Previous Post: Exploring Kerala Backwaters on a Houseboat
The Backwater Trail
After having breakfast at the beautiful Kumarakom Lake Resort, we headed to the boat station to experience Kumarakom’s backwater trail. This time, we used a smaller boat to explore the smaller palm-fringed waterways and conduct some of the activities.
Boatmen preparing for our backwater trail
Situated on the bank of Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom is a small village that is rapidly becoming one of the most popular backwater tourism destinations in Kerala. There are plenty of traditional rice boats and canoes along the backwaters, leaving a scene that is immensely pleasing to the eye.
Our small boat cruising the backwaters of Kerala
Aside from its beautiful lake and canals, Kumarakom also provides an opportunity for tourists to immerse themselves in local Kerala culture and way of living.
Boathouses docked near Aymanam Village.
As we cruised the banks of Kumarakom backwaters under the shadows of tall coconut palms, we enjoyed the view of lush green paddy fields, coconut plantations, and other tropical vegetation. At the same time, we listened to the soothing sounds of nature.
Climbing Coconut using an improvised stepper
Our first stop was at Aymanam village in the Kottayam District of Kerala, a beautiful town dotted by coconut trees. Our first activity was to learn how to climb a coconut tree using their improvised stepper; afterwards, we traversed a small canal to reach a rice field that is also dotted by coconut trees, this time to watch Toddy tapping.
Tapping and harvesting of toddy
Toddy is a palm wine made from fermented coconut water. Just like in the Philippines, Toddy or Tuba are collected from the trees either at dawn or dusk to maintain its sweetness before it gets fermented.
Mat Weavers of Aymanam
Before leaving the area, they let us taste the Toddy fresh from the tree. I opted not to drink since I have a very low tolerance to palm wine, and besides, it’s too early to get drunk. haha 🙂
A local demonstrating local way of net fishing
We also visited a family who showed us how to weave household mats from coconut tree leaves. We also witnessed a local way of fishing using a small circular fishing net on the exact location.
Our last stop was at a local coir village. Coir making is a primary occupation of the backwater folk. Using water-treated coconut fiber, these entrepreneurs from this coir village showed us how to make these ropes traditionally.
Coir and natural fiber makers in Kerala
The entire tour was delightful. Understanding the culture and the local way of life was one of the best experiences on this tour. After our backwater trail experience, we headed back to Kumarakom Lake Resort to freshen up, have lunch and check out.