Vembanad Lake, the biggest brackish lagoon in Kerala
, is a captivating picnic spot and a backwater tourism destination providing truly exciting opportunities for boating, fishing and sightseeing.
The lake covers 80 km in north-west to south-east direction from Munambam, (Ernakulam District) in the north to Alappuzha in the south. The major portion of the lake is in Kottayam District. The width varies from 500 m to 4 km and the depth from 1 m to 12 m.
The Periyar River discharges into the lagoon in the north and the Muvattupuzha River in the central part. The rivers Meenachil, Manimala, Achankovil and Pamba penetrate into the southern part of the lagoon. The banks of the Vembanad are surrounded with evergreen to semi-evergreen type of forest and also thickened with the plantation of coconut trees. The wooded banks attract a large number of nesting water-birds and there is a water-bird sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, at the edge of the grounds.
The boats that ply on the Vembanad vary from the large stitched-hull, cargo carriers with domed mat-roofs, house boats, to little skiffs carrying lone line-fishermen with large palm-leaf hats.