Kerala is very famous for meandering backwaters. Backwaters are large
inland lakes (both fresh and salt water) and ocean inlets which stretch irregularly
along the coast of the state. The biggest backwater body is the Vembanad Lake
(about 200 sq. km in area), which opens out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin port.
The rivers interlink with the backwaters and together they provide an excellent
means of water transport.
Alappuzha is just 1.5 hours ride from Kochi (Cochin). Alappuzha was
built in 1762 by Raja Kesavadas, the then diwan of Travancore kingdom and was
promoted to become a major trading centre. Many canals criss cross the entire
town enabling the transport of goods and people giving rise to the adage, 'Venice
of the east'. The Alleppey beach, backwater cruise, snake boat race, and coir
factories are major attractions.
Kuttanad: Called the "rice bowl of Kerala", Kuttand is at the very heart of
the backwaters. It is perhaps the only region in the world where farming is
done 1.5 to 2 meters below the sea level. Inland waterways which flow above
the land level are an amazing feature in this region