Kerala Travel Mart visitors marvel at novel houseboat

September 21st, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Sep 21 (IANS) Visitors to the Kerala Travel Mart here are marvelling at a novel houseboat on display that has a roof-top garden, a swimming pool, a jacuzzi and a conference room - besides two bedrooms with attached bathrooms.The designer, builder and owner of the houseboat Tomy Pulikattil has named it Jala Saudham, which means floating palace.

“It is 100 feet long, 16 feet wide and 18 feet high. It has two bedrooms and a 100-seater conference hall. The first floor has a 12-foot long swimming pool fitted with a jacuzzi. There is also a roof-top open air 100-seater garden restaurant,” Pulikattil told IANS.

“This is something unbelievable. The beauty is that you have a roof-top garden and also a water body. This is a novelty,” said state Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan after going around the houseboat.

Pulikattil, who owns more than a dozen houseboats, said his latest offering was a first of its kind in the country.

At last year’s Travel Mart, Pulikattil surprised everyone by launching a convention houseboat. This is today much sought after by companies for holding meetings.

“Jala Saudham is powered by a 402 Leyland engine and has a 20 KV generator to operate the air-conditioning system,” Pulikattil said.

“The length of the conference hall can be extended by folding the walls of one attached bedroom,” he said, adding: “It will be available to clients from next month.”

Impressed by the boat, a representative of leading Italian tour operator Lora Felez said: “It is amazing and will certainly be our niche product when we begin to promote Kerala as a destination in Italy.”

State Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan inaugurated the fifth edition of the mart Saturday night.

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