Coracles are used to cross the rivers. They are made of bamboo. Bamboo slits are taken and woven into big baskets. Bamboo is basically light weight and also carries a few people. The size of the coracle will say how many people can sit in it. These coracles are mainly seen in the Kaveri and Tungabhadra rivers. People use these coracles to cross the water from one place to another. In many places they use it as a type of transport also. This is the ancient type of transport. People used this traveling from before wheels were found also. Now it is just remains as tourist attractions and they entertain the tourists to move around in the waters.
Hogenakkal falls has this coracle as the main tourist attraction. This falls, is on river Kaveri. The tourists can go a jolly ride in the coracle otherwise called as theppa by the locals. There are many attractions like the oil massaging and seeing the falls from the nearest angle. Fish is sold in the nearby which looks delicious. Some coracles are mainly used for fishing. The fisher men will be well versed in rowing these coracles. They go for fishing nearby the banks on these small sized boats.
There are different sizes available in the coracles. The fishermen will be able to build sturdy boats of bamboo slits by themselves. The bottom of the coracles is given some water proof materials like tar or plastic. This will not allow the water to rush inside when the boat is rowing in the waters. A single man will handle these coracles with a single paddle. This will be a unique experience to travel in such coracles. They look beautiful like floating baskets. Many people feel frightened to get into it but as they sit into it they will enjoy the ride.
People of Kerala use different types of coracle for transport in the back waters. The shape is completely different from the ones found in the Kaveri River. Though the coracle looks pre historic people enjoy riding in it. There are different sizes, shapes in these coracles. The shape mainly depends on the people of the regions. The people will use the same shape used by their ancestors. They will be taught to make coracles of a certain shape which can be used by that particular region. People use paddle to row it and travel from place to place.
Making a coracle is an art. People learn this art from childhood. Bamboo is abundantly found in the forest regions which are used for building the coracle. Fishermen will be well versed in building these small boats for traveling in the waters. The water proof provided for the bottom has to be perfect. This is the basic necessity of the boat. As it is used for tourist attractions safety has to be considered as the primary factor. The person rowing the boat has to decide the number or passengers to get in. If he misses the count then there will be disaster.