Kerala's Backwaters: A Quickstart Guide to Adding More Cool to Your Trip

A backwater is a section of a river where there is no current or movement. Waves and shore currents create low barrier islands across the mouths of rivers coming down from the Western Ghats range, forming the backwaters. Kerala’s geography is so diverse that there are maze-like canals that traverse practically the whole length of the state. The Arabian Sea’s lowest tide, which has a significant percentage of salt, reaches these rivers, forming a backwater. Kerala’s backwaters are a network of 1500 km of canals, both man-made and natural, 38 silent rivers, and 5 large lakes that stretch from one end to the other of the state. Freshwater from rivers meets seawater from the Arabian Sea in the backwaters, creating a unique ecology.