Ashtamudi Lake makes Kollam district one of the most sought after backwaters destinations of Kerala. “Ashtamudi” in the local language means eight branches/channels (Ashta means eight and mudi means branch).Lake Ashtamudi is in fact a fusion of eight small lakes and is popularly known as the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Ashtamudi’s eight faces are Thevally Lake, Kandachira Lake, Kureepuzha Lake, Thekkumbhagam Lake, Kallada Lake, Perumon Lake, Kumbalathu Lake and Kanjirottu Lake. “Kallada” is the main river flowing into Ashtamudi and is formed by the convergence of three rivers Kulathupuzha, Chenduruni and Kalthuruthy (originates from the Western Ghats). These channels come together at Neendakara estuary; become a single waterway and meets Arabian Sea.
Ashtamudi has undeniably exerted a strong influence in the artistic and cultural spheres of the state. Renowned for its breathtaking views, it is the second largest lake in Kerala & is the source of livelihood for many living close by it. Fishing, coconut husk retting for coir production and inland navigation services are some of the main occupations of local inhabitants. “The President’s Trophy Boat Race” is one of the most popular boat races of Ashtamudi and is held on November first every year. November first marks the birth God’s own country Kerala and is known as Kerala Piravi.
Ashtamudi offers its visitors a spectacular opportunity to explore the local life and experience the serenity of nature at close quarters. A boat cruise between the water stretch of Kollam and Alappuzha is popular among tourists as it lets you admire the romantic setting and lush greenery of coconut/ palm trees on the lake sides. This eight-hour journey (one of the longest backwater cruises in Kerala) will give you an unforgettable experience of these stunning waterways and treat your eyes with its striking beauty and picturesque surroundings.
The vibrant greenery of coconut groves & palm trees that dot the lakeside and the famous Chinese fishing nets laid along the waterways bestow the landscape an oriental look- which makes Ashtamudi an incredible experience that no traveller would want to miss on his visit to Kerala.