The 900 kms long backwaters provide several attractions to the people. The greatest attraction provided by the backwater includes the Cochin port and the harbor and also some of the important islands with monuments. Cochin which is also called as the Queen of Arabian Sea has variety of attractions for its visitors.
When we leave this port and move towards the south, we step into the centre of the backwaters which provide good scenery. The shores will be bordered with beautiful green, tall coconut trees giving a cool breeze through it. The farmlands are so greenery that it looks like Emerald colored carpets laid on the floor and these farmlands are usually paddy fields. The other things that become a part of the scenery include beautiful water plants with different colored flowers, different species of birds, beautiful sky with sun shining brightly, temples, churches, flowers, animals etc.
Kumarakom which lies on the Vembanad Lake has a bird sanctuary where it is possible for one to find various species of birds like egrets, darters, herons, cranes, etc. There is an island near to Kumarakom called as the Pathiramanal and it is a major center for the migratory birds. This island will soon be developed as an important tourist destination that displays wide diversity of tropical climate.
It is a great experience to cruise through the lake by rippling through the cool waters. The southern part of Vembanad Lake comes under the Alappuzha district which is a very beautiful place famous for its vast lagoons, lakes and fresh waters. In Alappuzha is a place called Kuttanad which is well known for rice cultivation and makes it the second largest rice bowl of Kerala. There are various other crops also cultivated here which includes coconut, banana, vegetables etc.
The inland waterways lie above the land level which is a unique feature of this area. The Kumarakom Lake and the bird sanctuary is a famous picnic spot and many come here daily. Some of the facilities available here include boating, fishing etc. and accommodation facilities for both rich and poor are also available here. As Alappuzha is famous for the production of coir products, people who visit here get a chance to view the processes involved in making such items.
Backwater provides habitat to various species of fishes. In the middle of the Vembanad Lake a barrier called bund has been constructed in order to divide the lake into two. The southern part of this lake is fresh water and remains as fresh even when the water level goes down.
The coastal plain in Kerala has some harbors built and is always famous for the backwaters. The climate in Kerala is usually warm and tends to get rain from the monsoon winds. Another attraction of the backwaters is the agriculture that lies below sea level. The land lies lower when compared to the backwaters and are protected from them by constructing long walls of earth which helps to prevent the water from entering into the fields. These areas which lie below the sea level can be called as the Netherlands of Kerala.
A tour in the houseboats through these areas will be really an interesting experience. During the tour one can also watch the temple festivals along the shores of the backwaters.