Houseboats - A Kettuvallam for your leisure trip…

Houseboats, the traditional huge barges…
Now hailed as eco-friendly floating inns…
Experience the heavenly ambience in a houseboat…

For backwater lovers. Sophisticated houseboats. Caravan-style. Equipped with sundecks. Cozy living rooms. Well furnished bedrooms. En suite bathrooms, uninterrupted water supply. Well maintained kitchen. Balcony for angling.

The Tradition

The houseboats of today are the reworked kettuvallams of olden times. During the erstwhile period, 'kettuvallams' were used to carry tons of rice and spices from Kuttanad to the Kochi port. Then a normal sized 'kettuvallam' was expected to hold up to 30 tons of weight.

As the name suggests in the local dialect, 'kettuvallams' are called so because the entire boat is held together with coir knots alone sans any support of nails or any other gadgets. The boat is made of planks of Jack-wood joined together with coir. This is then coated with a caustic black resin made from boiled cashew kernels. If maintained properly, a kettuvallam could last for generations.

Click to enlarge Thattekkad bird sanctuary

Portion of the kettuvallam was covered with bamboo and coir to serve as a restroom and kitchen for the crew. Meals would be cooked on board and supplemented with fresh fish from the backwaters. This tradition is still followed suit by the houseboats of today and typical Kerala cuisine is being served by the crew on board, most of them are hailed from Kuttanad, the heart of the backwaters.

After the introduction of modern trucks, a new way was identified to improve the longevity of this form of transport. By constructing special rooms to accommodate travelers, these boats are now being cruised forward in flying colors. Now in Alleppey alone, there are as many as 120 houseboats. This stands testimony to the popularity being enjoyed by these lots.

Truely Natural and Eco Friendly

While converting kettuvallams into houseboats, utmost care should be given in using natural products. Bamboo mats, sticks and woods of the Arecanut tree are used for roofing. For flooring, coir mats and wooden planks are used. The wood and coir of coconut trees are used for beds. For lighting solar panels are used.

Modern day houseboats resemble a posh hotel room with fully furnished bedrooms, sophisticated toilets, cozy living rooms, a kitchen and even a balcony for angling. The boats that are being powered by a 9 HP engine can be customized to create Boat trains. This allows large groups of sight seers to enjoy themselves by joining two or more houseboats.

The Experience
Click to enlarge Thattekkad bird sanctuary

Greenpepper Holidays offers the tourists, a wonderful way to enjoy the serene beauty of God's gift.

Soaking in cold water under the sun by experiencing the delicious Kerala cuisine, is simply a wonderful experience to ignore. No doubt the gentle lap of water will lull your senses to sleep. The smell of fresh-brewed tea would wake the tourist up from his sleep. The personal chef who prepares the breakfast also shares his smile and insights. Yes nobody would like this magic to come to an end.

The washroom is built using bio-septic plumbing, which means that one can be sure of pollution free environment.


The houseboats certified by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, are divided in two categories - Golden and Silver. The Golden category houseboats are equipped with more number of rooms, tiled toilets, hand - shower, kitchen etc. Of course, better services also come for a price.

The Golden Category 'Houseboats' uses only eco-friendly products for its construction as well as maintenance. Solar energized fans and lights, bio septic plumbing etc. are another facet of the Golden Category Houseboats.

Usefull cruising tips,
food menu onboard
and lot more…

View cruising tips/details

Kochi Rajavu, Jalasamrat,
Pulikkattil, Welcome Cruise
and more houseboats…

View houseboat gallery

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Kerala, India.

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