The Backwaters of Kerala have a unique ecosystem where fresh water from the rivers meets the salt water from the Arabian Sea. The partly brackish Backwaters stretch over 1900 km, providing drinking water and irrigating paddy fields. They include the large inland lakes of Kerala, as well as an entire network of canals, estuaries and curious water formations. These waterways of Kerala helped the state to develop its economy. Rice boats and small boats were used for carrying coconut, rubber, rice and spices to various trading centres of Kerala. Even today, these waterways link remote villages and islands with the mainland. It is an incredibly different experience to cruise in the Backwaters in country boats.