For those who can not afford the cost of overnight stay in a houseboat, the shikkara ride in the backwaters of Alappuzha or Kumarakom in Kerala is an excellent option.
The shikkara is a traditional open canoe like country boat which has been equipped with bamboo seats and an over head bamboo canopy for shade. A shikkara can
accommodate four to fourteen persons depending on its size.
The shikkara I took for ride had eight seats. There were four of us plus the driver. The shikkara has a four stroke outboard petrol engine for propelling it. The ride
started from the boat jetty of Alappuzha. The shikkara crossed the canal and went into the main backwaters. It floated on the gentle ripples. There were
a number of houseboats and motor boats in the backwaters as it was tourism season. The most exciting feature of a shikkara is that it can go even into very
small canals and interiors which houseboats and motorboats can not traverse. The shikkara took us into the remote interior areas of Kuttanad as the locality is called.
We could see the rural life of the water borne villages of Kerala men fishing in canoes, mussel farming, coir making in households etc.
Alleppey Motor Boats
Motor boats are different from houseboats and Shikkaras. There are various of motor boats depending upon it's size and shapes. The carrying capasity will vary from
1 to another. If u like a backwate cruise for small paxs or groups motor boat is economical.