second best canal after Akkathara canal, having a width of 25-28ft in width. Houseboats have one or two bed room which has a width of max 14ft and less in height can make a trip through this canal. During the trip, tourist have a chance to experience Kerala traditional villages on the both sides, locals traveling by country boats, birds like kingfishers – all these makes this canal more attractive. Total approximate cruise time through this canal is 20mins.

Venattukadu canal

Govt service boats for the local people cover this canal. The frequency of these trips is very less. You can choose Private shikara if you do not want to book houseboat.

#3. Kainakary Thod (Canal)

This is the third best canal after Akkathara and Venatukadu canal where small houseboats i.e. 1 bed room or two bed room which have a width of max 14ft can make a trip. Having a width of 25-30 ft, this canal is very famous of local settlers. One can also experience paddy field mixed with local village homes. Total approximate cruise time through this canal is 15mins.

kainakary canal

If you do not want to hire a houseboat then you can choose Govt. service boat or private shikara. Private shikara will be good option because Govt. service boats frequency is very less.

#4. Irumpanam Thod (Canal)

Irumpanam thod (canal) is one of the best canals in Alleppey. It is approx 50-60ft in width and it takes almost 20 minutes to cross the canal by houseboat. Main attraction of this canal is one side of the canal is paddy field and other side, local is settled with their homes giving tourists a chance to see local village and paddy fields. Most of the big boats, irrespective of its size, top floor or width, used to make a trip through this canal.

You have two option if you do not want to book houseboat. You can make trip through Govt. service boats or by private shikara. Frequency of service boats are very less so private shikara will be the best option.

#5. Muttethod (canal)

Muttethod

Muttethod (canal) is approx 35-40ft in width and most of houseboats irrespective of its size and top floor can make a trip. The canal looks beautiful with its coconut palm trees and a couple of local homes on the both sides. It takes approx 10 minute to cross the canal.

#6. SNDP Thod (Canal)

This canal is located near famous houseboat boarding point like Finishing Point and Punnamada Jetty. All the houseboats, irrespective of its size, top floor or width, can make a trip in this canal as the canals is approx 75ft in width. During the trip through this canal, one can see both side villages and local homes. One can also see one hindu temple on the banks of this canal. It takes approx 25 – 30mins to cover this canal.

If you want to experience this canal then there are two option available apart from houseboat. Govt. service boats and private shikara. Note: frequency of service boat are very less.

#7. Poleppadam Canal – Thayamkary Canal

Poleppadam Canal

Those who like peace environment, remove village, no man land areas or less crowded place, birds around you – all these available in this canal. No houseboat generally cover this canal as its not nearby to central Alleppey. This canal can be covered by those houseboats which make trip to Thottappally, Alumkadavu, Thakazi route. It takes approx 45mins to cover this canal.

Poleppadam Canal

For those who do not want to hire a houseboat but want to experience this canal have no options, but hire a private shikkara.

#8. Kanjippadam – Thottappally Canal

This Kanjippadam – Thottappally Canal is a very beautiful having approx 35ft in width in some place and in some area approx 50-60ft with. No houseboat usually make a trip through this route as its not located nearby central Alleppey backwaters. Since this canal does not have usual traffic of houseboats or water transport as in central Alleppey canals, tourist those who like to have a peaceful trip with not so much houseboat or motor boats. The famous Karumadi Kutten Budha temple is also located on the banks of this canal.

Those who are travelling from Kochi/Munnar/Thekkedy (periyar) to Kovalam, we advise them to take a houseboat trip boarding at Alleppey and drop at Pallathuruthy. Though its little bit costlier than usual houseboat charges, this trip gives you a different experience.

If you do not want hire houseboat, hire private shikara or make trip through Govt. service boat. Water transport department of Alleppey motor boat to Quilon, which is going via this canal.

#9. Achankovil River

Achankovil Canal

Achankovil River is located in between Thottappally and Thyamakari Canal. This canal is very beautiful to see as both sides round the year one can see paddy field and its harvesting.

This place is paradise for nature lovers with greenery, birds and specially a no man land area. Hardly one can see any local village or home. It takes approx 45mins to cover this canal. One needs to hire a private shikkara to experience this canal. This place is located very close to Thakazhi town.