Vellayani Lake in Kovalam, Kerala
Backwaters, houseboats, coconut trees, and Onam boat races 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 southern India and attracts lots of tourists during this time. There are three freshwater 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 wandering 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 there were 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.
Reaching Vellayani Lake
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.
Useful details on Vellayani Lake
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 nature that is reflected in the lake. A 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 a weekend away from the busy town in the soothing natural environment. There are two roads that pass across the lake almost looking 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 startup for a new beginning for the following days.
Things to do
Here are some popular activities that you can do at Vellayani Lake:
- Boating: Visitors can rent boats and paddle around the lake, taking in the scenic views of the surrounding forests and the lake’s crystal clear waters.
- Fishing: The lake is a popular destination for anglers, who can catch a variety of fish such as catfish, tilapia, and carp. Visitors are required to obtain a fishing license from the local authorities.
- Picnicking: The lake is surrounded by lush green forests and is a popular spot for picnics. Visitors can pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, and enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by nature.
- Nature walks: Visitors can explore the surrounding forests, which are home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Take a walk and enjoy the sounds of birds chirping and the rustling of leaves in the breeze.
- Photography: The lake and its surroundings offer stunning scenery and make for excellent photo opportunities. Visitors can capture pictures of the lake, the surrounding forests, and the wildlife that can be seen in the area.
- Spiritual experiences: The lake is a sacred site for the Hindu community, and visitors can participate in religious ceremonies and rituals that are performed at the lake.
- Watersports: Some adventure activities like kayaking, water-skiing, and wakeboarding are also offered by local adventure tour operators.
In addition to these activities, visitors can also visit nearby temples, cultural and historical sites, and experience the local cuisine and shopping opportunities in Thiruvananthapuram.
Facts About the Vellayani Lake
Here are some interesting facts about Vellayani Lake:
- Location: Vellayani Lake is located in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, India.
- Size: The lake covers an area of approximately 8.5 square kilometers.
- Source of water: The lake is fed by several streams, including the Manjalar, Kallar, and Karamana rivers.
- Importance: Vellayani Lake is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the state of Kerala and serves as an important source of drinking water for the residents of Thiruvananthapuram city.
- Sacred site: The lake is a sacred site for the Hindu community and is believed to have healing powers.
- Wildlife: The lake and its surrounding forests are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and reptiles.
- Agriculture: The fertile soil around the lake is used for agriculture, and crops such as rice, coconut, and rubber are grown in the area.
- Tourism: Vellayani Lake is a popular destination for tourists, who come to enjoy the scenic views, boating, fishing, and picnicking.
- Preservation: The lake and its surrounding forests are protected by the government, and efforts are underway to maintain its ecological balance and prevent any pollution of the lake’s waters.
- Climate: Thiruvananthapuram has a tropical climate, with warm and humid conditions throughout the year. The best time to visit the lake is between October and May, when the weather is pleasant and conducive for outdoor activities.
Nearby Attractions, Details with Km
Here are some nearby attractions to Vellayani Lake:
Padmanabhaswamy Temple (17 km):
This is one of the oldest and most important Hindu temples in South India, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple is known for its intricate carvings, gold plated walls, and stunning architecture.
Napier Museum (18 km):
This museum is located in Thiruvananthapuram and is known for its collection of ancient bronze sculptures, ivories, and ancient musical instruments.
Kovalam Beach (20 km):
This is one of the most popular beaches in South India, known for its scenic beauty, clear waters, and surf-friendly waves.
Agasthyakoodam (70 km):
This is a mountain peak in the Western Ghats and is known for its scenic beauty and biodiversity. Visitors can hike to the peak, which offers stunning views of the surrounding forests and the Arabian Sea.
Shanghumugham Beach (16 km):
This is a long and wide beach, known for its clear waters and scenic beauty. It is a popular destination for picnics, swimming, and sunset viewing.
Sreekanteswaram Mahadeva Temple (9 km):
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its historical and architectural significance.
Kanakakkunnu Palace (17 km):
This palace is located in Thiruvananthapuram and is known for its stunning architecture and lush gardens. It is now used as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions.
These attractions are located within a 50 km radius of Vellayani Lake, and visitors can easily reach these places by car or public transport.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Vellayani Lake:
What is Vellayani Lake?
Vellayani Lake is a large freshwater lake located in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, India. The lake is known for its scenic beauty, clear waters, and rich wildlife, and is a popular destination for boating, fishing, picnicking, and other recreational activities.
How do I get to Vellayani Lake?
Vellayani Lake is located in Thiruvananthapuram, which is well-connected by air, rail, and road to major cities in India. Visitors can reach Thiruvananthapuram by air and then take a taxi or a local bus to Vellayani Lake.
What are the things to do at Vellayani Lake?
Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, picnicking, nature walks, photography, spiritual experiences, and other activities at Vellayani Lake. There are also nearby attractions such as temples, beaches, museums, and palaces that visitors can explore.
What is the best time to visit Vellayani Lake?
The best time to visit Vellayani Lake is between October and May, when the weather is pleasant and conducive for outdoor activities.
Is Vellayani Lake safe for swimming?
Swimming is not allowed in Vellayani Lake as it is a source of drinking water for the local population. However, visitors can enjoy boating and other water-based activities.
Is there a charge to visit Vellayani Lake?
There is no entry fee to visit Vellayani Lake, but there may be charges for boating and other activities. Visitors are advised to check with the local authorities for the latest information.
Are there any accommodations near Vellayani Lake?
Yes, there are several hotels, resorts, and homestays located near Vellayani Lake, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury options. Visitors can choose accommodations based on their preferences and budget.