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Location : Kollam, Kerela
Attraction : Backwaters
Counted as one of the largest backwaters of Kerela, Ashtamudi Lake is a scenic picnic spot that is known for its charming surroundings and tranquility. If the area of the lake is to be taken into account, it comes at the second place amongst all the lakes of the state.
Attractions of the place :
The lake is a wetland estuary comprising of extensive waters. As you look across it, you will find that this water body has been forked into several parts all of which converge at Neendakara and finally merge into Lakshadweep Sea. With a depth of about 6.4 meters, Ashtamudi Lake has the distinction of being counted as the deepest estuaries of Kerela. The main source of water to the lake is Kallada River which after covering a tortuous journey through a number of forests reaches the estuary and fills it with about 76000 million cubic meters of freshwater.
The enchanting place is worth visiting if you are looking forward to explore the scenic beauty of nature. Besides lovely surroundings, you can have the privilege of watching myriad bird species that are known to exist here. Besides, you can also spend time exploring several different varieties of fish; some of these are marine while the others are estuarine or a combination of both. The place is a haven for ornithologists who can hope to find different varieties of both local as well as migratory birds.
Fringed with lines of coconut and palm trees, Ashtamudi Lake can be traversed in a boat which can be hired from a boat club at Kollam. You surely will have a thrilling experience as you cruise the backwaters and reach Alappuzha. As you will notice while at cruise, several Chinese nets have been scattered throughout the waterline.
Flora and fauna : Being an estuary, Ashtamudi Lake is rich in floral varieties like Avicennia, Sonneratia, Calamus etc. Endangered species like Syzygium travancoricum have been listed on IUCN. Among the avifauna that inhabits this land, terns herons, butterflies, odonates are quiet common. You can spend time watching more than 57 species of birds that can be seen fluttering in the vicinity. As the lake is a reservoir of a large quality of water, you can also hope to find myriad phytoplanktons and zooplanktons.
Islands : If the beauty of the lake mesmerizes you, the tranquility of the eight islands that are situated within the water body will fascinate you even more. If you want to have a glimpse of the rustic rural life, you can pay a visit to these islands.
Houseboats : This amazing place has been provided with a number of houseboats. The complete journey by the boats will take approximately 8 hours and offers opportunity to have the thrilling experience of the traversing backwaters.
Besides being a picturesque place, Ashtamudi Lake is a boon to the native villagers for whom this lake is a way of earning their livelihoods. While some of them are involved in fishing and husk retting, the others engage themselves in the navigation services of inland.
Cruise packages : A number of cruise packages are available from Kollam that will take you on the amazing boat rides. Depending upon your choice, the cruises can stretch from single to a maximum of three days.
You can spend time in one of the resorts provided by the authorities.