The Kerala backwaters in the south of India are tranquil, unpromoted treasures. Drift through these canals on a luxury houseboat as a gentle alternative to the bedlam elsewhere in the country.
The Kerala backwaters lie inland from the Arabian Sea in this peaceful, staggeringly beautiful state. They comprise a network of canals, lakes and rivers stretching some 1,500 kilometres
Indian life runs at a slower pace here. Liberal and easy going the region is popular with people who come to explore the twisting kayals, the jungle-shrouded backwater canals and lagoons that connect sheltered villages.
When to go:
The monsoon moves across India , breaking in Kerala in May and then heading northeast across the country. In its aftermath temperatures are cooler and more pleasant
Rice paddies and coconut groves line the banks whilst traditional houseboats, kettuvallum, cruise the still waters, which support a wide range of aquatic, plant and bird life.
Visit secluded Coconut Lagoon Village, an enclave of ancient wooden bungalows, and stop in Cochin to take in temples and historic sites but mostly relax on the lazy waterways, eat delicious food and meet local villagers for a flavour of traditional life here.