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Accommodation rating: Superior

Kettuvallams, or Rice Boats, are tapering wooden and wicker barges that were traditionally used to cargo rice and other goods across Kerala. Traditionally they were built of planks sewn together with coir cordage, threaded through with a `needle' carved from a palm frond. The seams were caulked with coir plugs soaked in sardine or cashew oil to make the boats waterproof. These `kettuvallams', were designed to carry heavy cargo, such as coconuts and spices, and to provide living accommodation for the boatmen. A cruise in a converted kettuvallam is an ideal way to explore Kerala's beautiful backwaters. Although considered basic, the boats have a bedroom with air-conditioning, modern toilets, an open living room, a kitchen and a balcony. Most of the boats are poled by local oarsmen while some are powered by engines.

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

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