Ferociously thrilling as the wind blows and delightfully musical as the breeze breaks, Vembanad Lake conserves enthralling moments of rare natural experience. Day in and day out this huge water reservoir presents multitudes of different faces, all uniquely pleasing. One of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes, it is a major ecological resource with dense vegetation on the banks and boats crisscrossing in its deep green waters.
Vembanad Lake is longest lake of Kerala. The Vembanad wetland system spans an area of over 2033 square kilo meters thus it is the largest wetland system in India. The Vembanad lake is bounded by Alleppey, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. Vembanad lake is known by different names in different regions eg: Punnamada lake in Kuttanad region, Kochi lake in Kochi region. Vembanad lake lies at the sea level, and is divided from the Arabian Sea by a barrier island are those narrow little strips of sand. Thanneermukkom salt water barrier which is to control the saltwater, all of this while still ensuring adequate freshwater inflows into the Kuttanad low lands. It was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme. The Thanneermukkom salt water barrier ensures freshwater availability for agricultural and industrial uses as well as providing for fish and wildlife habitat protection. A backwater cruise along the lake reveal the real village life of Kuttanadu, where backwater residents do their laundry, wash their hair, clean pots and dishes, and chat on the banks and the farm life, where the local farmers toil in the muddy paddy fields in tune with rhythm of folklore’s.
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 tranquil beauty of the Lake becomes livelier when spectacular snake boat races and colorful cultural programs are held. The lake is the heart of Kerala backwater tourism with hundreds of houseboats moving to and fro and numerous resorts nestling on the banks.