Freshwater lakes in Kerala

What is Lakes??

The lake is said to be a large body of water surrounded by land on all sides. Most lakes on earth are freshwater lakes. Lakes are one of the important natural resources. Humans and other organisms depend on them in many ways. Lakes are a storehouse of diverse biodiversity. They are also home to a variety of aquatic plants and fish. Freshwater lakes are the main source of fresh water. Lakes also play an important role in nurturing the agricultural sector. Irrigation needs and those who depend on the lake are high. Fishing in the lake is the main source of livelihood for the people living near the lake. Lakes can also be described as storehouses of many minerals of commercial importance. Large-scale power generation projects are underway in many lakes around the world. Lakes are also important as holiday destinations. 

How many lakes are there in Kerala?

The important lakes are Vellayani, Sasthamkotta, Pookode Lake, Enamakkal Lake, Elephant Pond in  Devikulam, Iravikulam and Periyar in Idukki District. Vellayani Lake, Pookode Lake, Sasthamkotta lake,  Elephant pond, Enamakkal, Iravikulam are the important fresh water lakes. 

Sasthamkotta Lake

Sasthamkotta Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala. The lake is located in the Kunnathoor taluk of Kollam district. The lake is notable for its scenic beauty. The fresh water lake is beautiful with lush green hills and paddy fields. The name of the place is derived from the fact that the temple of Dharmasastha is located here. The F-shaped lake covers an area of ​​3.75 square kilometers. The lake supplies drinking water to Kollam city, Mynagappally, Sasthamkotta, Kunnathoor, Poruvazhi, Padinjarekallada and Sooranad South panchayats around the lake. 

Sasthamkotta lake

Millions of liters of water are pumped daily from the lake to the Kollam Corporation, nearby panchayats and the Chavara-Padmana drinking water project. Due to the inability of the water to flow into the lake and the erosion caused by the removal of surface sand from the surrounding areas, the sand dunes in each west tomb were eroded and the lake dried up alarmingly. Subsequent heavy rains brought the lake into abundance. It is also home to many flora and fauna. Especially of birds. 

On August 8, 2002, the lake was declared one of the 25 Ramsar sites in India eligible for special protection. The lake was included in the 2010 schedule by the Central Wetland Conservation and Management Regulations. As a result of the agitation of the locals and various environmental organizations such as the Kerala Sasthrasahithya Parishad, special attention was paid to the conservation work on the lake. 

Pookode Lake

Pookode Lake is located in the village of Kunnathidavaka in Wayanad district of Kerala. At an altitude of 770 meters above sea level. It is one of the smallest freshwater lakes in Kerala. Pookot Lake is surrounded by dense forests and hills. It is located at an elevation of 2100 ft above sea level. The Panamaram stream, a tributary of the Kabani river, originates from Pookode Lake. There is a path around the lake that looks like the shade of wild trees. Take a walk through the jungle, enjoying the cool shade of the trees and the warmth of the weather. Occasionally there is a small seating area to relieve fatigue. Boat rides are the main attraction of Pookode Lake. There are enough fiber boats waiting for riders on shore. The lake is also full of blue amber. The next attraction is the crystal fish found only in Pookode Lake. This fish is known as Pookodan crystal. There is a fish farm and a greenhouse here. You can buy spices and handicrafts from Wayanad here. The lake covers an area of ​​13 acres. The maximum depth of the lake is 6.5 meters. The lake is located 3 km south of Vaithiri. 

Boating facilities, children's park, handicrafts, spices emporium and fresh water aquarium are among the tourist attractions here. Pookode Lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Wayanad and is also a favorite destination for nature lovers. Pookode Lake opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM. Boating time is also from 9am to 5pm, but entry ends at 4.30pm. Pookode Lake entry charges are ₹20 per person for adults and ₹10 per person for kids (5-12 years old). Additionally, you have to pay ₹20 for still camera and ₹150 for video camera. 

Winter is the best time to visit Pookode Lake in Kerala. It starts in October-November and lasts till February. The weather is pleasant due to the recent monsoon, the low temperature and the views are refreshing. 

Vellayani Lake

Vellayani is a lake located in the Kalliyoor and Venganoor panchayats near Kovalam in the south of Thiruvananthapuram district. This fresh water lake is located in the center of the agricultural village of Vellayani. Situated at a distance of about 7 km from Kovalam, this freshwater lake covers an area of ​​750 hectares, according to the Survey of India. However, the Revenue Department estimates that the area of the lake has now been reduced to 450 hectares due to encroachment. Surrounded by small hills, Vellayani Freshwater Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Kerala. The Pakalur drinking water project in this lake is the main source of fresh water for Kalliyoor, Venganur and Thiruvallam. 

Vellayani lake

A road passes through the lake and a bund is built for it. The bund road in the Northern side of Kakkamoola-Trivandrum road connecting Vavvamoola and kadavinmoola. This lake attracts a lot of visitors. Once in Kovalam, no visitor should miss the chance to see this amazing lake of fresh water. During the Onam season, boat races are held on the lake. Country boat service is available from Kovalam beach to reach the lake. The Vellayani Lake supplies drinking water to the Vizhinjam International Port.

There was also a move to use the land that had been drained by the lake for agriculture. It was abandoned after protests by locals and environmental activists. Illegal sand mining, pollution and land reclamation are affecting the survival of the lake. 

Enamakkal lake

Enamakkal fresh water lake is located in Enamakkal of Thrissur district of Kerala.The Enamavu Bund was built to prevent the fresh water of the lake from mixing with the salt water. This lake covers an area of about 25 square kilometres. On the west side of the lake, a bund is built and preserved during the reign of Sakthan Thampuran. In a letter to the Malabar Collector in 1802, a bund was proposed to regulate salt water. The water collected from the Peachy Dam forms the Kurumali and Puzhakkal rivers. The lake is a beautiful sight with lush paddy fields all around. To the west is a spectacular view of the Connolly River, lined with coconut groves. Enamavu is located closer to the coast and at a distance of 20 km from Thrissur. 

You can go boating on the lake and even take advantage of the option of a houseboat trip. Starting from Enama, the houseboat has a variety of packages, including sunset and three-hour trips of 6:00 - 9:00  in the morning and 12:00 - 3:00 in the evening. The full day trip allows you to travel 25km and the journey usually lasts from 9:30 to 12:30. You can make the journey along the beautiful lakes and stop at the Coconut Island.

Other small freshwater lakes in Kerala are Elephant pond and Iravikulam at Devikulam in Idukki district.

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