Best Travel Guide To Vembanad Lake In Kottayam, Kerala

 In Beach, Cruises, Holidays, Homestays, Hotels, Houseboats, Kerala, Kumarakonam, Lakes, Resorts, Travel, Vembanad lake

Charming backwaters, with emerald-green channels weaving through dense coconut groves, punctuated by traditional houseboats moving calmly. Vibrant culture, scenic lakes, aromatic spices, and clean beaches add to the charm, creating a captivating beauty of natural and cultural wonders.

Yes, we are talking about God’s own country ‘Kerala’ and you can experience all this beauty of Kerala with our exotic Kerala Tour package where we offer a seamless blend of serene backwaters, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture.

There are many places to visit in Kerala, from hill stations to glittering beaches and some of the most scenic lakes. Today, in this blog we will explore the captivating Vembanad Lake in Kerala.

Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom


Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom is a lagoon located in the district of Alleppey in the South-Indian state of Kerala. Vembanad Lake Kumarakom is Asia’s largest freshwater lake and also the longest lake in India. 

Vembanad Lake history is a mix of historical and mythical records that indicates the name Vembanad derived from the ancient kingdom of Vempoli Nadu, through which the holy river Pampa flowed. In the 12th century AD, Vempoli Nadu, along with a part of Pampa was sunk into Earth’s interior and thereafter it is believed that Vembanad Lake Kerala was formed as a result of these geomorphological changes. Thus, Vembanad lake history 

The Kerala Vembanad Lake is accessible from Kottayam, Kuttanad and Kochi and is known by different names in different regions of Kerala. It is called the Kochi Lake in Kochi, the Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, and Vembanad Lake kumarakom in Kottayam. Locals also call it Vembanad Kol or Vembanad Kayal.

Also Read: 19 Amazing Places To Visit In Thrissur Kerala For A Fantastic Stay

Geography of Vembanad Lake


The  Kerala Vembanad Lake backwaters form one of the three Ramsar sites of Kerala which have a strategic significance for the ecological maintenance of the land. The entire system of Vembanad wetland expands over an area of 2000 square kilometres and has the districts of Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Kottayam. 

A narrow barrier island separates the Vembanad from the Laccadive Sea. The lake is connected with other lakes by canals running to its north and south. The islands of Perumbalam, Pallipuram and Pathiramanal, are surrounded by Lake Vembanad which is fed by River Meenachil, Pamba, Manimala, Muvattupuzha, Achankovil and River Periyar which are the six major rivers of Kerala. 

The area surrounding the Kerala Vembanad lake is home to a variety of flora and fauna. It is separated by a 4000-foot-long man-made saltwater barrier called the Thanneermukkom. This barrier prevents the salt water from entering the lowlands of Kuttanad and divides the lake into two parts, one with fresh water from the rivers and the other with brackish water.

Also Read: 17 Best Hotels In Kerala For A Comfortable Stay Like Never Before

Vembanad Lake Highlights

1. Go Bird Watching


The wetland of Vembanad Lake creates an environment suitable for flora and fauna found in the region. Tourists frequently visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the lake’s coast for an exciting bird-watching experience. One can find a large population of Waterfowl along with other birds like the Cuckoo, the Owl, the Egret, Heron, Brahminy Kite, Parrot, Flycatcher, Lark, Teal, Siberian Crane etc.

2. Enjoy the Ride Through the Brackish Lagoons on a Boat


With a vast expanse covered by the lake waters, boating is but an apparent activity to indulge in while visiting the lake. Tourists can choose from Day Boat Tours or Night Boat Tours according to their convenience. 

These tours include exploring the nearby markets, and freshly prepared local food of Kerala on the boat as you sail through the serene waters of Lake Vembanad. The Night Tours, in particular, include a fabulous sunset boat ride that continues into the night when the lights are dimmed, and tourists are allowed to soak in the cool breeze under the starlit skies.

3. Stay in Houseboats


The Best part about Kerala Backwaters is that they make you feel the comfort of home yet take you around the calm backwaters. Houseboats are available at Kasaragod,Kollam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Alappuzha,and Ernakulam. 

An average houseboat can host around 4-5 people, and the cost depends on the packages and the seasons. The cost can range anywhere between INR 6000 to INR 45000.

4. Canoe Boats (Kettuvallam)


While visiting Vembanad lake You can also opt for Canoe Boats or Kettuvallam (a boat that looks like a rice barge) and go for Village Tours. This is one of the best ways to experience local life at a slow pace. It usually has a capacity of 5-6 people and takes around 3 to 6 hours and costs around 400 – 1000 per person. The tours start from Alleppey, Kochi and Kollam.

5. Vembanad Lake boating


In the serene atmosphere of Lake Vembanad you can experience an unforgettable adventure with Vembanad Lake boating.In the festive months of August and September, the rivers in and near Kottayam are turned into festival centres. The serene lakes come alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta – the snake boat races. The famous Nehru trophy boat race held in Vembanad lake in Kumarakom also holds the legacy of modern Vembanad Lake history as the trophy is named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who inaugurated the first edition of this internationally popular annual event in 1952. It is amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing. In the Kumarakom boat race conducted at Kavanar and Kokkathodu rivers, about 50 types of boats viz veppu, ody, churulan and few snake boats participate.

Top places to stay nearby lake Vembanad:

  • Golden Valley residency- 4.2 km from Vembanad lake
  • Luxury houseboat- 4 km from Vembanad lake
  • Dune Homestay- 7.5 km  from Vembanad lake
  • Paradise Boutique Resort- 8.6 km  from Vembanad lake
  • Club Mahindra Arookutty, Alleppey- 6.9 km  from Vembanad lake

 Activities to Do in Vembanad Lake:

  • Sunset cruise by motor boat or houseboat.
  • Speed boat cruise in Vembanad lake.
  • Go along with a fisherman (advance booking required).
  • Ride along the coconut trees & paddy fields.

Know the Best Time to Visit Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom:

November to March is the best time to visit this Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom, Kerala. At this time, the weather is very pleasant to explore the outdoors.

  • Open Days: Open all days
  • Visit Duration: 4 to 5 hours
  • Timing: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Entry Fee: Free to All
  • Photography: Allowed

Also Read: 30 Places To Visit In Wayanad To Witness Nature’s Beauty


  • Shopping:- Souvenirs, handicrafts.
  • Activities:-Houseboat cruise, houseboat stay, fishing, photography
  • Adventure:-Watersports.
  • Relaxation:-Sit back and enjoy the houseboat cruise through the Vembanad lake.
  • Famous for:-Scenic beauty, houseboat cruise, bird sanctuary, photography, experience   seekers, picnic.

Also Read: Top 20 Places To Visit In Thekkady

How to Reach Lake Vembanad


For the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom tour, you can reach it by following means of transport:-

  • By Air: The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport which is at a distance of 82 kilometres from the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom.
  • By Rail: The nearest railway station is Kottayam Railway Station which is at a distance of 13.4 kilometres from the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom.
  • By Road: As it is situated on state highway SH-42, KSRTC buses, Private buses and taxis are easily available to reach the Vembanad lake.


With its stunning waters and networks of beautiful lagoons, Vembanad Lake should be on your list as the preferred boating destination in Kerala. The Lake offers fantastic views and the chance to enjoy an intimate and authentic experience of the Kerala backwaters. 

There’s no place like the Lake to forget about your busy life, if only for a short while. A few days spent in its relaxing surroundings are guaranteed to rejuvenate and bring you back to life! So plan now !!

Also read: The Complete Guide To Visiting Kerala In June 2024

Is Vembanad Lake a backwater?

Yes, Lake Vembanad is indeed considered a backwater. Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes, and lagoons, primarily found along the coast of Kerala, India. These water bodies, including Vembanad Lake, are formed by the action of waves and shore currents, creating a unique ecosystem that supports diverse flora and fauna. Vembanad Lake is one of the largest and most significant backwaters in Kerala, attracting tourists from around the world.

Why is Vembanad Lake famous?

Vembanad Lake is famous for several reasons like size and beauty, ecological importance, backwater tourism, nehru trophy Vembanad Lake boating, and cultural significance.

Is Vembanad Lake Lagoon lake?

Yes, Lake Vembanad is the largest lagoon lake in Kerala as well as in India and covers a significant portion of the Kerala backwaters. Lagoon lakes are typically characterised by being shallow bodies of water separated from the ocean by barrier islands or sandbars. Vembanad Lake Kerala fits this description of a typical lagoon lake as it is separated from the Arabian Sea by a series of barrier islands, forming a biodiverse ecosystem.

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