» »Best Backwaters And Houseboat Destinations In India

Best Backwaters And Houseboat Destinations In India

By Yogini Patil

It is that time of the year. Pack away all the warm clothes until next winter. Bask in the golden sunshine and watch the flowers bloom as the earth welcomes a cheerful summer. With summer around the corner, bright and clear days are coming. Schools will soon be done with exams and children will excitedly await the summer vacations. Having said that now is the time to plan your summer holidays.

To beat the heat, beach resorts or hill stations are the obvious choices. Why not try something different than usual? How about ditching the luxury resort that's on your mind and experience a memorable stay in a 'floating house' this summer?

Staying in a houseboat is an indelible experience that undoubtedly lets you relax and unwind. Usually away from the chaos and anchored safely, houseboats stay afloat on the water bodies.

Also Read : Houseboats In Kerala

Spend a day doing nothing but watching the sun rise and take a dip at the horizon or sit on the open deck under the starry sky, surrounded by calm water and stillness of the night. And oh, the sweet slumber you'd experience as the gentle ripples in the backwater rock the houseboat softly.

Here goes a list of best places to indulge in the rich and peaceful experience of staying on a houseboat in India.



Rightly described as a ‘paradise on earth' by a famous poet in history, Kashmir is a popular summer destination in India. Surrounded by the Himalayan ranges, Kashmir has a cooler temperature even in the summers. Ornate apple and apricot orchards, plentiful pine forests and tranquil lakes contribute to the beauty of Kashmir.

Srinagar is the summer capital of the state and Dal lake in Srinagar is well-known for its unique houseboats. The wooden houseboats are aesthetically decorated with intricate carvings on them. Varying in sizes and degree of luxury, all the houseboats are a blend of traditional looks and modern amenities and offer highly personalised services.

You can disembark and take a leisurely shikara ride in the Dal lake and visit the floating markets. Alternatively, you can enjoy the picturesque views of the serene lake, mountains and glorious sunset as you sip the Kashmiri kahwa on the deck of the plush houseboat.

PC: Fulvio Spada



Located in the Northeastern part of India, Assam is known for its rich wildlife and tea plantations. The River Brahmaputra - one of the most powerful rivers in the world, flows through the state adding to its beauty and diversity. Houseboat stay & cruising along the Brahmaputra is a unique way to enjoy the natural beauty that Assam is.

The cosy houseboats are well-equipped to ensure a comfortable stay. You can choose from a plethora of itineraries varying in number of days and covering interesting activities. You can learn about the culture and art of Assam at the silk weaving village of Sualkuchi.

Experience the wilderness by visiting Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the floodplains of Brahmaputra which is famous for migratory birds and endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Spot the Ganges river dolphin and other exotic animals and birds as you sail through the mighty Brahmaputra.



Coastal Maharashtra is a home to numerous virgin beaches. The only backwaters in Maharashtra are at Tarkarli - a scenic village that is well-known for its coral beach. Stay at a houseboat that is a blend of comfort and luxury and enjoy a leisurely vacation.

The houseboats here are equipped with kitchen, bath & showers, and room(s) to ensures a luxurious and pleasurable stay. Enjoy the finger-licking good Malvani food along with the warm hospitality of the locals.

Ride down the Karli river along the palm groves. Go scuba diving and snorkelling in the pristine waters to experience the rich underwater world. Dolphins are often spotted in the open water and sunset on the horizon is a sight to behold.

PC: Rohit Keluskar



Goa is more popularly known as the ultimate party place, but there's more than it which adds to the charm of the place. Churches and temples, forts and pubs, traditional and modern crowd, Goa is a lovely mix of everything old and new.

River Chapora is one of the main rivers of Goa and sailing on its virgin backwaters is a pleasant experience. You can choose a day cruise on the river and backwaters to experience the very essence of Goa. Sail past the old Goan villages, temples, churches, forts, coconut farms, and watch the busy fishermen setting up the nets. Spot dolphins in the open water as you sail further away from the hustle bustle.

To simply relax and rejuvenate book a stay at the houseboat. The houseboats are well-equipped and comfortable with air-conditioned room(s) and open deck. Swim and indulge in various water sports. Pamper yourself with lip-smacking Goan food. Or you could just grab a drink and sit on the deck with your companions, stargazing and enjoying the cool breeze.

PC: Shameer Thajudeen



French towns, colonial styled houses, cobblestoned streets buzzing with travellers and backpackers from across the world - Pondicherry is charming city. Along with some great beaches, the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry is a favoured tourist place, especially among westerners.

Experience a unique flavour of Pondicherry by indulging in a luxury houseboat stay. Make extravagant holiday memories and enjoy the serene beauty of Pondicherry backwaters as you cosily settle in the spacious, floating, holiday home.



Laced with exotic beaches, emerald backwaters and lagoons, freshwater lakes, sparkling rivers and lush coconut groves, ‘God's own country' Kerala is a traveller's paradise. Alleppey is known for its backwaters and is one of the major attractions among the tourists and travellers.

There's no dearth of fine houseboats in Alleppey and you'll have numerous options to choose from based on your requirements and budget. The Alleppey Backwaters is a feast for nature lovers as this place is a home to diverse animals and bird species. You can soak in the tranquillity of nature as the traditional oarsmen take you through the rustic villages of the otherwise remote Kerala.

Learn about the traditions, culture and history of Kerala by interacting with the local fisherfolk. The foodies can satiate their taste buds and enjoy the authentic Kerala food on board.

PC: Shagil Kannur

Read more about: houseboats kashmir alleppey kerala
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