We slowly row away from the shore towards the canals of Kollam, sun shining brightly up our heads, striking a balance with the canoe, to the chirping of birds in the distance on a hot Friday afternoon.
Kollam Village backwaters
Cruising through the narrow waterways with almost 3-4ft in depth, the ubiquitous greenery of this location fascinated me. The moving canoe disturbed the clear reflection of the trees in the water, forming ripples.
We passed through plenty of archways devised by the abundant coconut trees. Stretches of land were covered in nets dedicated to prawn feeding. And tiny fishes swarmed to eat the tiny lumps of coconut flesh in masses.
Between the village kids playing by the water and the villagers striking a pose for us, the journey continued with cow dipping itself in the rejuvenating waters, kingfishers perched on tall coconut trees, eagles flying high in the clear blue sky, dover of ducks by the shore quacking around and an abandoned fellow canoe enjoying it’s moment of solitude, all engulfed in a green cocoon of nature. Just what I needed to transcend myself into the mystical backwaters.
More than once lost in my own world of photography, I ducked just about time before hitting the low bridges and branches. The friendly villagers gave us a demo of the coir retting and weaving process. The coir is then used to manufacture carpets in industries.
Sitting on a canoe, sipping on the sweet tender coconut and devouring on the flesh made my day. To shake things up a bit, I even tried rowing the canoe by myself. FYI, not as easy as it looks!
I found myself in Kollam for a friend’s wedding. Willing to capitalize on the situation, we contemplated on making a short visit to Alleppey backwaters. Just then, our hotel owner informed us that Kollam backwaters is just as beautiful. Surprised by the new found information, we decided to check it out. And now, I would have to concede with the hotel owner. It is just as incredible, if not more!
Kollam Village backwater canal cruise
The canoe tour takes place in Monroe island. A quaint island located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada river at a distance of 25km from Kollam. And, it amounts to 600/- per person.
Apart from Kollam, village backwaters tour is also available in Kochi and Alleppey.
Tip: You might find a lot of tour operators haggling while heading to the tourism office in Kollam. Make sure you head to the DTPC(District Tourism Promotion Council), a Govt. of Kerala agency that organizes a list of backwaters tours through the canals of Kollam. They have fixed price tours and it is usually cheaper compared to other tour operators. It includes transportation to and from Monroe island by auto.
We also went on a public ferry, for a short distance in the interim, carrying locals and vehicles since there is no direct road access. Such is the way of life in Kerala! The journey lasted for about 2 hours through the village backwaters and every moment was a bliss.
When in Kerala, ditch the cliched houseboats and immerse yourself in the tiny villages of Kerala through the village backwaters for a gratifying experience.
Located 5 km from Thangassery Light House, Xavier’s Residency has air conditioning(A/C) room and serves continental breakfast. The hotel owner is a friendly fellow and can help you out in your tours.
Alternatively, browse through the range of hotels in Kollam, and choose the one of you prefer.
The nearest airport is Thiruvananthapuram International Airport which is around 57 km from Kollam.
which passes through Kollam. It is comfortable by train since it is a long journey. However, take care of your belongings and don’t leave anything unattended.
Departure – 16:45, Arrival – 8:45
Departure – 17:25, Arrival – 7:20
There are buses available to Kollam from Bangalore, most of which have the final destination as Thiruvananthapuram. However, I wouldn’t suggest traveling by bus since it is a good 12-hour journey to Kollam.
So, have you cruised through the village backwaters? How was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below.
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