Valiyaparamba Backwaters is one of the best-kept secret of Kerala and the must visit attraction if you are holidaying around Bekal. Dedicate an evening to the backwaters to complete your trip!
Valiyaparamba backwaters is named after unique Valiyaparamba island, which stretches for 24 kms and has Arabian Sea on it’s west and the backwater in the east. This island is some 30 kms from Bekal, Kasaragod.
Twenty four kilometers long backwater running parallel to the Arabian sea, lined with nothing but coconut trees, changing in width constantly, dotted with several small islands and joining with several streams and rivers in-route, mesmerizes you to the core. What divides the backwater from the Arabian sea is the Valiyaparamba island. Once you start your journey of the backwaters, all you will find around is the green water and the green cononut groves casting it’s shadow on the backwater. As you move ahead, you will find some houseboats, jetties and few fisherman boat, sailing around.
The image below speaks it all!
But if you have visited the Alleppey backwaters, there is some which you will miss. You will miss the floating shops. the post-office by the backwater and the feel that the complete city is floating.
There are several house-boat services available, which should definitely be booked in advance before you travel. When I travelled I went to several operators providing the service but all were booked due to heavy rush. Also, as they are placed by the backwater, you may need to drive for a km or two to approach different operators.
The bookings can be done at http://www.bekalboatstay.com/.
The bookings are done from hourly to daily basis. For daily trip and night cruise they do generally charge in the range of Rs 8000 to 12,000. I managed to find a jetty available for an hour but they were asking for Rs 3000 for an hour, which I found was way too high for a late afternoon ride. If it had been for sunset, probably I might have gone for it. They do negotiate on the price a bit, so try your luck!
If you are traveling with family or are on honeymoon or romantic trip, hire a houseboat for sunset ride or full night stay. If you have kids along, ensure to have something to keep them engaged as they might get bored of groves very soon. Ensure that you make your bookings before you travel. Reaching there you will not be able to make out much about the houseboat operator. Below is information of some of the operators:
This place is also an important fishing centre!
If you are luxury traveller or on honeymoon, go for the houseboat service. But if you are really an offbeat traveler or on a budget with friends or all of the houseboats are booked, go for government jetty boats. This is what I took and is my favorite
If you are taking boat ride for few hours, take it in the evening and don’t miss to see the sunset there.