Alappuzha - Kottayam public boat service - cheapest way to explore the backwaters of Kerala


Do you like to enjoy a scenic boat ride at a very cheap price? Consider the public boat service from Alappuzha to Kottayam, which takes about 2.5 hours to take you through several canals by the backwaters.

Alappuzha and Kottayam are nearby towns, at a distance of about 48km by road and about 25 km ariel distance. There are plenty of public transport buses operating between these two cities. If you like to use the convenience of a taxi, you can hire a cab at about Rs 12 to Rs 15 per km rate. A round trip taxi would cost you about Rs 1,200 ~ Rs 1,400.

In this article, I would like to suggest an alternate, scenic backwater route for the travellers. It is the public boat service from Alappuzha to Kottayam, which goes through the small, narrow canals that go through the villages and show you the countryside.

The ticket cost in these public transport ferry is just Rs 16 for the entire 2.5-hour drive, which is the best part of this scenic ride.

Alappuzha (Previously known as Alleppey) is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Kerala, the God's Own Country. A lot of tourists go from Alleppey to places like Kumarakom, Thekkady, Munnar etc. In this article, I will talk about the scenic backwater route between Alappuzha and Kottayam.

Best Route from Alappuzha to Kottayam


If you are looking for the quickest way to reach Kottayam from Alappuzha, you should go via the road in a taxi or bus. In this post, I am talking about a very scenic route through the backwaters, which is a very slow route as well, giving you ample time to explore the beauty of the backwaters.

So, here it goes!

Take a public ferry boat from Alleppey to Kottayam. It will cost you less than Rs 20 (less than half-a-dollar), which is one of the cheapest ways to explore the backwaters of Kerala. Compare this with a day cruise in a houseboat or local tourist boat, which will cost you several times of this public ferry ticket charge.

If you are planning to go to Thekkady, check out this article on Alappuzha - Thekkady route.

Highlights of the boat service from Alappuzha to Kottayam:



- This is a state run public transport system. There are no fancy or luxury facilities. You just sit in an old, wood-made country style boat and enjoy the nature. The seats have coir-made cushions, which are pretty hard and rough.

- The journey takes 2.5 hours to reach Kottayam from Alappuzha.

- It is a very slow ride. The boat goes at very low speed and stops at about 40 points. It goes from village to village, picking up and dropping people almost everywhere they see the land.

- There are not many boats. See the Alappuzha - Kottayam boat schedule

- Due to a bridge construction at Kottayam, the ferry boat doesn't reach Kottayam town jetty. Instead, it finishes the journey at a place called "Kanjiram", which is 7 km away from Kottayam. From there, you have to take a local bus, taxi or autorickshaw to reach Kottayam bus stand or railway station.

- The state-run boat service goes through several small canals and villages of Kerala. It is a blissful opportunity for you to enjoy the natural beauty of the backwaters at negligible cost.

- You will see a lot of villagers using the public transport. You will be sharing the seats with the local people and won't spot many tourists.

- Other than enjoying the backwaters, you can see Chinese fishing nets, local fishing, lot of birds, green paddy fields and the blue skies.

- You will spot a lot of houseboats, enjoying the backwaters just like you but at a much higher cost.

- Throughout the journey, you will be without any toilet facilities.

WARNING: If you have a lot of luggage, it may not be comfortable to board the boat and then another cab/autorickshaw/bus at the end of the journey to reach Kottayam.

At Alappuzha, the bus station and the boat jetty are adjacent, so it would be convenient to board the boat at Alappuzha side.

Next time you are in Alleppey, try this cheap public boat service and enjoy the real beauty of the backwater villages in Kerala.


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