Vembanad Lake

The beautiful Vembanad  Lake in Kumarakom is famous for its exceptional scenic beauty, lush green surroundings and exciting boat cruises. The Vembanad wetland system covers an area of over 1512 km and is bordered by 3 districts. Several rivers flow into the lake and Canals link the lake to other coastal lakes of the region.  A unique characteristic of the lake is the location of the Thannermukkom salt water barrier which was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme to prevent tidal action and intrusion of salt water into the Kuttanad low-lands. It is the largest mud regulator in India.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the eastern banks of the Vembanad Lake is a favorite haunt of migratory birds and shelters a wide variety of exotic birds. The beautiful serene Vembanad Lake comes alive during the festive occasion of Onam when spectacular snake boat races and colorful cultural programs are held. If you truly want a feel of heaven on earth, take a Back Water Cruise on the gloriously still waters of the Vembanand Lake. Most of the luxury houseboat cruises start from the Vembanad Lake jetty and travel down the enchanting Kerala backwaters. The wooden houseboats are equipped with modern facilities like air conditioned and well appointed bedrooms and a well equipped kitchen, complete with qualified staff.

As you sail down the lake, you are overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of Nature. The boats moor at little islands where the crew serves you a piping hot meal consisting of all the local specialties. You can ask the chef to cook up some of the fresh fish that is sold by small fishing boats that ply on the lake with their freshly caught fare ? a variety of fish and prawns.  The people living on the banks of Vembanad are directly or indirectly dependent upon the lake for their livelihoods which include agriculture, fishing, tourism, inland navigation, coir retting, lime shell collection, shrimp/ crab farming and sand mining.

As the sun sets over the lake, you are treated to the sounds of the water lapping against your boat and the occasional cricket. The spectacular sunrise brings with it fresh promise of further excitement. The houseboat sails by the famous Kuttanad region, one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below the sea level.  As you pass small islands, you get a glimpse of village life on the islands dotting the backwaters. A cruise down this sometimes water hyacinth ridden lake is guaranteed to be a most memorable and cherished one