A trip on a Kettuvallam

Kettuvallams also known as houseboats are slow moving floating structures with an extremely high loading capacity


Kettuvallams also known as houseboats are slow moving floating structures with an extremely high loading capacity. Kettu means tied with ropes and vallam means boat. Kettuvallams are part of the rich culture and heritage in Kerala and they were mainly used to transport materials and men to different locations. They were the main mode of transportation in Kerala especially in the remote areas. A standard Kettuvallam was about 100 feet long and could hold up to 30 tonnes.


Upon the requests of tourist, an entrepreneur in Kerala remodeled the first Kettuvallam to suit the role of a cruise boat. This led to the resurgence of the first kettusvallam. With modifications, they were converted into fully fledge houseboats.

Cargo boats

Initially, kettuvallum were used to ship spices and rice from kuttanad and Cochin port which was a three-day journey. The crew cooked meals onboard which often included fresh fish that was caught from the water. The left side of the Kattuvallum had bamboo roofing where the crew would rest in the night.


Cruising along the backwaters on a kettuvallam is one of the most relaxing and amazing experience. You just have to lie on your back and allow the natural beauty of the coastal region to unfold you. You can get in any kettuvallam of choice on the shores and saunter down the placidness of the famous Kerala backwaters, have an amazing time and travel back either the same day or even spend the night floating around.

Nothing matches the magical feeling when it’s raining while you are cozy inside a luxurious kettuvallam. You get to watch the million drops of water splashing around you as well as listen to the rhythmic drops on the roof top in extremely cozy cabins.

Kettuvallam provides the perfect observation platform. You are surrounded by all natural décor not only of the underwater life, fauna and flora but also of the enchanting rural lifestyle that slips by in slow motion. You will be lulled by the waves into a state of pleasant elation. A trip on a kettuvallam is the best way to unwind after life’s hustle and bustle.

While onboard, you also get to enjoy Kuttunadan delicacies as you lounge in the best furnished cabin with a spectacular view that you will not find anywhere else worldwide. The entire surrounding on the coastal Kerala is ecological

Basically, kettuvallums will provide you with an opportunity to glide along the serene and calm backwaters while watching the beautiful surrounding.


Kettuvallam have become one of the most sought after and exciting tourism products in Kerala. The modern kettuvallam are bigger, slow moving with exotic barges and they are specifically designed for leisure trips.

They have furnished bedrooms, living rooms, balconies, kitchenettes and modern toilets.

Sections of the roof can open up to allow uninterrupted view of the backwaters and provide shade.

The Modern kettuvallum are also designed to meet the Gold star/ Green palm certifications by the tourism department in Kerala which has enacted rules that stipulate the standards the modern Kettuvallum should meet.