Chettuva backwater and mangroves; Kerala’s biggest mangrove forest

Chettuva backwaters
Chettuva backwaters

The backwaters of Thrissur are as beautiful as the ones in Alappuzha. However, even seasoned travellers give the backwaters in Thrissur a miss. The reason is that few people know that Kerala’s biggest mangrove forest is at Chettuva in the district.

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Mangroves, Chinese fishing nets, and a fort, that’s the Chettuva backwaters for those dreaming of a memorable holiday. Lying adjacent to the Arabian sea, the backwaters are 21 km from Thrissur. At the national highway to Engandiyur is a narrow road that leads to the Vettakkorumakan boat jetty. A houseboat tour takes about five hours, where visitors get a view of life on the backwaters. Don’t be surprised if the landscape looks familiar. Chettuva has hosted many movie crew from the regional film industry as the tranquil settings provide the ideal visual magic they need. It is home to Kerala’s biggest mangrove forest, lying in the middle of the backwaters. Cannoli canal and Enamavu lake have had a major role in the thriving of the mangroves. The lake has Thriprayar, Chettuva, Manalur, and Kandassankadavu surrounding it. The Canoli canal joins Chettuva and Enamavu lakes. Chettuva attracts many species of migratory birds. Toddy tapping and mussel harvesting are some of the main activities here. Visitors can see the villagers deftly going about their livelihoods such as fishing, harvesting mussels, and extracting their flesh from the shells. Tourists are also taken close to the mangroves so that they can have a good look at the partially submerged trees and the climate within such an environment. A stop at the toddy shop is also a part of the ride. With a side of steamed tapioca, seafood such as mussels and mackerel cooked to perfection in aromatic spices dominate the meals served on the boat for a truly local experience.


  • Railway station: Thrissur railway station, 24 km away
  • Flight: Cochin International Airport, 71 km away
  • Timings: Anywhere from 5.45 am to 3 pm onwards for short trips; from 9 am for a full day
  • Activities: Backwater ride