Kerala House Boats
The Kettuvallom or 'boat with knots' is so called because the entire boat is held together with coir knots only - not a single nail is used during the construction. The boat is made of huge planks of Jack wood (Artocarpus hirsuta) or 'Aanjili' and joined with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels.
A portion of the Kettuvallom is covered with a canopy made of the wood from the areca nut tree and bamboo mats and coir and served in the old days as a rest room and kitchen for the crews. Kettuvalloms were formerly used for the transport of goods like rice, spices and coir from the isolated villages of the interior to the towns.
A Kettuvallom, which measures from 20 - 25m in length and from 4m - 4.5m across, can hold up to 30 tons of cargo. Two men punting at each end with long bamboo poles moved these huge barges. With the advent of roads, bridges and modern transportation, these Kettuvallom gradually disappeared from use. There used to be an entire clan of artisans who were involved in Kettuvallom construction.
The house boat of today is an an innovative version of its Kettuvallam ancestor.While converting Kettuvalloms in to house boats,care is taken to use only eco-friendly and traditional materials,retaining the bamboo mat roofs and coir mat floors.As in the old days,kerosene lanterns are used to give a romantic touch even though solar lighting is equipped.
The design incorporates the best of the old and the new.Even while retaining the strong traditional flavour,the standards of comfort and convenience are very high.In choosing your house boat you have the choice of single,double or triple bed rooms in standard,air-conditioned or non a/c deluxe or luxury categories.
House boat with a mini coference hall is the best choice for those who want to enjoy their meetings and get together.Modified to meet a novel concept of holidaying,they are comfortably furnished with an open lounge,one or two or three bath attached bed rooms and a kitchen and with a upper deck for more privacy.
Fetures of House boat
Traditional construction of jackfruit and bamboo, with arched grooves and projecting 'sit-outs' to conjure up images of a floating Sydney Opera House!
- A friendly crew of 3-4 to propel the boat, untangles passing water lilies, buy and cook dinner and generally pamper you
- One, two or three double-bedrooms per boat.
- Solar panel for refrigeration, cooling and lighting up the interiors.
- Shower cubicle and flush toilet with running water.
- Fully equipped kitchen.
- Catering to suit all diets.
- Refrigerated drinks available, including 'Thrilling chilled' Kingfisher beer.
- Collection from (and drop-off at) the door of any waterside hotel.
- Sun deck with a mattress.
- Eco-friendly furniture is used wherever possible.
- Fishing rod for recreation
- Mosquito nets/Mosquito repeller in bedrooms.
- Clean and high quality linen, blankets, towels, and kitchenware, etc.
- Cold storage for beverages and perishable food.
- Bio-chemical toilets with W/c and hand shower.
- Boat operated with silent engine (In board).
You can choose at Kollam,Alumkadavu,Thottapally,Alappuzha,Thottapally and Kumarakom spend a day or several ,cruising to your destination,Pausing to take in local sites.
You can board at Kollam (Quilon), Alumkadavu, Thottapally, Alappuzha (Alleppey),, Kumarakom and spend a day or several, cruising to your destination, pausing to take in local sites.
The crew includes a captain, an engine driver and a cook, with optional English speaking guide.
The cuisine is traditionally Keralan (Vegetarian and non-vegetarian). Ethnic meals are prepared on board by your personal cook.