Vembanad Lake

3.4 / 5 70 votes


Weather:

Time Required: 4-5 hours

Timings:

24 hours

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
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Vembanad Lake, Alleppey Overview

Vembanad Lake is a lagoon located in the district of Alleppey in the South-Indian state of Kerala. This expansive lake/ lagoon is longest lake in the country and the largest Lake in Kerala, accessible from Kottayam, Kuttanad and Kochi. Vembanad Lake for its tranquil backwaters amidst mesmerising natural surroundings which backwater tourism what it is today. 

Vembanad Lake is known by different names in different regions of Kerala. It is called the Kochi Lake in Kochi, the Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad and as Vembanad in Kottayam. Locals also call it Vembanad Kol or Vembanad Kayal. One may go boating in the beautiful lagoon and explore the islands lined with lush green coconut trees. A houseboat stay is another way to explore the backwaters. The Ramsar Convention has defined the Lake as a Wetland of International Importance. The lake proves to be essential for the locals that live by the shore as their livelihood depends on the lake waters. Tourists searching for a perfect backwater destination need not worry anymore, because Vembanad Lake is the ideal backwater destination for one and all.

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1. Bird Watching

The wetland of Vembanad creates an environment suitable for flora and fauna found in the region. Tourists frequently visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary located on the coast of the lake for an exciting bird-watching experience. One can find a large population of Waterfowl along with other birds like the Cuckoo, the Owl, the Egret, Heron, Brahminy Kite, Parrot, Flycatcher, Lark, Teal, the Siberian Crane etc.

2. Enjoy the Ride Through the Brackish Lagoons on a Boat

With a vast expanse covered by the lake waters, boating is but an apparent activity to indulge in when visiting the lake. Sailing in the tranquil waters and exploring the surroundings will put everyone at peace and making them live in the moment without a worry about the world. Tourists can choose from Day Boat Tours of Night Boat Tours according to their convenience. These tours include exploring the nearby markets, freshly prepared local food on the boat as you sail through the serene waters of Lake Vembanad. The Night Tours, in particular, include a fabulous sunset boat ride that continues into the night when the lights are dimmed, and tourists are allowed to soak in the cool breeze under the starlit skies.

3. Stay in Houseboats

Staying on a houseboat is the best way to explore the lake waters. One may choose to stay in either the Kettuvellam Houseboats or the Punting houseboats. These are the boats that tourists will find in plenty here. They are made logs from the wood of jackfruit trees and tied together with coconut fibre. There are houseboats with 1/ 2/ 3/ 4 bedrooms to suit the tourist's requirements and have a variety of amenities like air-conditioning, sun-decks, massages services, spa treatments etc. Houseboats are a perfect way to unwind on a family vacation or on a corporate outing. There are many vendors to choose from that charge anything between INR 4000 to INR 21000 per person/ per night depending on the amenities provided. The tours also include scrumptious local cuisine, market trips, fishing in the lake and sight-seeing in some of the neighbouring villages.

1. Kerala Houseboats

The Best part about Kerala Backwaters is that they make you feel the comfort of home yet taking you around the calm backwaters. Houseboats are available at Kasaragod, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Thrissur, and Ernakulam. An average houseboat can host around 4-5 people, and the cost depends on the packages and the seasons. The cost can range anywhere between INR 6000 to INR 45000.

2. Canoe Boats (Kettavulam)

You can also opt for Canoe Boats or Kettuvalam (a boat that looks like a rice barge) and go for Village Tours. This is one of the best ways to experience local life at a slow pace. It usually has a capacity of 5-6 people and takes around 3 to 6 hours and costs around 400 - 1000 per person. The tours start from Alleppey, Kochi and Kollam.

3. Public Ferries by SWTD

State Water Transport Department runs ferries at regular intervals from boat jetty and VCSB (Boat Jetty). The cost of the ferry is as low as INR 5. You can check the schedule on their official website. The ferry will take you through this network of brackish lagoons at a very low cost.

The best time to visit Vembanad Lake is during the winters or the tourist season which is between September and March as the weather stays pleasant throughout the day and the lake water level is safe for boating, fishing and other activities.

The entire system of Vembanad wetland expands over an area of 2000 square kilometre and has the districts of Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam. A narrow barrier island separates the Vembanad from the Laccadive Sea. The lake is connected with other lakes by canals running to its north and south. The islands of Perumbalam, Pallipuram and Pathiramanal, are surrounds by Lake Vembanad which is fed by River Meenachil, Pamba, Manimala, Muvattupuzha, Achenkovil and River Periyar which are the six major rivers of Kerala. The area surrounding the lake is home to a variety of flora and fauna. It is separated by a 4000 foot long man-made saltwater barrier called the Thaneermukkom. This barrier prevents the salt water from entering the low-lands of Kuttanad and divides the lake into two parts, one with fresh water from the rivers and the other with brackish water.

Vembanad Lake is easily reachable by road from any part of Alleppey. Tourists can hire auto-rickshaws or rent taxis or cabs to reach the lake.

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Top Hotels near Vembanad Lake

  • The Pamba Heritage Villa

    Starting from INR 4,500

  • Maria Heritage Homes

    Starting from INR 2,650

  • Alleppey Houseboatz

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