Rivers and Lakes in Kerala

Kerala is famous for the presence of numerous water bodies like rivers, lakes, and backwaters. The state is popular among tourists for its placid lakes that are flanked by a picturesque backdrop of mountains and forests. Lakes in Kerala form an important part of the inland navigation system and are blessed with 34 lakes, it has earned the distinction of being one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in India.

Vembanadu is the largest lake in the state and is stretched over an area of more than 12000 hectares. Laden with panoramic beauty and algae-rich waters, the place is a major tourist attraction. Surrounded by the districts of Ernakulam, Kottayam, and Alappuzha, this lake is known for a saltwater barrier that separates this lake into the backwater and freshwater parts. A number of fascinating islands like Pathiramanal and Pathiramanal are present on the route.

Sasthamkotta Lake, the largest freshwater body among lakes in Kerala is another picturesque place that is worth visiting. You can also visit an ancient temple which is situated on its banks. Boating services are available that will carry you to the temple. Among the other popular lakes of the state, Ashtamudi is famous for its lush green surroundings and serene atmosphere. A major attraction of Kollam, this lake is blessed with a huge catchment area. The main source of water supply b to this lake is River Kallada. Abounding in several varieties of fish and other habitats, the lake will attract you with its lovely sceneries.

If you are looking for spending some leisure time over the backwaters of Kerala, then Punnamada Lake is a great option for you. A venue for Nehru trophy, the place held snake boat races every year. You can be a part of the famous Onam festival which is celebrated in July, August, and September. Boating on the waters of this lake can be rejuvenating experience in your life.

Among the other lakes in Kerala that paint breathtaking imageries, Pookode Lake is a leading name. Bedecked with myriad species of water birds, green vegetation, and natural beauty, this lake will thrill your sense. Boating on its waters will take you to the nearby tourist attractions including Soochipara waterfalls.

Being a tourist, you can spend your day boating at Akkulam Lake of Thiruvananthapuram. It is the perfect picnic spot where one can relax on the banks or enjoy the placid waters of the lake. Another lake that is famous for its backwaters is Paravur Lake. Though small in size, it is a part of a network of other canals and lakes.

Vembanad is among the lakes in Kerala that are famous as bodies of freshwater. You can have an exhilarating time doing fishing, boating, and sightseeing. A nearby tourist village arranges cruises for the sake of tourists. Lovely houseboats that are built on lake waters offer you an everlasting experience.  Snake boat races are also organized during the famous Onam festival. Veeranpuzha lake of Cochin is a part of Vembanad Lake and the lack of freshwaters makes it a solitary place.

Lakes in Kerala are famous for their breathtaking beauty and magnanimous sights that will cast a spell on you once you visit them.

Akkulam Lake

Quick Bytes:

  • Location: Near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Attraction: Picnic Spot

Akkulam Lake

Located at a distance of about 10 kilometers from the city of Thiruvananthapuram, Akkulam Lake is a perfect picnic spot and is an extended part of Lake Veli. It is known for its tranquil surroundings. You can spend time relaxing over the banks or enjoying boating and pool facilities. Numerous Safari packages are also available to you to explore the serenity of the place. The picnic area is commonly called Akkulam Tourist Village where you can spend quality time with your family.

The place’s natural beauty is captivating enough to hold your attention for a long time. The lake is picturesque in itself. For the sake of visitors, a boat club has been built where you can enjoy the joy rides over a number of boats. Children’s park is a place worth enjoying for kids. It is among the biggest parks in the state.

Akkulam Lake is fascinating and attracts tourists by a number of entertainment options that it provides including snack bar, Anthurium Project etc. The place’s proximity to the Central Rail Head (Ulloor Junction) makes it easily accessible. It is one of the finest places that are located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram.

Recently measures have been taken to beautify the place; for this purpose, a monetary investment has also been done Steps have been taken for widening the lake in order to ease the movements of boats moving across it. A walkway has also been constructed for tourists.

You can spend time exploring the beauty of Akkulam Lake. It is among the picturesque places of Kerala that require special mention.

Ashtamudi Lake

Quick Bytes:

  • Location: Kollam, Kerala
  • Attraction: Backwaters

Ashtamudi Lake

Counted as one of the largest backwaters of Kerala, 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 in second place amongst all the lakes in the state.

Attractions of the Place

The lake is a wetland estuary comprising 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 estuary in Kerala. The main source of water for the lake is the 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 on the 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, and odonates are quite 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 large-quality water, you can also hope to find myriad Phytoplankton 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 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 boat will take approximately 8 hours and offers the 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 inland.

Cruise Packages: A number of cruise packages are available from Kollam that will take you on amazing boat rides. Depending upon your choice, the cruises can stretch from a single to a maximum of three days.


You can spend time in one of the resorts provided by the authorities.

Idukki Arch Dam

Quick Bytes:

  • Region: Kerala State, Idukki
  • Built Over: Kurathi Hills and Kuravan
  • Relevance: 1st arch dam of Asia and second in the entire world.
  • Close Attractive Feature: Sanctuary of wild animal.

Idukki Dam

Kerala is a state, where you get locked within the beauty of this place. Not only do Indians come to Kerala but people from other countries also come here. Idukki is one of the natural destinations of Kerala state. As per the tourists of Kerala, this is a naturally rich place that is situated in a blessed state by nature. This place is called a hideaway of God, the reason behind this name is, that it is a major attractive place that has been hidden within the streams, valleys, wildlife, natural scenic points, dams, trekking hills, forests, sanctuaries, lakes and also hill stations. In entire Asia, the Idukki dam is a 1st arch dam and in the whole world, it is a 2nd arch dam. If you will see the map of India, the Idukki district comes in between nine degrees to fifteen degrees. The altitude location of this district is about 21 on the north and on the east, it is about 76 degrees. This dam is situated in the center of the state. Madurai district is spread in the surrounding area of the Idukki dam’s eastern side, and the western side of the Idukki dam is surrounded by Kottayam and Ernakulam. The southern part is covered by Pathanamthitta and the north is by Trichur. Around 5105.22 square kilometers of the area is covered by the Idukki dam, which also has geographical and topographical characteristics. Few different characteristic of the Idukki dam has ninety seven percent areas out of the entire area; which include forests and mountains of around three percent.

The whole area of the Idukki dam is wrapped by the huge forest area, valleys, and very high hills. There is a unique feature that is fourteen peaks in one district area, the height of these peaks is about two thousand meters. Numbers of tourists come to this Idukki dam to see this unique and tremendous creation of nature. You must be thinking, about how this different and interesting destination got the name Idukki, so here is the relevance, the Idukki word comes from a Malayalam word Idukku. The meaning of this word is narrow gorge. The reason behind this meaning is because this place is located in between a couple of massive rocks which are Kurathi and Kuravan. Till ancient times, the history of Idukki has been liked, and the connection of the Idukki can be seen from the Stone Age and Paleolithic age. It was founded after the excavation of the Archaeological; this happened in the year 1947-48. At the end of the 26th of January 1972, this Idukki district of Kerala came into existence. This district has places like Peermedu, Devikulam, Thodupuzha Taluk, and Udumbanchola.

This beautiful place is very popular for its attractive tourism characteristics. Idukki tourism district is more than fifty percent area wrapped under various kinds of forest, which has moist forests, evergreen forests, grasslands, and also dry forests. There is also a very exciting sanctuary of wild animals, which is spread around one hundred and five square kilometers, and also includes Idukki, Cheruthoni, and Kulamavu. All these different natural factors spread over the whole land which is about thirty-three square kilometers. One of the main attractive factors of this Idukki Arch Dam is the popular sanctuaries of wild animals; these sanctuaries include sanctuaries like Bird Thattekad sanctuary, Rajamala sanctuary, Chinnar sanctuary, Eravikulam Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger, etc. visiting these attractive destinations is actually a mesmerizing travel experience, here you can see a number of various natural features which show the actual color of nature. This place is very far from the destroying factors like air pollution, traffic and buildings that’s why till now it has been successful in maintaining their natural beauty and relaxing peace. In Idukki dam, the very attractive places are Devikulam and Munnar which are very popular because of their wildflowers with mesmerizing fragrances and amazing spots, Kuthukal waterfalls, and also scarce herbs. Marayoor, which belongs to the Idukki district, is very popular for its naturally growing trees of sandalwood. There is one more place is known as a Mattupetti which is popular for the grassy landscape houses. This unique district also includes the hill station that is Idyllic, it is located near the road called Munnar and Kodaikanal to reach this naturally gifted destination, you can select any mode of transport whether it is air, or road, or rail. By air, you can land at the closest airport called Madurai, which is around one hundred and forty kilometers away from the Idukki district; there are also two more airports which is Thiruvananthapuram, whose distance is about two hundred sixty-five kilometers and another is Nedumbassery, which is about one hundred ninety kilometers. By road also this district is very well connected to the state. By rail, you can arrive at Kumarakom railway station, from this station the distance is about one hundred fourteen kilometers and one hundred thirty six kilometers distance from Madurai railway station. You won’t get to see this kind of tremendously beautiful natural destination in any one district anywhere in the entire world.

Pookot Lake

Quick Bytes:

  • Location: Near Vythiri Town, Kerala
  • Attraction: Picnic spot

Pookot Lake

Pookot Lake is considered one of the scenic attractions of the Wayanad district; if you happen to visit Kerala, you must not miss the opportunity of visiting this exceedingly beautiful destination. Known as the freshwater body, it is located amidst the lush green forests and lovely mountain ranges. Lying at a height of about 2100 m from the sea, this idyllic place will captivate you with its breathtaking imageries and fascinating wilderness.

The lake is the epitome of paradisiacal beauty that will enthrall your senses. Hemmed with natural grandeur, it is an attraction for tourists from all over the world. If you never had the opportunity of relaxing in the lap of nature, then this place will offer you the same. You can enjoy boat rides and have a glimpse of the lovely trees that dot the entire pathway. Another attraction that you will owe to look at Pookot Lake is an aquarium of freshwater which is laden with rich aquatic life.

The serenity of the lake is interspersed with other attractions like a children’s park, shopping center, etc. You can also take away with you a number of handicraft items that can be purchased from the shops. Though they are a bit costly, they are worth buying. Most of these items are made from coconut husk, bamboo, and other materials.  The authorities also provide several recreational activities for the sake of visitors. An ashram that goes by the name of Sri Narayana can also be visited by you.

Sasthamkotta Lake

Quick Bytes:

  • Location: Near Kollam, Kerala
  • Attraction: Sastha Temple

Sasthamkotta Lake

Sprawled over an area of about 375 hectares, Sasthamkotta Lake is a lake of fresh water. The charming surroundings amidst which it is situated make it a tourist’s delight. Being flanked by hilly ranges from three sides, you can visit this spectacular lake at any time of the year as its water never freezes.

This lake is distinct as there is a lack of any aquatic life in its waters; unlike other lakes, there is an absence of any major vegetation here. A Cavaborus larva exists in its waters; this larva is supposed to clean water by engulfing bacteria and viruses. It is for this particular reason that Sasthamkotta Lake is known for the purity of its water. Being a clean source, it feeds millions of people, especially at Kollam.

A nearby attraction of the place is a Sastha temple that belongs to ancient times. Inhabited by a number of monkeys, this Temple is a pilgrimage place for tourists.

Vembanad Lake

Quick Bytes:

  • Location: Kottayam, Kerala
  • Attraction: A bird sanctuary

Vembanad Lake

Renowned for the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings, Vembanad Lake is stretched over an area of about 1512 sq km. It has the distinction of being the largest lake in Kerala and also being India’s longest one. Known for its scenic backdrop of lush green forests, the lake will attract you with its charm and natural splendor.

Rivers including Manimala, Muvattupuzha, Periyar, and Pamba flow into this lake. It is surrounded by several islands like Perumbalam, Pathiramanal, and Pallipuram. Another distinctive feature of the place is the presence of a salt barrier, developed under the scheme of Kuttanad. It was built so as to avoid reaching saline waters in the lowlands of Kuttanad.

As you visit the place, apart from the fascinating beauty of the lake, you will have the opportunity of going to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which lies on its banks. It is inhabited by many bird species several of which are migratory. You will have the treat of watching a number of exotic birds that are known to have found shelter here.

Vembanad Lake is fast becoming the favorite hunting place for enjoying backwaters. Here you can spend ample time experiencing water sports like boating, and fishing. Blessed with rich fauna and flora, the lake will exhilarate you completely with its wide expanse and serene surroundings.

Yet another attraction that attracts tourists is the snake boar race. During the celebrations of Onam, the waters of Vembanad Lake become the venue of these races. As you watch myriad people oaring their boats through the water, you will be thrilled at the sight. You can also enjoy several cruises that are arranged by the tourist village of Kumarakom. These houseboat tours make your visit a memorable experience. Most of these cruises start at sunrise and will take you through the amazing backwaters. The houseboats are equipped with all the luxuries of modern life. Local inhabitants that thrive on the banks of the lake earn their livelihood from activities like fishing, shrimp farming, agriculture, and shell collection.

This picture-perfect place is blessed with the lanes of mangrove forests and coconut trees. Along the countryside, you will get ample chances to have a glimpse into the beautiful birdlife. As your cruise takes you to several islands, you will be served with palatable meal comprising of local specialties.

Accommodation Facilities:

A plethora of resorts is present in the nearby area that will ensure your comfortable stay during your visit. A guest house provided by the Tourism department can be booked. Besides, Casino Hotel and Lake Resort at Kumarakom are good options to choose from.

Vembanad Lake is a perfect place to spend a vacation while on a tour to Kerala.

You may also like...