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Board the private 'kettuvallam' a traditional Houseboat of Kerala. In Malyalam, the word `kettuvallam' means a sewn or stitched canoe. Traditionally they were built of planks sewn together with coir cordage, threaded through with a `needle' carved from a palm frond. The seams, caulked with coir plugs soaked in sardine or cashew oil made the boats waterproof. These `kettuvallams', were designed to carry heavy cargo, such as coconuts and spices, and to provide living accommodation for the boatmen. Preserving their historic character and style, craftsmen have created a unique atmosphere on board from which to observe rural Indian life flowing gently by. Enjoy a backwater cruise, lazing in a small country boat as it meanders through the tranquil network of water canals, dotted with busy hamlets, lush green paddy fields. Formed by the 40 odd rivers that flow down to the Arabian Sea from the Cardamom Hills, this network of canals, lakes and estuaries comprises one of India's most enchanting areas; a rural, riverine expanse of verdant coconut groves and rice paddies. The scene is idyllic and the mood romantic. Observe the preparation of your lunch by one of the boatmen who also doubles up as an expert cook on board the `kettuvallam'. In the earlier days, when the kettuvallam was used primarily to transport freight and time was of the essence, boatmen rarely stopped along the waterways for meals. In the afternoon, cruise through the narrow canals and waterways of Kerala's backwaters. Cruise until 1700 hrs after which the boat will be anchored. Boats cannot cruise after this time as this is when the fishermen take their nets to the water to begin their night's fishing. In the evening, authentic Keralan cuisine will be served on board the rice boat.

Please call 020 3813 2966 for more information or to make a booking.

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