In Alleppey, Shikara rides offer a unique and serene way to explore the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. A Shikara is a traditional wooden boat that is commonly used for transportation and sightseeing in the backwaters. These boats are different from the well-known houseboats, as they are smaller in size and typically have a covered canopy for shade.
Shikara rides in Alleppey are a popular activity among tourists as they provide a more intimate and close-to-nature experience compared to larger houseboats. Here’s what you can expect from a Shikara ride in Alleppey:
- Serene backwater experience: The Shikara ride takes you through the tranquil and picturesque backwaters of Alleppey, offering a peaceful escape from the bustling city life.
- Scenic beauty: As you cruise along the narrow canals and waterways, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, coconut groves, paddy fields, and small villages, providing a glimpse into the rustic life of the region.
- Birdwatching: The backwaters are home to various species of birds, and during the Shikara ride, you might spot colorful birds like kingfishers, egrets, and cormorants, among others.
- Village life: You’ll get the opportunity to see the daily life of the locals as you pass by small villages on the banks of the backwaters. You may witness fishermen at work or women engaged in traditional activities.
- Floating markets: Depending on the time of your visit, you might encounter floating markets where local vendors sell fresh produce and other items from their boats.
- Sunset views: Shikara rides in the evening are particularly enchanting as you can witness the sun setting over the backwaters, creating a magical ambiance.
The duration of the Shikara ride can vary depending on the package you choose, but they typically last for a few hours. It’s essential to book the ride from authorized operators to ensure safety and a pleasant experience. These rides are usually available throughout the year, but the best time to enjoy the backwaters’ beauty is during the months of October to March when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal.