Vembanad lake-the largest Wetland in India
Vembanad Lake or wetland is situated in the state of Kerala and is considered the largest lake in the country. Spread over an area of more than 2000 square kilometres it covers the districts of Ernakulum, Kottayam, Thrissur and Alappuzha. The wetland consists of backwaters, lagoons, mangroves, marshes, canals and reclaimed lands. The lake is a part of the Kerala backwaters’ tourism and houses many aquatic habitats, with beautiful houseboats floating on it and large number of resorts along the shoreline.
The lake is separated from the Arabian Sea by an island known as Thanneeermukkom barrier to prevent interruption of salt water within the low lands. Because of this the lake has been divided into two parts. One part is the brackish perennial water and the other is the fresh water from the rivers draining into the Vembanad Lake. There is no natural release of pollutants due to this type of man mad structure hindering in the growth of prawns and fish. Several water weeds are developing into it and hindering ecological balance.
Kumarakom village is known to be the most popular tourist attraction situated at the bank of the lake. The islands of Perumbbalam, Pathiramanal and Pallippuram are surrounded by the lake. The water of the lake is supplied from over ten rivers. The people living nearby find the lake a major source of their livelihood that includes agriculture, tourism, coir retting, inland navigation, lime shell collection and obviously fishing
How to reach Vembanad lake
There are various means of transport through which you can reach the lake. The first of all is the air transport system, means flight. Cochin international airport is the nearest aero dram located at a distance of 16 km away from the lake. The second mode is the railway route. Ernakulum railway station is the nearest railway station situated in Kochi. Auto rickshaw, bus and cabs are available by which you can reach the lake from Kochi.
Festivals enjoyed there
The tranquil and serene beauty of the lake is transferred into a crowdie place during the festivals of snake boat race and Onam. The huge number of people is gathered around the lake to cheer for their favourite rider. It is something more than the sports and the grand carnival invites lots of people from local as well as national places to take pleasure of the energetic activity.
Best Places of interests
- Vaikom temple- famous Hindu Shiva temple
- Alappuzha beach– sandy beach offering houseboat tours
- Kumarakom bird sanctuary- bird watching spot
- Andrew’s Basilica- the largest shrine of St. Sabestian in the world
- Kumarakom Museum- Best Antiques Craft Museum in Kerala
Major tourists’ attraction
- Vallam Kali is one of the major and popular snake boat race held in the month of august every year.
- A backwater cruise would help you to have a close look at the nearby villages and know the life of the people.
- Exploring the main tourist spot, island of Pathiramanal on the lake is another major attraction that can be reached only by boat.
Activities to do in Vembanad lake
For enjoying the beauty of the lake you can take canoes or stay in the houseboats and float along the length and width of the water body. The houseboats can take you to the bird sanctuary and the nearby islands where you can feel a sense of bliss of nature. Water hyacinths, paddy plantation, traditional way of fishing and the green sight all around are really exhilarating. The fascinating avian species can also be spotted by the tourists flourishing in the temperate zone. The wonderful scenario while enjoying the boat ride is truly a lifetime achievement.
Drawbacks of Vambanad Lake
The wetland was much bigger in size previously and gradually it is getting dried up due to land reclamation. But still it holds enough of water to make it the largest lake in the state as well as in India. A huge pollution is seen to occur in some part of the lake which resulted in threat to the ecosystem. The uncontrolled shell mining, releasing organic material in to the wetland made the oxygen content low in the water. Due to this many aquatic animals is facing threats.