Kettuvallams are traditional rice barges or houseboats found in the backwaters of Kerala, a state in southwestern India. These traditional boats have been an integral part of the culture and transportation system in the region for centuries.
The term “Kettuvallam” is derived from the Malayalam language, where “kettu” means “to tie” and “vallam” means “boat.” These boats are made by tying together pieces of jackwood using coir ropes and coated with a black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells to make them water-resistant.
Originally, Kettuvallams were primarily used for transporting goods like rice, spices, and other commodities along the intricate network of canals and backwaters in Kerala. However, with the advent of modern transportation, their commercial role declined, and they gradually transformed into a popular means of tourism.
Today, Kettuvallams are famous for offering leisurely houseboat cruises to tourists who want to experience the serene backwaters of Kerala. These houseboats come equipped with comfortable bedrooms, bathrooms, a dining area, and a kitchenette. They offer a unique way to explore the scenic beauty of Kerala’s backwaters, passing through lush greenery, paddy fields, and small villages along the way.
Tourists can rent Kettuvallams for a few hours to several days, and the houseboat crew takes care of cooking traditional Kerala meals for guests during their stay on the boat. It’s a fantastic way to immerse oneself in the local culture and enjoy the tranquility of Kerala’s backwaters.
Kettuvallams have become a symbol of Kerala’s tourism and a must-try experience for travelers looking to enjoy a laid-back and peaceful journey through the enchanting waterways of this beautiful Indian state.