Kerala Houseboats are truly floating wonders. They are an important part of tourism in Kerala. People have been enjoying cruising in luxurious houseboats in the state for the last 25 years. It must be amazing for travelers to float away in a Kerala houseboat through the sparkling backwaters of Kerala. People to this Indian state never leave the place without enjoying houseboat cruising. There are so many tour operators in the state who arrange attractive houseboat cruising with fascinating travel packages. Just like the memorable cruising, the structure and luxuries of the houseboats are also interesting for the guests.
When you see a houseboat floating over the backwaters, you will certainly wonder how it moves in the water without losing its balance. The carpenters who make many such beautiful Kerala Houseboats will smile if you ask this question to them. The making of houseboats is quite interesting. It is important to follow strict calculations in order to make the perfect and long lasting houseboats. Carpenters who make them are skilled with many years of experience. In fact, their skill and years of experience are the success of the making of long-lasting and beautiful houseboats in Kerala. These unique constructions attract a lot of travelers from different parts of the world to this small Indian state.
Way of Houseboat Making
You can find simple and luxurious houseboats in Kerala for cruising purposes. They usually range from 1 to 10 rooms with the comforts of a luxurious hotel. In order to construct the perfect houseboat, you need to know the calculation of making them. Besides, it is highly important to get the right wood. Carpenters usually use the wood of a tree named Anjili to build houseboats. A houseboat in the state is on an average of 70 feet length and 15 feet width in the middle area.
It is vital to keep equal distance from the ‘Eravu’ in order to keep the houseboat in the water without losing its balance. Eravu is the main long wood that used to start the making of the houseboat. The main carpenter gives instructions during the building of the elegant houseboat. Around 6-7 carpenters work under the chief carpenter for the making of the boat.
Unique Beginning of Houseboat
The most important thing for the making of these floating wonders is to get the right Anjili wood. Then this long wood cut into small pieces to make different parts of the houseboat. It is important to follow rituals and poojas to start the making of the houseboat. In fact, it is just like the starting of building a house. The chief carpenter makes cut marks in the Eravu using the carpenter wood chisel to fell the first wood piece from the main wood. Falling the first wood piece marks the beginning of the houseboat making. The chief carpenter checks the direction where the first wood piece fell. It helps him to understand the difficulties and obstacles that he is going to face during the making of the houseboat. The making of it will continue only after doing the necessary poojas if it shows any obstacles.
Making Of The Houseboat
For the making of the houseboat, the carpenter makes the exact calculations based on the length of the houseboat and the number of rooms required. Fix the Eravu in the right place where the making of houseboat takes place. As per the carpenter, Eravu is the backbone of the houseboat. Then attach the ‘Thaada’ from the Eravu to the Churul. Embram (the wood that covers the Eravu) fixes at the center and then attach the Mattam. Different logs attach with the Mattam at the 4th stage. Manikaal attach on the top of them. The wooden planks attached together and firm them using the main nail called ‘Thara’. Carpenters use copper nail as Thara to fix the logs firmly.
The making of foundation and cover board at the middle of the structure is the next step. Carpenters finish the work at the outside of the houseboat after that. The next step is to check the leaking of the boat by pouring diesel in it. They pour around 200 liters of diesel for a 3-room houseboat. If there is no leakage, the next step is to apply the tar at the outer side of the boat and paint it with tar sheet. Then attach the Aluminum sheet over the tar sheet up to the water level. The houseboat is ready after attaching the ‘Churul’. Many boats convert in this way to houseboats for tourism purposes. Around 18 lakh rupees need to spend to make a new boat for converting it to a 3-room houseboat. You need to spend another 20 lakhs to attach roof and adding luxury amenities in it.
Houseboats For Cruising
Houseboats ranging from 1 room to 5 rooms are available at Kumarakom for cruising purposes. You need to spend Rs.7500 for hiring a 1-room houseboat for a single night stay for two guests. The rate of a 2-room houseboat (for four people) is Rs.9000. The houseboat operators charge Rs.12, 500 to 13,500 for a 3-bedroom houseboat for 6 people for a single night cruising. You need to pay Rs. 16,000 to 18,000 for a 4-bedroom houseboat while they charge 20,000 to 22,000 for a 5-bedroom houseboat. The rate includes lip-smacking meals.
You need to check-in at 12 pm for your night cruising and they bring back you to the same destination at 9 am next day. In addition to package tours, you can also hire houseboat based on hourly rate. You need to pay Rs. 1000 to 1500 per hour for hiring houseboat at Kumarakom. Besides, they charge Rs.400 per person for food. Houseboat cruising through the scintillating backwaters of Kumarakom can be a memorable experience. Contact KSU if would like to enjoy houseboat cruising during your trip to Kerala.