A visit to Kerala never ceases to enthrall the traveler with its abundance of natural beauty. Kollam is one such city that has so much to offer the visitor as it nestles on the banks of the immense Ashtamudi Lake. The city was earlier known as Quilon and was an ancient trading port with the old world. Today, it is famous as a tourism center by virtue of the scenic palm-shaped Ashtamudi Lake which also forms the beginning of the backwaters.
This lake and its associated backwaters offer panoramic views of an unforgettable array of sights and sounds. The lake is fed by eight channels and has a vast surface area of 61.42 km making it the second largest lake in Kerala. It is also the most-often visited lake in the state with tourist footfalls increasing every year. There is so much to see and do on the lake as it captivates the eyes of both the young and old.
The best way to enjoy the full serene beauty of this lake is by taking a houseboat trip. Houseboats are country boats crafted entirely of wood; however, don’t let that fact mislead you as they come fully-loaded with modern facilities like air-conditioned rooms, aesthetically-designed bathrooms and an open lounge area that offers uninterrupted views of the beautiful scenery.
As you cruise by on the smooth surface of the lake, enjoy endless panoramic views of the towering coconut grooves standing guard over the banks. In-between these, you can catch brief glimpses of local village life and small kids waving as you glide by. There are numerous islands dotting the surface of this lake, beckoning you to come explore. Out of these, Munroe Island is the largest and you can watch local activities here like prawn feeding, fishing, coir retting, and coir weaving. A cruise through the waterways also offers you glimpses of exotic water birds nesting in the mangrove grooves.
There are different types of cruise packages available to suit your needs; you can go for the day package or the overnight package where you get to sleep under the stars on the lake. You can also choose to go with privately-owned houseboats or those operated by DTPC. But if you are staying over at The Raviz Resorts & Spa in Kollam, then you are in luck as they will arrange their own classy houseboat cruise for you with onboard meals of your choice!
Getting to Kollam is easy as it’s well-connected by highways and is just a 71 km drive away from Trivandrum airport; the nearest railway station is 5 km away.