Kerala has many sights to offer. Back waters are one of those mesmerizing sights. Kerala backwaters are the network of lagoons and five large lakes linked by canals both manmade and natural ,lying parallel to the Arabian sea coast. Backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents, creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the western Ghats range. These are widened part of rivers and bodies of water which lie along sea costs and in direct communication with sea. Another story popular among our ancestors, is a great flood in their generation shaped these backwaters. The great flood of 1866 AD silted up old harbors and led to the formations of lagoons like Lake Vembanad 83 km long, Lake Ashtamudy 16 km long and Lake Kayamkulam 30.5 km long.
These 900 km waterways facilitates both cargo movement and back water tourism. A houseboat usually has one or more bath attached bedrooms, an open lounge , deck, kitchen, and a crew comprising oarsmen, a cook, a guide.Backwater’s aqueous ecosystem continues its civilizing process for centuries. Many unique species of aquatic life including crab, frogs and mudskipper water birds such as terns, kingfisher, darters and cormorants and animals like otters and turtles live in along side the backwaters .plants like Palm trees ,shrubs adds the greenery to them. Some backwaters forms an agrarian community by using its water resources for irrigation. Here boat making has been a traditional craft, so has been the coir industry. During monsoon (June –September) the backwaters are active with Kerala’s own boat races featuring 130 feet long Chundan boats. These celebrations are part of Kerala’s prosperous festival called Onam. Up to 16 boats , with 100 rowers each compete for the honor during the race. Such a rejoicing race , thrilling not only the participants but the whole community on the banks of backwater, is a irreplaceable experience you can cherish. That why we say- slow down in Kerala else you must miss something.