In photos: Dutch Royals' Kerala visit and their backwater ride in Alappuzha

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima enjoys the backwater boat ride through Alappuzha. Photo: PRD
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Kochi: Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima took a boat ride through the backwaters of Alappuzha on Friday.

The Dutch Royals are visiting Kerala for the first time.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
The Royal Couple cruised from the Nehru Trophy Boat Race Finishing point to Kuppapuram backwaters and back. Photo: PRD

The King and Queen arrived in India on a five-day visit Monday at the invitation of President Kovind. Kerala was their third stopover.

The Royal Couple, along with their delegation boarded the 'Spice Routes Luxury Houseboats' from the Nehru Trophy Boat Race Finishing point and cruised to Kuppapuram backwaters.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
The Dutch Royals are visiting Kerala for the first time. Photo: PRD

They engaged in a paddy field visit and was dropped back at the finishing point. The delegation had 2 rounds of meetings onboard the houseboat.

The couple had earlier on Thursday visited the ancient Dutch palace at Mattancherry.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
The royals undertook a two-and-a-half kilometer voyage through Punnamada lake. Photo: PRD

Welcoming the royal couple and their delegation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had hosted a dinner and said the relationship between the people of The Netherlands and Kerala spans many centuries.

Visiting the palace, King Willem-Alexander said cooperation between India and The Netherlands will continue smoothly.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
The King and Queen along with their delegation boarded the 'Spice Routes Luxury Houseboats'. Photo: PRD

The royals were enthralled by the beauty of the construction and the architecture of the palace built by the Portuguese as a gift to King Veera Kerala Verma of Kochi dynasty around 1545.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
They were greeted by a presentation of Kerala's traditional art forms, including 'Ambalappuzha Velakali' by selected students from the schools in Alappuzha. Photo: PRD

The Mattancherry palace came to be known as the Dutch Palace as it underwent major repairs at the hands of the Dutch.

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
The delegation had 2 rounds of meetings onboard the houseboat. Photo: PRD

According to the Kerala Tourism Department, the palace is famous for its long and spacious halls along with its central courtyard.

The palace is also home to the deity of the Cochin royal family, Pazhayannur Bhagavathy (the deity of Pazhayannur).

Photo story | Dutch Royals take a backwater ride through Alappuzha
They visited a paddy field in Mullakkal village and sought details from the district authorities on the cultivation in Kuttanad. Photo: PRD

It is the Dutch king's first state visit to India, following his ascension to the throne in 2013.

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