After touring India three months, I almost skipped going to Alleppey, but this turned out to be one of my most memorable stays. Rajeev is kindness personified and only wants to ensure his guests are comfortable. Do opt to have meals included as Rajeev's mom does the cooking and she will not let you go hungry. Even when I told them I was vegan, something that Rajeev told me was out of his mom's comfort zone, she still accommodated & did a splendid job.
Waking up on the water was exquisite & one could pass the day just "people watching" as one houseboat after the next floats by. I visited end of November & the weather was hot & humid (my favorite). Do bring your bug spray or buy Odomos as the mosquitoes will find you.
Do not leave without arranging a boat tour. I opted for the less luxurious boat as it feels invigorating to have the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. I was totally impressed by the backwaters & the sights were beyond comprehension. This is what I wrote about the houseboat experience on my blog:
For the three hour journey, I sat utterly transfixed by the physical world tantalizing my senses. What a rare sight to see natural beauty preserved & respected in India rather than coated in the usual layer of garbage. The silence of my journey was intermittently paused by welcomed moments of life on the canal. "Thwack! Pause.Thwack! Pause.Thwack!", went a shalwar slammed against a stone by a mother wading hip deep in the river washing the laundry of her family. A loud hum increased in volume of a passing cargo boat transporting brown burlap sacks of rice stacked twenty high. The 5:30 p.m. evening prayer arrived amplified by speakers & disseminated to the nearby villagers.
Smells of calendula, fish, spices, fresh bread wafted on a soft warm afternoon breeze and beguiled my nostrils. The world before me seemed unreal. I never thought such a tropical paradise existed or that I would be one of its inhabitants. How could I have imagined the cranes dipping low over the lush verdant rice fields, or the exotic water plants that resembled green radish bulbs sprouting the most beautiful floral like leaves? The coconut trees and the wind were like playful lovers as the branches swayed in a gentle cadence calming even the most tormented soul.
The ride offered a glimpse into the lives of a Keralans: young group of girls walked home from school along the narrow dirt pathways in their plaid skirts and braided hair, teenage boys did the same and giggled as I floated by, smiling shyly, then blowing kisses to me waiting for them to be returned. I smiled & blew one back. Women sat near the water's edge, submerging their feet and dishes as well. Men stood in the munder, also known as the doti in the north, a sarong like garment comparable to a skirt, chatting with friends or walking home to meet their families. Some paddled by in boats no wider than their hips, fishing nets in their laps, hoping to catch the evening dinner. Simple square cement structures painted purple with matching boats served as the humble abodes of many. Others lived lavishly in mansions worthy of Sunset Boulevard, three stories, terra cotta roof, wrap around veranda, second floor balconies, palm trees serving as a border between the property & the water's edge.
Over it all was a pink glow cast by a sun slowly setting on the horizon behind the coconut trees, indicating the end of another work day for countless Keralan families. Then, there was me, feeling totally empty but at the same time, filled with peace. It was surreal, magic, other worldly, and I was there. Waves of gratitude rolled in to my unexpecting shores & I was completely captivated by the gift that is the present.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Pamba Heritage -a most perfect blend of old world charm and modern amenities. The antique wooden structures "Ara" and "Nilavara" which were originally used for storing grains have been restored for modern living.This is the home away from home, which is sandwiched between the silver cascading Pamba River on the western side, and emerald carpeted paddy fields on the eastern side. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Yatra, Agoda and TravelGuru so you can book your The Pamba Heritage Villa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Pamba Heritage Villa Kerala/Alappuzha