Vembanad Lake is the largest lake in India, situated in Alleppey, Kerala. The lake is an ideal picnic spot and can easily be reached from different places like Kochi, Kuttanad and Kottayam. Soothing backwaters and lush greenery make this lagoon a very popular tourist place.
People living in different places call the lake by separate names. Kochi Lake, Punnamada Lake and Vembanad Lake are some of the most common names. Vembanad Lake is a major attraction for tourists who come here to explore nature and relax in peace. The lake is a perfect backwater spot. There are a variety of things you can do here. You can enjoy the peaceful backwaters by staying on a houseboat. Or you can even opt for boating and visit the small islands located near the lake.Vembanad Lake is an important wetland of major significance according to the Ramsar Convention. The natives of the place depending on the lake for their survival.
More on Vembanad Lake
Things to Do at Vembanad Lake
The Vembanad Lake attracts a wide variety of birds from all over the country all thanks to its lush greenery and serene environment. The famous Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is situated near the wetland.The Brahminy Kite, Parrot,Flycatcher, Lark, Teal, the Siberian Crane, the Cuckoo, the Owl, the Egret and the Heron are a few species of birds found here. Apart from them,Waterfowls are the major species of birds found here. The lake is a must visit of those who love watching and studying birds.
Enjoy the Ride Through the BrackishLagoons on a Boat
Boating is a major and the most popular activity tourists do while visiting the lake. The major attraction of this place is the backwaters, and not one person will miss a chance to explore the waters. The lake has a calming and relaxing environment that tourists enjoy. You can go sailing in the waters. There is an option of Day Tours and Night tours. These tours help you discover the popular food served there, the markets and gives an insight into the traditions and culture of the place. The Night Tours are famous for the beautiful sunset view and the glistening waters under the moon light. The scenery looks beautiful during the night, under the stars.
3. Stay in Houseboats
The perfect way to experience and actually live to fullest while staying here is to stay on houseboats. You can enjoy the peaceful backwaters by actually living on top of them on the wonderful houseboats! TheKettuvellam Houseboats and the Punting houseboats are the most popular houseboats found here. Built from wood and coconut fibres they are pretty strong and safe to live in. According to the one’s needs, these houseboats have rooms ranging from 1-4. Spa treatments,air-conditioning, sun-decks,massage services are a few of the luxuries provided in these houseboats. Based on the luxuries provided, these houseboats can cost between Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 21,000 for one night. Living on a houseboat is the best experience one can have. Well, that’s just not all the tours also offer delicious mouth-watering food, exploring the islands nearby and other water activities.
Geography of Vembanad Lake
Spread over a massive area of 2000 square kilometre the Vembanad wetland expands almost till Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam districts. The Laccadive Sea lies nearby, only to be segregated by a small island. River Meenachil, Pamba,Manimala, Muvattupuzha, Achenkovil and River Periyar are most important lakes of the state. Vembanad Lake gets most of its water from them. The Lake is surrounded by various small islands like Perumbalam, Pallipuram andPathiramanal.
The famous “Thaneermukkom” which is almost 4000 feet long acts like a barricade separating the fresh water from the salt water. Thus, the lake has 2 parts; one that has fresh water and other that has salty water.
The Lake looks beautiful with all the greenery around. It shelters various species of plants and animals, including birds. A wide variety of birds flock there.
Types of Boats
1. Kerala Houseboats
Houseboats are the perfect place to stay if you are looking forward to a delightful and unique experience. You can enjoy the famous backwaters that too at the comfort of your home! Kasaragod, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, and Ernakulam are a few places where you can find a houseboat easily. There are a wide variety of options, including a number of rooms and the services provided. According to those the charges may vary from INR 6000 to INR 45000.
2. Canoe boats (Kettavulam)
Canoe Boats, traditionally known as Kettuvalam are one of the most popular options to explore the area. You can go for various tours and increase your cultural knowledge of the area by visiting local places. Alleppey, Kochi and Kollam are a few places where you will get to tour. They are quite budget friendly and only charge about 400-1000 per person and can easily accommodate 5-6 persons.
3. Public Ferries by SWTD
Before houseboats and canoes, there were ferries. If you want a whole new experience, you must at least once ride the ferry. Ferries arranged by the State Water Transport Department come and go regularly from the jetty. The official website will have the approximate timings. The ferry gives you a ride on the beautiful backwaters. The charge is only INR 5.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit the Vembanad Lake is during the months of September till March, i.e., winter season. The weather conditions are optimum as it isn’t too hot nor too cold. The weather remains dry and is enjoyable. The water is also safe for water activities like sailing, boating and fishing.
How to Reach Vembanad Lake
Vembanad Lake is easily accessible and is well connected to major cities. You can take a cab or an auto from Alleppey.