A cruise of India's Kerala region and into the famous backwaters gives visitors a chance to explore the network of waterways stretching across almost 1200 miles of Kerala's lowlands. Kettuvallams or rice barges converted to houseboats are a unique feature of these backwaters. With its varied landscapes from the golden beaches to cool hill stations, dense green jungle to bustling cities as well as 1000 miles of palm fringed backwaters, there is so much diversity in a small region and its no surprise it is considered to be one of the most beautiful. As you cruise along you will see all characteristics of Indian rural life; people washing their clothes, men fishing, children playing as well as goods being moved along the waterways. Essentially it could be said that Kerala's geography combined with its strong culture provides a wonderful introduction to India and its people.
In the west of India sits the thriving metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), while nearby visitors relax along the pristine beaches of Goa. The opportunity for ocean and river cruising in India is plentiful and very diverse. The Ganges River, revered as a goddess amongst the Hindu's of India flows from the Himalayas down into the Ganges Delta and into Bangladesh. Sailing southbound on the mighty Brahmaputra River through Northern India's Assam region you will pass through many heritage sites and ultimately reach the Sunderbans - the largest mangrove forest in the world and the abode of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
India has a rich diversity of culture and tradition, dominated by religious and spiritual themes. It's probably the only country where people of so many different origins, religious beliefs, languages and ethnic background coexist. North India makes up the largest region in India and houses Delhi, the capital city. In the east, there is Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), now the biggest city in India.
Surrounded by three oceans, southern India has been only slightly influenced by the outside world, meaning most of its original heritage remains intact. The chance for exploring these parts of India, by boat, along her inland waterways and coastline is very possible and will bring great pleasure and experience in the process.