Ernakulam Backwaters : Ernakulam or Kochi is known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, consisting of a group of islands on Lake Vembanad. People move through one part of Kochi to another on the local ferries, which are great fun. The point where the lake opens out into the Arabian Sea is one of the finest natural harbors in the world. Thus, Kochi or Cochin presents a unique fusion of diverse cultures and influences of the explorers and traders who visit this land since ages such as Chinese, Arabs, Dutch, British and Portuguese. The architectural monuments that stand in testimony to these visitors are the Jewish synagogue, the Dutch palace, the Chinese fishing nets along with other specimens of European and Asian architecture. The picturesque islands of Bolgatty, Vyppin, Gundu and Vallarpadam are some other highlights of the place.
While cruising through the backwaters of Ernakulam in the most famous ‘Ketuvallams’ or the houseboats of Kerala, one may choose to explore these architectural monuments and their splendors along with others such as Bolgatty Palace. In addition to the glimpses of the traditional rural Kerala lifestyle and the variant village cruises to the coconut plantations and the coir villages, one relishes the scenic views of dense green tropical forests and colorful birds that envelop us in an aura of peace and warmth and put us closer to nature. One can also see a herd of Indian elephants coming down to drink water from the river occasionally. Along with the simple and unsophisticated rustic life and the gorgeous greens, Cochin offers Elathur, Canoli Canal and Kallai River as favorite places for boating and Kadalundi bird sanctuary. Korapuzha is fast becoming a popular water sport destination too.