A houseboat is a specially designed boat for human dwelling. The Houseboats of Kerala, popularly known as the ‘Kettuvallams’ are the large floating formations with high load carrying capacity. They reflect the culture and heritage of Kerala. In the initial stages, they were primarily used for the transportation of men or / and materials from the isolated and interior villages of Kerala’s bakwater areas to the then major trading centers like Allepy, kollam, Cochin, or Kottayam etc.
In those days the main mode of water transportation in Kerala had been these Kettuvallams; especially in the Kuttanad regions. In modern times however, as a result of the improved means of transportation, these Kettuvallams almost faced a slow death. Thanks to the modern tourism industry; these kettuvallams have resurfaced in a more sophisticated and luxurious form by the name HOUSEBOATS.These houseboats of the present age are huge slow moving exotic barges used for leisure trips. They have become a major source of attraction both for national as well as international tourists visiting Kerala. These Kettuvallams / houseboats have played a great role in the economic growth of Kerala. The fact that half a century ago there were more than 5000 kettuvallams / houseboats in Kerala proves the economic importance of these boats.
A Congregation of Houseboats