Things travellers should know about the scenic backwaters in Ashtamudi, Kollam
Situated at 18 km from Kollam district of southern Kerala, Ashtamudi backwaters is a serene sightseeing tourist spot. It is named Ashtamudi signifying the connectivity of eight backwater channels, explicitly the eight braids as stated in the native Malayalam language. The lake stretches up to 16 km that makes it the second largest lake in Kerala; it flows beautifully through the Neendakara estuary and eventually meets the Arabian Sea.
The Ashtamudi Lake boasts of a unique wetland ecosystem and is included as one of the 42 Ramsar sites of international importance in India. This is mainly due to its hydrological functions, its biodiversity, and support to the marine life. Besides, the waters of Ashtamudi Lake help the flora and fauna to flourish in the area including 40 plant species, 57 bird species and nearly 100 species of fish. Even migratory birds visit the spot as the seasons change.
Below are some exciting outdoor activities for travellers visiting the scenic backwaters of the Ashtamudi Lake:
Houseboat cruises: The lakeside is best known for houseboat cruises and canoe rides. Taking the most famous houseboat tour from Kollam to Alleppey is worth the eight-hour journey, giving away amazing glimpses of the lush green beauty around. It is a guided tour to inform tourists about the landmarks and history of the surrounding region. The house boats are well-maintained and offer modern facility for the tourists to rest and relax during the long journey.
Canoe rides: These are gentle rides where tourists can explore the backwaters at a slow pace, observing the sights of palm groves and coconut trees on the edge of the lake. Canoeing through the lake during a sunset is an experience to capture.
Water sports: Adventure enthusiasts can go for the speedboat ride and enjoy the gushing wind experience amidst the lake. The water cycle boating is a much-relaxed water sport that tourists can indulge with families. Pedal together and ride through the waves of the Ashtamudi lake.
The wildlife experience: While at Ashtamudi, you can stop for an authentic wild life experience at the Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary. The spot is full of many picturesque vantage points, trekking trails, and evergreen forests. Tourists can also have a complete view on a guided safari.
Explore the local life: While swaying in the boat or on foot, tourists can observe the simplicity of the local life around. Tourists can spot fishermen throwing away Chinese fishing nets in the lake water while other local jobs include cashew trading, selling marine products, coconut husk retting etc. Artists and writers looking for an inspiration can very well get a story hidden in the beauty of the Ashtamudi Lake.
The best time to visit the Ashtamudi Lake to explore the wondrous natural beauty is from November until the end of March when the weather is cool and pleasant. For tourists wanting to travel to the next location from Ashtamudi can access the nearest Kollam railway station at 2 km or the Trivandrum International Airport about 70 km.