Kerala is a land of extensive networks of rivers, canals, streams and lagoons that form the Enchanting Backwaters which exemplify an amazing relationship between the ingenuity of man and the artistry of Nature. Its crisscrossing canals which were once busy waterways, have evoked comparisons with Venice since travelers began visiting them. The backwater region of Kuttanad is famous for paddy fields, duck farming and fishing. Most of Kuttanad consists of paddy fields that spill out into vast structures inland from the backwaters. With its abuntant paddy Kuttanad has been named the “Rice Bowl of Kerala”.
The backwaters have a unique ecosystem where freshwater from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. There are 29 major lakes in the backwaters. Vembanad Lake is the longest and one of the largest lakes in India, and an important, life-giving spot in this unique ecosystem.
Historically the Backwaters were an important part of the trade route, used for transporting coir products, timber, coconuts, and spices to the port at Aleppey. Now, the Backwaters of Kerala form a unique attraction for tourists, who are drawn to the popular Snake boat races and houseboats.