5 Nights/ 6 Days: Thottappalli - Kumarakom - Thottappalli

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at the coastal village of Thottappalli to embark the Houseboat

This lush and serene village  by the spillway helps to drain the excess waters of the rivers from the Western Ghats into the low lying Kuttanad area partly to the east and the rest to the saline river mouth to the west.

We cruise through this magical water-world interspersed with vast stretches of paddy fields, coconut groves and tiny hamlets as we relax onboard immersing into the serenity of gentle breeze, lush foliage, simple and laid-back culture. We visit a boat building yard, watch coir making, palm leaf weaving and duck farming at Kanjippadam village.   

Overnight stay onboard Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 2: Cruise to Champakkulam & Pulinkunnu

Our sundeck is ideal for some Yoga and  meditation.  After breakfast we cruise to the interiors of an  ancient coastal village of Champakkulam  where we visit an old church, meet children of a school and watch artisans sculpting biblical heroes.

Here we see Snake boats or Champakulam Chundans that were supposed to be Navy boats of Chempakasserry rulers; their structure and design reflect the prowess of ancient Kerala architecture. Traditionally each boat belongs to a village, and the villagers worship that boat like a deity. These are now used for racing during festivals.  Only men are allowed to touch the boat, and to show respect they should be bare feet. Here we interact with the caretaker to know the nitty-gritties of construction of these boats and interesting tales.

We buy some fresh catch from the local fishermen and the chef on-board indulges us in  delicacies flavoured with local spices served on banana leaf.

We visit the dockyard and interact with the Houseboat builders.  After dinner on Nova’s boat we return to Sauvernigam for overnight stay at Pulinkunnu village. 

Overnight onboard Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 3: Cruise through Kuttanad and arrive in Kavalam

This day we interact with farmers and learn the traditional methods of cultivation and harvesting over a drink of tender coconut. 

The Pampa river flows through the village to merge into the famed Vembanad Lake. Kavalam boasts of a vast ‘water junction’ of five kayals (canals) and this belly of Kerala is filled with duck farms.  In summer the rice paddies of Kuttanad turn golden.  The village is the proud owner of a  Kavalam Chundan, which is a regular participant in the Vallamkali races.

Overnight stay on Houseboat (B, L,D)

Day 4: Cruise to Kumarakom

Kumarakom is a village on Vembanad Lake where cuckoos and Siberian storks can be spotted. 

Here we visit the farmhouse of two empowered women- a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law, living cordially with mutual respect and affection. The farmhouse is located on an island made by the men of the house by reclaiming land from Backwaters.  Here the hostess demonstrates the preparation of traditional Syrian Christian cuisine and we delve in the history of three generations of pioneering spirit engaged in sustainable farming in rhythm with the environment. Later we  explore the lagoons of Kumarakom for the habitats of migratory and endemic birds by country boats                

We also interact with the local women to know about ‘Kudumbashree’, a remarkably successful program   introduced by the State Government to empower women as part of the endeavors to alleviate poverty through socio-economic   development and civic-centric governance.

Overnight stay on Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 5: Cruise to through the lake Vembanad and arrive in Pallathuruthy village by noon.

We buy some fresh catch from the local fishermen and the chef on-board indulges us in  delicacies flavoured with local spices served on banana leaf.

We explore the narrow canals and arrive in the quaint village of Karumadi. The village is famous for its black granite partially broken statue of Buddha (9th or 10th century) that was recovered from the Pampa river in the last century.  It is protected as a remnant of Buddhism that prevailed in ancient India.  We interact with a toddy tapper and watch how he climbs coconut trees, and taps the sap of coconut flowers which when fermented becomes Toddy, an alcoholic beverage.  

Overnight stay on Houseboat (B, L, D)

Day 6:  This morning we enjoy a walk in the village along the Pampa River and observe the village bustling with life and routine.  We enjoy a couple of hours more of cruising along this unique wetland eco-system.  After breakfast, we disembark at 9am. Here in Thottappalli we plant a coconut sapling to honour this home of Kera.

                                                                                                                                      (B)