Photo courtesy of Kerala Tourism
Oberoi Motor Vessel Vrinda
There’s a lot going on in Kerala’s lush backwaters. The network of canals, rivers, lagoons, and lakes form nearly 560 miles of waterways that feed freshwater to the Arabian Sea. This unusual ecosystem has become one of Kerala’s signature places to visit. To really get a feel for life along the water—from the tucked-away villages to the rich aquatic-, plant-, and bird-life—spend a couple nights on a backwater cruise. Noted India-based hotel brand Oberoi offers two-night/ three-day and three-night/ four-day itineraries aboard the Oberoi MV Vrinda, a luxury vessel equipped with eight deluxe cabins (each with a king bed), dedicated butler service, gourmet dining, and lounge spaces from which to watch the palm tree-lined shores float by. The sailings take you along the main backwater stretch from Vembanad Lake to Alleppey, nicknamed the “Venice of the East”; during the days you’ll enjoy excursions such as rides on a traditional rice boat, visits to historic temples and churches, nature walks, snake boat yard tours, and the chance to cast a line with a local fisherman, while nights are full of excellent meals and live classical music and dance performances. Best of all, you’ll get an up-close look at what it’s like to live in the backwaters, where the rhythm is changing and modernizing, but still very much rooted in time-honored traditions.
By Sandra Ramani, AFAR Contributor
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