KERALA – The Great Backwaters
A world shaped by 44 Rivers, 34 lakes and innumerable Canals.
The great backwaters comprise an intricate network of lakes, canals, estuaries and deltas of forty-four rivers that drain in to the Arabian sea. The important stretch of this unique water world is the 168 km expanse from Kollam to kottapuram, declared as a national Waterway.
The most beautiful and popular part of the backwaters, the Vembanad Lake spans several districts in Kerala. The Longest lake in India and Largest in Kerala, the Vembanad Lake is approximately 14km wide at its broadest point. The total area drained by lake is 15,770 sq km, which accounts for 40% of the area of Kerala.
Fed by 10 Rivers including the six major rivers of central Kerala namely Achenkovil, manimala, Meenachil, muvatupuzha, Pamba and Periyar, it boasts of a rich bio-diversity.
So called because of its arms of channels, Ashtamudi Lake is the gateway to the backwaters. This 16km long lake is the second largest in Kerala, with numerous navigable canals and rivers interconnecting almost all the regions of South Kerala. The Ashtamudi is also home to several endangered marine species.