Suffused with serenity and wonder, Kerala Backwaters are unique. It is a network of lakes, canals and the estuaries and deltas of forty four (44) rivers that flow from the Western Ghats into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 kilometers of these intricate waterways are navigable and have been used for centuries by local people for transportation. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is Vembanad Lake which lies across three districts (Alleppey or Alappuzha, Kottayam, Cochin or Kochi) and opens out into the sea at the Kochi harbor. Ashtamudi Lake, literally meaning “having eight arms”, which covers a major portion of Quilon or Kollam districts in the south is the second largest and is considered the gateway to the backwaters. Time seems to have come to a standstill in the backwaters and, as the houseboat glides by, you will watch this traditional lifestyle.