Best places to take a boat trip in India

The oceans, numerous lakes and rivers offer plenty of opportunities to take a boat ride in India. Just watch life go by as you lazily float along or take a raft to enjoy wildlife spotting, snorkelling or even to discover submerged temples. Here are our top five interesting boat trips you can do in India.

1. Shikara on the ‘Dal’ Lake – The Bollywood endorsed ‘Dal’ Lake in Kashmir has been a legendary spot for travellers. The thin Shikaras (boats) traverse through the water carrying tourists, vegetables, supplies and locals. The whole life system on the lake is supported by these unassuming boats, whether it’s supporting full-fledged markets or serving as a school bus for children. The rides on shikaras are extremely fascinating and help understand the local life better.


2. From the Himalayan foothills, it’s down to the tropical weather of Kerala. Alleppey, also known as the ‘Venice of the East’ is by far one of the best destinations to experience the tranquil backwaters of Kerala. Well equipped houseboats add to the charm of getting to know the vast network of backwater in and around the town. Recently, the house boats had come under the scanner for lack of a proper system to dispose waste from the boats. Now there are mandatory treatment methods without which these boats do not get permissions. Watch the local life pass on the banks of the waters, while you glide past in luxury. Off season rates for fully furnished house boats are quite affordable. Between October and March, it can cost anywhere between Rs 7500 to Rs 20,000/- depending on the number of hours on the boat.


3. There are some very unique experiences with respect to boats in India. The famous rock temples of Mahabalipuram near Chennai have always garnered the interest of travellers. Two of the seven temples are said to be submerged in the sea. Few know that some fishermen take eager visitors out to sea, where one you have a look at the submerged temples. An experience which comes with serious caution, as there are no life jackets on these boats, it’s not for the faint hearted. A mere Rs. 100-200 for an adventure of a life time – try it!


4. The Periyar Wildlife sanctuary in the Idduki District of Kerala is one of the most unassuming wildlife destinations of India. Without fanfare but with plenty of exciting experiences in store, there are a number of ways to see the jungle. One unique way, is wildlife watching on a huge bamboo raft, with a forest guide and copious amount of sunscreen. The Periyar Lake is flanked by thick forests and animals often come for a drink of water. The raft ride starts early in the morning and goes on till about 4.00 p.m with breakfast and lunch by the edge of the jungle. This trip needs to be booked in advance. You can also take a more conventional wildlife spotting boat trip here.


5. While Goa has always been on top of the list for many, its Southern neighbour Karwar in Karnataka is fairly unknown. Serene and relatively untouched by tourism, Karwar has several water based activities. One of them includes snorkelling off the quiet coastline. Trips go out on speed boats with trained instructors to help novices.


If you would like your next trip to include some great boating activities then get in touch and we can help you plan a fantastic itinerary.

For accommodation in India take a look at our homestay collection. Your hosts will be happy to help you find the best places locally for a good night out!

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