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Embracing The Authenticity

1. Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam

2. Valiyaparamba , Kasargod

3. Kavvayi , Kannur

4. Munroe Island



7. Karapuzha, Wayanad

8. Kuttanad, Alappuzha

9. Poovar, Trivandrum


Hidden Gems: 10 Unconventional Kerala Backwaters

While renowned destinations like Alleppey and Kumarakom frequently bask in the spotlight, Kerala Trip Packages unveil plenty of hidden and offbeat Kerala backwaters.

These treasures offer tourists with high standards a unique and unusual experience in peaceful surroundings, away from the busy general public.

Embracing The Authenticity

The offbeat Kerala backwaters call those who crave authenticity in their travels. Away from the bustling tourist hubs, these lesser-known waterways offer a glimpse into the local way of life. 

As the houseboats glide through the narrow canals and tranquil lakes, travelers get to witness traditional village scenes, where fishermen cast their nets and locals go about their daily chores with a sense of calmness that is truly infectious along with other numerous offbeat places to Kerala.

1. Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam

Location: Located in the Kollam district of Kerala, Ashtamudi Lake is renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and tranquil surroundings and is one of the must-visit places in Kerala

It is the second-largest lake in Kerala, spanning an area of approximately 61 square kilometers. The name “Ashtamudi” translates to “eight coned” in Malayalam, referring to the unique shape of the lake with its eight arms.

Ashtamudi Lake is situated about 71 kilometers north of the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. It serves as the gateway to the Kerala backwaters, making it easily accessible for travelers looking to explore the serene beauty of the backwaters.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • A houseboat cruise along the tranquil waters of Ashtamudi Lake is a serene experience for visitors. These traditional houseboats, locally known as “kettuvallams,” offer a leisurely journey through the winding channels of the lake.
  •  For those seeking a more active adventure, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on Ashtamudi Lake.
  • Ashtamudi Lake is home to a rich variety of birdlife, making it a paradise for birdwatchers.
  • One of the most magical experiences on Ashtamudi Lake is witnessing the sunset over the tranquil waters. Sunset cruises aboard houseboats or smaller boats offer travelers this opportunity.

2. Valiyaparamba , Kasargod

Location: Valiyaparamba is a hidden gem nestled in the Kasaragod district of Kerala, India. Situated between the Arabian Sea and the Western Ghats, this offbeat backwater destination offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Location-wise, Valiyaparamba is located about 30 kilometers from Kasaragod town and can be easily reached by road. The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport, which is approximately 75 kilometers away.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • One of the main attractions of Valiyaparamba is its backwater cruises. Travelers can embark on a leisurely houseboat journey along the meandering waterways, soaking in the scenic beauty of the surroundings
  • Fishing is another popular activity in Valiyaparamba. Visitors can try their hand at traditional methods of fishing or simply watch the local fishermen cast their nets in the backwaters.
  • For nature lovers, Valiyaparamba offers plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. The Kerala backwaters are home to a diverse range of bird species
  • Aside from water-based activities, Valiyaparamba also has cultural attractions worth exploring. Visitors can visit the nearby Bekal Fort, one of the largest and best-preserved forts in Kerala.

3. Kavvayi , Kannur

Location: Kavvayi is a picturesque backwater destination situated in the Kannur district of Kerala, India. It is located near Payyanur, approximately 5 kilometers away, and is easily accessible by road. The nearest airport is Calicut International Airport, which is about 140 kilometers from Kavvayi.

Kavvayi is renowned for its serene backwaters, lush greenery, and tranquil ambiance, making it an ideal retreat for travelers seeking a peaceful escape 

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • The highlight of a visit to Kavvayi is exploring its backwaters on a traditional houseboat or a country boat.
  • For those seeking a more adventurous experience, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities in Kavvayi
  • Take a break from the water and explore the charming villages that dot the banks of the backwaters.
  • Kavvayi is located close to several other attractions worth exploring, including the historic town of Payyanur, the ancient Muthappan Temple, and the scenic Ezhimala Hill

4. Munroe Island

Location: Munroe Island, also known as Mundrothuruthu, is a picturesque island located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River in Kollam district, Kerala, India. 

Named after Colonel John Munroe, a British resident of erstwhile Travancore, this tranquil island is renowned for its serene backwaters, lush greenery, and rich biodiversity.

Munroe Island is situated approximately 27 kilometers away from the city of Kollam and is easily accessible by road. The nearest railway station is Kollam Junction, which is well-connected to major cities in Kerala and other parts of India. The closest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, located about 80 kilometers away.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • Munroe Island serves as a gateway to explore other attractions in the region, including backwater destinations of Ashtamudi Lake and Asthamudi Wetland.
  • Coir-making is a traditional occupation in Munroe Island, and visitors can visit local coir-making units to learn about the process of extracting coir fiber from coconut husks.
  • Munroe Island is home to several quaint villages where visitors can experience the traditional way of life in Kerala. Guided village tours offer insights into local customs, culture, and handicrafts.

5. Nileshwar, Kasargod

Location: Nileshwar is strategically positioned along the Malabar Coast, approximately 50 kilometers south of Kasaragod town. It is easily accessible by road, with well-connected routes leading from major cities like Mangalore and Kannur.

The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport, located around 80 kilometers away, while Nileshwar also has its railway station, facilitating convenient travel options for visitors.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • Experience the charm of Kerala backwaters with a houseboat stay on the Tejaswini River. 
  • Travelers can embark on a leisurely boat ride along the Tejaswini River, soaking in the tranquil ambiance and observing the local life along the riverbanks.
  • Nileshwar is renowned for its pristine beaches, characterized by golden sands, swaying palm trees, and blue waters. The iconic Nileshwar Beach and nearby spots like Valiyaparamba Beach offer idyllic settings for strolls
  • The Nileshwar Rajarajeswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a prominent landmark near the Kerala backwaters of Nileshwar. 
  • Relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul with authentic Ayurvedic treatments and therapies offered in Nileshwar.

6. Kadamakkudy, Ernakulum

Location: Kadamakkudy is a group of islands located near Kochi, in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, India. Situated amidst the serene backwaters of Kerala, Kadamakkudy offers a tranquil escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

It is easily accessible from Kochi city, with a short drive of approximately 20 kilometers. 

The nearest major transportation hub is the Cochin International Airport, making it convenient for travelers arriving from various parts of the country and abroad.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • One of the most popular activities in Kadamakkudy is exploring its tranquil backwaters on a traditional houseboat or a country canoe.
  • Explore the rustic charm and local way of life in Kadamakkudy by taking village walks or cycling tours through its scenic countryside. 
  • Delve into the flavors of Kerala cuisine with cooking classes and culinary experiences offered in Kadamakkudy along with other several places to eat.

7. Karapuzha, Wayanad

Location: Karapuzha is located in the Wayanad district of Kerala, known for its lush green landscapes, mist-clad hills, and rich biodiversity and is a famous tourist place to visit in Wayanad.

The region is approximately 16 kilometers south of Kalpetta, the district headquarters of Wayanad. It is easily accessible by road from major cities like Bangalore, Kochi, and Kozhikode. 

The nearest airport is Calicut International Airport, located about 100 kilometers away, while the nearest railway station is Kozhikode Railway Station, approximately 75 kilometers from Karapuzha.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • Experience the thrill of bamboo rafting on the Karapuzha reservoir. Hop on a sturdy bamboo raft and navigate the calm waters while soaking in the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding hills and forests. 
  • Embark on scenic nature walks and trekking trails around Karapuzha to discover the region’s rich biodiversity. Trekking enthusiasts can explore nearby hills and forests, such as Chembra Peak and Pakshipathalam.
  • Enjoy leisurely picnics by the banks of the Karapuzha reservoir, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature which is an amazing thing to do here.
  • Capture the mesmerizing beauty of Karapuzha through photography.

8. Kuttanad, Alappuzha

Location: Kuttanad, often referred to as the “Rice Bowl of Kerala,” is a unique and picturesque region located in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, India.

Kuttanad is situated in the southern part of Kerala, primarily in the Alappuzha district, with parts extending into Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.

It is bordered by the Vembanad Lake to the west and the Alappuzha town to the east. The region is easily accessible by road from major cities like Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. 

The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, located approximately 85 kilometers away, while Alappuzha Railway Station serves as the nearest railhead.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • Explore the tranquil backwaters of Kuttanad on a traditional houseboat cruise.
  • Discover the agricultural heritage of Kuttanad with a guided tour of its expansive paddy fields. Visitors can stroll through the verdant fields, interact with local farmers, and learn about the cultivation of rice, coconut, and other crops.
  • Experience the backwaters of Kuttanad up close with adventurous canoeing and kayaking expeditions.
  • Embark on birdwatching excursions along the backwaters and wetlands of Kuttanad to spot migratory birds, waterfowl, and resident species in their natural habitats.

9. Poovar, Trivandrum

Location: Poovar is situated at the southernmost tip of the Trivandrum district, bordered by the Arabian Sea on one side and the Neyyar River on the other.

It is easily accessible from Thiruvananthapuram city by road, with regular bus and taxi services available.

The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport, located around 35 kilometers away, while the nearest railway station is also in Thiruvananthapuram.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • One of the most popular activities in Poovar is exploring its tranquil backwaters on a traditional Kerala houseboat. 
  • Poovar is blessed with pristine golden beaches that offer an ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. 
  • Visitors can explore these dense mangrove forests on guided boat tours, witnessing the rich biodiversity of the region.
  • Poovar is renowned for its Ayurvedic wellness retreats, where visitors can indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments and holistic therapies.

10. Thanneermukkom, Alappuzha

Location: Thanneermukkom is situated in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, known as the “Venice of the East” for its intricate network of backwaters. 

It lies approximately 8 kilometers from Alappuzha town and is easily accessible by road.

The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport which is one of the best airports in Kerala and is located around 85 kilometers away, while Alappuzha Railway Station serves as the closest railhead.

Activities to Enjoy : 

  • One of the most distinctive features of Thanneermukkom is the Thanneermukkom Bund, a barrier constructed across the Vembanad Lake to prevent saltwater intrusion into the backwaters. Visitors can walk or cycle along the bund
  • Visitors can explore the lush greenery surrounding the backwaters and spot birds such as egrets, herons, kingfishers, and migratory birds like Siberian cranes.
  • Immerse yourself in the rustic charm of rural Kerala by taking a stroll through the quaint villages surrounding Thanneermukkom.
  • Experience the ultimate backwater experience by staying overnight on a traditional Kerala houseboat in Thanneermukkom. 
Offbeat Kerala backwaters offer a truly immersive and authentic experience for travelers seeking tranquility and serenity amidst nature’s splendor. 

From hidden gems and remote retreats to cultural immersion and romantic getaways, these lesser-known destinations promise a memorable journey off the beaten path, where every moment is a cherished memory waiting to be made.

In addition to the serene beauty and tranquility, Kerala’s offbeat backwaters encapsulate the essence of authentic Kerala life and culture. Far from the tourist crowds, these hidden gems offer travelers a chance to connect with local communities, witness age-old traditions, and experience the genuine warmth and hospitality of Kerala’s people.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q:Which are the best backwaters in Kerala?

Q:Which are some of the offbeat backwater destinations in Kerala worth visiting?

Q:What kind of activities can I enjoy in offbeat Kerala backwaters?

Q:Are there houseboats available in offbeat Kerala backwaters, like in Alleppey?

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