Houseboats, a part of Kerala's culture and heritage, are renovated cargo boats measuring up to 80 ft in length. These large floating structures, with high load carrying capacity, are made of local materials such as bamboo poles, coconut fiber, ropes, bamboo mats and carpets. They dot the serene palm-fringed backwaters of Kerala
These palm covered country boats were originally designed to carry cargo, such as coconut and spices, and to provide living accommodation for the boatmen. But of late, in line with the famous house boats of Kashmir, these traditional 'Kuttanadan Kettuvallams' have been redesigned and comfortably furnished to offer adequate accommodation for a whole family.
Preserving their historic character and style, these boats are crafted to create a unique and luxurious atmosphere on board, a self contained world from which one could enjoy the enchanting sight of the rural life of Kerala flowing gently by.
Houseboats are available in different sizes and shapes. Usually, a houseboat comprises a cook, guide and an oarsman. Kuttanadan Kettuvallams are powered by small outboard engines. Traditional lanterns of Kerala take up the place of electricity in the houseboats. Houseboats have all facilities and comforts of a well-appointed hotel including spacious bedrooms, modern toilets, living rooms and kitchens. Some of the houseboats are equipped with a balcony for angling.