Backwaters, houseboats, coconut trees and Onam boat race are the four things that come to mind when we think of Kerala. Lakes are the main beauty of Kerala and they are found in abundance in the state. The Vellayani Lake is one of the largest lakes in the district of Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala. It is a major tourist attraction and so whenever you are in Kovalam, this place is a must visit. This is actually a freshwater lake with crystal clear water. The water of the lake shines in sunlight during the day giving it a silver effect. And on moonlight nights, the view of the lake and its surrounding is enough to make your mind crazy.
As said by the local people, the lake and its adjoining area is also known as tiny Kovalam. The lake is mostly visited during the festival of Onam when the boat race takes place. This major holy festival is famous all over the southern India and attracts lots of tourists during this time. There are three fresh water lakes in Kerala among which the Vellayani Lake is one. The other two are Pookkode in Wayanad and Sasthancotta in Kollam. Previously the lake served as a great source of lotus flowers for worship in Sir Padmananda Swami Temple.
There is a beautiful story regarding the creation of the lake in that place. It is believed that once a beggar was thirsty and was wondering in search of water. And then he came across a saint in that place who was seen meditating. The beggar asked for water from him but the there was only a few drops of water in his place. And then he threw that few drops of water on the ground uttering some magical words. As a boon those few drops of water changed into a big lake named as Vellayani.
The lake is located 7 km away from Kovalam if you go via the route of Poonkulam junction. At Thampanoor, the Thiruvanathapuram Central Bus Stand is just at a distance of 9 km from the lake. There are many buses that are available from East Fort city deport. Also boat services are available from Kovalam to the lake. You can also reach there by your own cab from anywhere of the city.
There is no entry fee to visit the lake. It can be visited at any time of the day but the lake can be felt best during the morning and evening. People from local villages are seen strolling in the early morning and evening enjoying the beauty of the nature that is reflected in the lake. Duration of 1 hour is enough to completely visit the place but it all depends on you how much time you want to stay. You can make the trip more adventurous by enjoying a boat ride across the lake. Local dishes at the nearby stalls are very tasty and you would like to have it sitting on the benches beside the lake. Tourists are seen visiting the place mostly in the moths of October to February due to suitable weather but the lake can be best enjoyed during the festival when lots of people gather to see the boat race. The sacred festival of Onam takes place from late August to Early September every year. Tourists from all over the world visit there to enjoy the taste of real Kerala.
The Vellayani Lake is considered holy by the local people and is worshipped by them. It is a nice place to spend weekend away from the busy town into the soothing natural environment. There are two roads that pass across the lake almost look like a bridge. You can stand there too and enjoy its magical beauty. While you are there to take pleasure in your weekend you can visit the nearby places too such as Karamana River, Kovalam Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Samudra Beach and Neyyar Dam. Overall all these could be visited in one day or two. Along with sightseeing you can also refresh your mind and body in Soji Yoga and Ayurveda Panchakarma Centre and give a startup for a new beginning for the following days.
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