One Night In: A Houseboat in Kerala, India

Free Pukka herbs travel kit worth £75 - when you book a trip to India. Terms & Conditions

The golden globe of the sun hides behind a haze of midday heat, causing everything to slow down to a drift. Going with the flow is part of all life here. The wide waterways of Kerala lazily list around corners in sweeping bends, emerald green waves sploshing half-heartedly against the wooden hull of the boats.

houseboat in kerala Keralan backwaters


These canals were once a hive of merchant activity, holding sole responsibility for enabling trade for local producers of rice, spices and other goods with the outside world. Now roads and railways have taken over the transportation, and these traditional boats have cruised into the modern world as a unique way to see the backwaters of Southern India.

Bikes on the canalside, houseboat in kerala Bikes on the canalside


Held together with coir rope and lengths of bamboo, not a single nail was used during construction, the boats have surprisingly modern twists: air conditioning in the rooms and a communal bar so you can sip Kingfisher beer as the sun sets below the palm trees. Dinner on board is a delight; the deck is transformed into a floating restaurant serving home cooked curries. Each small group of four or five have a boat to themselves, where you feast on surprisingly light dishes cooked with coconut milk and locally grown spices, watching riverside life unfold along the banks.

Kerala backwaters boat trip Kerala backwaters boat trip


As darkness draws in and the chatter falls down to a respectful murmur, people fade back to their bedrooms, peeking through windows to the see the shadows shimmering on the water, as the water laps against the keel and lulls you to sleep.

Sunset on the waterways Sunset on the waterways 

Taking you there

India Grand Tour The Tropical South South India Explored Classic South India - Premium Cycle Kerala & Tropical India Southern India Coast to Coast Ride Spice Trails of Kerala

Learn more about these kind of trips...

Learn more about trips going to...

Read our expert insights on...

Call us on 020 8772 3936