It’s been said that God must have been in a really good mood when he made Kerala. This is abundantly clear when you see the extravagant beauty spread out all over this beautiful verdant green state. This coastal state is blessed with numerous sources of water, beginning from the Arabian Sea on its western side and numerous scenic rivers, lakes and ponds in its hinterlands. All this makes for beautiful greenery all the year round.
The beauty of Kerala is reflected in its enchanting golden beaches, colorful flora and fauna, rolling hills with tea gardens, gushing waterfalls and placid lakes that have been attracting both foreign as well as Indian tourists alike over the past decades. This slim strip of land is inundated with 44 life-giving rivers that flow into some of the most beautiful lakes in Kerala. No wonder then that Kerala is known as ‘God’s own Country’!
All the 34 lakes in Kerala have water throughout the year, with some having fresh water while others have brackish water; they also provide sustenance to numerous people living on its banks in terms of fishing and farming as well as providing great opportunities for water sports. Some of the best lakes in Kerala include:
This is the second largest lake in Kerala and covers an area of 1,700 sq km. Also known as the ‘Gateway to the Backwaters of Kerala’, it’s home to numerous mysterious islands and meandering shady backwater canals fringed with huge palm groves and greenery on the sides. This picturesque lake has 8 ‘arms’ and is shaped like an octopus and famous for its 8-hour long romantic, luxurious houseboat rides from Kollam city to Alappuzha. The Ashtamudi lake drains into the Arabian Sea through the scenic Neendakara estuary and is home to numerous varieties of fish and water birds.
The largest lake in Kerala, it’s also the longest (15km) lake in India. With a number of rivers flowing into it, it has both fresh as well as brackish water. The famous Nehru Trophy boat race is conducted on this lake in Kumarakom every November when numerous colorful snake boats thrash its serene waters chanting local songs in a ‘do or die’ race to win the president’s trophy. At other times, you can enjoy boating, fishing, birding as well as watching the amazing sunsets over its azure waters
Also known as the ‘Queen of Lakes’, it’s the largest freshwater lake in Kerala which’s waters are used for drinking purposes. An ancient Sastha temple nearby gives this scenic lake its name. Located about 29km away from Kollam, it affords you wonderful views of its blue-green waters surrounded by dark hills standing guard over it.
Located on the way to Kovalam beach from Trivandrum city, this lake shouldn’t be missed. It’s a freshwater lake that is believed to have been formed when a beggar asked for some water from a meditating saint according to mythology. The lake is so calm that it shines like a mirror on moonlit nights, a truly magical experience that entrances your soul and gets you believing in myths after all! Sunsets also create a thrilling mix of blazing colors on its canvass, keeping you glued till late on its breezy banks. A road runs through the lake, dividing it into two peaceful halves.
The best time to visit these lakes is after October when the monsoon rains have slowed down.