Many working people in Kottayam who belong to the other regions of Kerala may find it impossible to travel to their native places and back during weekends. But one can plan a boat trip to the scenic locales of the Vembanad Lake to unwind themselves.
Scenery of the wide expanse of the lake, the green islets, a refreshing breeze, and the gentle waves on the lake await such travellers. A good option is to take the government boat service from Kottayam to Alappuzha that covers the distance in two hours. This journey can be planned as a one-day trip from morning to evening.
Those who are short of time can prefer another option – start from Kanjiram boat landing after lunch and take the 4 pm boat that heads to Alappuzha. Instead of Alappuzha, purchase a ticket to 'Kamalan Moola' – a nondescript toddy shop off the Kumarakom coast.
The spacious boat would remind you of the common term associated with government buses – a 'jumbo ride.' The gentle breeze that greets travellers as they step into the boat is truly soothing.
As the boat moves forward, it disturbs the fine pattern of the waves on the lake's surface.
Locations like H Block, Chachappan jetty, and R Block are covered at a leisurely pace. It would seem that even the boat staff, who travel along the route round the year, enjoy the stunning scenery.
Many first-time travellers would be so engrossed in enjoying the sights that they would feel no anxiety about the depths of the lake. The boat soon loses sight of land and only the blue sky above and the wide green lake below remain in view.
A good idea is to get down at Kamalan Moola, which is beyond R Block, around 5.15 pm, and wait for the boat that arrives there from Alappuzha at 6.15 pm for the return.
Kamalan Moola is a small uninhabited island with a solitary hotel that awaits occasional travellers. The menu of the hotel consists only of toddy and beef. But those seeking any other items can choose from biscuits and drinking water.
The scenery around the island offers good photography opportunities and reaching the place in the evening has another advantage – the amazing sight of the setting sun. The trip on the government boat to Kamalan Moola and back also covers narrow canals flanked by coconut groves which offer majestic views.
Many travellers prefer to travel by a houseboat to enjoy the scenery and the soothing breeze. However, a houseboat trip is beyond the means of many common people. For them, the government boat is an excellent alternative as the to and fro trip costs just Rs 36 per head!
Even travelling with your entire family would not burn a hole in the pocket. A trip to enjoy the natural beauty of the Vembanad lake on a government boat is an experience that should not be put off any longer.