Vembanad Lake In Kottayam – Guide

Vembanad Lake

I love to visit the famous as well as the offbeat places in my country. I love to travel to such unusual places alone as I like to wander around to take in the essence of the area. So, this time I decided to visit a famous place called Vembanad Lake in Kerala all by myself. I have heard a lot about the area and their cultures and festivals. However, this trip didn’t go according to my plans and my sister ended up accompanying me. This annoyed me a great deal at first but as we spent quality time with each other, I realized something. I was blessed to have a travel buddy who would go anywhere I wanted and also take time to understand all my preferences and habits very well. Once I realized this, I felt very peaceful while visiting the beautiful lands of Kerala.

Before visiting any place, I always do thorough research on the location to avoid any mishaps during my trip. So I made a long list of the areas that I wanted to visit in Kerala. The most important place among them all was the largest lake in India- Vembanad Lake. I had seen a lot of pictures of this place and could not resist its allure. So, finally, we boarded the morning flight from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport and landed at Cochin International Airport. We then booked a car for our journey ahead and headed straight towards our pre-booked homestay.

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The family at the homestay was excellent and so welcoming that we felt like coming to our second home. They made all the necessary arrangements for us to have the most fabulous trip ever. The food and ambiance were so pleasing that I felt like staying in this beautiful place forever.We rested for some time and then left for the local market nearby in the evening. We bought a few handmade goodies from there and went to visit the nearby temple to see the rituals of the place. My sister is a professional photographer, and she captured some awesome snaps of the rituals and the temple. Finally, the day was over, and we both eagerly waited for the morning to come as we both were excited to see the longest lake in India. Next early morning we left for Vembanad Lake and reached there in 45 minutes. Although the photos of the lake were beautiful, they paled in comparison to the Lake. It was simply spectacular and left me speechless. 

About Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in our country. Since it flows through lots of areas, it has different names in different places. It is known as Kochi Lake in Kochi, Vembanadu Lake in Alappuzha and Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad. The Kochi Port is located along the Willingdon Island and Island of Vallarpadam. The charming Lake of Vembanad gets water from the vast canals and rivers of Kottayam. There are several activities in this area- boating, fishing, and others. Kumarakom Tourist Village has built many boating houses and designed a few holiday packages for the tourists here. This place is also a popular picnic spot for those coming from the neighboring cities. It is said that during the famous festival of Onam, this lake is blessed by the gods themselves.

This lake neighbors places like Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Kottayam districts. This lake is separated from the Laccadive Sea by a very narrow barrier island. The islands around this Lake include Perumbalam, Pathiramanal, and Pallippuram. This Lake is around 15km wide and 97km in length. Approximately ten rivers empty their water into this Lake. Few of these rivers hail within Kerala like the Meenachil, Pamba, Achenkovil, Periyar, Manimala, etc. This Lake drains around forty percent of the area of Kerala. The unique feature of this Lake is the Thenneermukkom saltwater barrier which was built by the Kuttanad Development Scheme. This 4108 feet long barrier helps prevent the entry of saltwater into the low-lands of Kuttanad. This barrier has been beneficial for the farmers by controlling the salinity of the soil and increasing the fertility of the area. It divides the lake into two main parts- one with brackish water and another with fresh water from the rivers that drain into the Lake.

The lake also loses out on its otherwise great variety of prawns and fishes due to the water barrier. Research on this lake shows that the barrier is the leading cause of pollution and growth of weeds in the areas around and within the lake. It is also said that this has increased the ecological hazards and the propagation of Hyacinth in the water. This Lake also has a massive amount of shrimps. People of the nearby areas earn a living by engaging in activities such as fishing, inland navigation, tourism, etc.

Reasons to Visit Vembanad

vembanad lake

Vembanad Lake offers you the chance to experience true serenity in the arms of nature. The stillness of the Lake, the peaceful rhythm of everyday life around it, the gentle sounds of boats gliding across the water – Our idea of the perfect escape!

Vembanad Lake is perfect for a day of boating! Lose yourself in the calm of its waters as you explore beautiful lagoons and islands brimming with greenery. Look to venture beyond the popular Alleppey and cruise serenely on a houseboat in Vembanad Lake instead.

Sunset-chasers are in for a treat while in Vembanad! Book yourself a sunset cruise on the Lake. As the last rays of the sun illuminate the blue waters, watch the sky turn into magical shades of orange and red. There are specific areas of the Lake where tourists can indulge in activities like boating, canoeing, and fishing. Watch the local fishermen as they haul in the catch of the day – sometimes bringing in local catfish with their bare hands!

Vembanad Lake is home to numerous migratory birds who stop here en route their epic journeys across the globe. Prepare to be mesmerized as these beautiful birds skim the top of the blue waters, only to take flight and dance across the sunny skies. Some of the birds that call the lake home are the Cuckoo, the Waterfowl, Brahminy Kite, Parrot, Flycatcher, the Owl, the Egret, the Heron, Teal, the Siberian Crane, and the Lark among many others.

The Vembanad Lake sees an enormous tidal wave of celebrations during festivals such as Onam and the Snake Boat Festival, also called the Nehru Trophy Festival. Try and plan your trip to coincide with the festivities to experience the local culture in Kerala.

The Snake Boat Festival, also known as the Nehru Trophy Festival, sees thousands of boats with more than a hundred fishermen on board. The Regatta Gala at the race is a grand carnival that attracts scores of visitors from the country and overseas.

Activities to Do In Vembanad Lake

Vembanad Lake

This Lake is renowned for its serene atmosphere and magnificent views of the Lake and the landscapes around it. Photography is one of the most popular activities around this Lake. Many photographers shoot their best pictures around this Lake. Many people come from all around the globe to see the largest freshwater body of India. They also come to get a glimpse of the ten rivers that drain their waters into this Lake.

We spent a day in one of the houseboats that cruise the lake. During this time, I saw the marvelous views of the sun rising and setting. I have never witnessed the start or end of the day like this before. People come here to spend some time with nature as well as with their loved ones. Many also come here from nearby cities and towns to have a picnic with families and friends. Badminton and cards are some of the games that people prefer to play by the Lake. There is also a bird sanctuary near this Lake. Many visitors visit it to witness the rare and exotic birds and plants housed there.

How Can You Reach The Vembanad Lake?

Vembanad Lake

Vembanad is a famous place of Kumarakom, Kerala which is well connected to all the cities and states of India. You can take a bus, car, train or a flight to reach this area.

By Air: The nearest airport to this place is the Cochin International Airport which is around 63kms from the Lake. From there, buses and cabs are available till the Lake.

By Road: The people who reside around Kerala generally prefer car rides to this place because of the magnificent roads that lead to this place. The state has proper bus services from all the nearby towns and districts to this place.

By Rail: The closest station is the Kottayam station. Located around 13kms from the Lake, this train station is one of the major stops for many trains in India. One can easily avail trains from their location to this place and then proceed by a cab or bus to the Lake.

What Is The Best Time To Pay A Visit To This Place?

Vembanad Lake

I feel the winters are the best time to enjoy the activities and view of this lake. However, many also prefer to visit Kerala in the monsoon to see the splendid views during the rains.

Places around the Vembanad Lake That Are Worth a Visit:

After spending an entire day at this Lake, we also paid a visit to the nearby attractions of this place. The best of them were- 

Pathiramanal Island

Vembanad Lake

We traveled to this place by boat as it can only be reached through a boat. Pathiramanal Island is a small island on the Lake, and its name translates into “Sands of the Night.” This island is full of picturesque views of birds flying in the clear sky. This island is nothing short of a paradise for nature lovers.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Vembanad Lake

This sanctuary is built on 14 acres of land and houses some rare and exotic species of birds. This place is very famous among the zoologists and the bird watchers. We saw some migratory birds like the Siberian Crane, Flycatcher, etc. You can also study a variety of bird species and their conservation strategies. We also got to marvel at the greenery around this place which was filled with paddy fields and forests.

Vaikom Temple

We visited this famous temple here that worships the Hindu god Shiva. It is said that if you visit this place, you may get your wishes fulfilled by the Almighty. 

Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall

This waterfall falls from a height of around 100 meters and it’s thrilling to experience. It is also a popular picnic spot for the locals here.

We completed this trip in 5 days and returned to our home town with a heavy heart at having to leave this place behind. This place is literally a paradise on Earth. We enjoyed this trip thoroughly. I felt that the chaos and frustration of my busy life got left behind in the peace of Kerala. I firmly believe that every person should pay a visit to this peaceful and beautiful place in India. 

To Sum Up

With its stunning waters and networks of beautiful lagoons,Vembanad Lake should be on your list as the preferred boating destination in Kerala. The Lake offers fantastic views and the chance to enjoy an intimate and authentic experience of the Kerala backwaters. There’s no place like the Lake to forget about your busy life, if only for a short while. A few days spent in its relaxing surroundings are guaranteed to rejuvenate and bring you back to life!

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