Rivers and Lakes in Kerala

Kerala, the South Western state of Indian Peninsula can be rightly called the land of waterbodies with numerous majestic waterfalls and calm backwaters, 34 lakes with sparkling azure and emerald waters, and 49 rain-fed rivers with copious tributaries and distributaries flowing through the land.

Kerala is a natural paradise for nature admirers and there is no dearth of biodiversity in this state which boosts about not only its waterbodies but also other geographical features like hills, valleys and golden beaches.

Backwaters: The Backwaters consists of lakes and coves of oceans which straggle out in the land. The largest backwater is the Vembanad Lake which stretches out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin Port. The other important backwaters are Anjingo, Veli, Edava, Kadinakulam, Madayara, Kayamkulam, Paravoor, Kodungallur, Ashtamudi and Chetwa.

Lakes: The34 lakes in Kerala can be classified geographically into three categories. The first kind moves parallel to the riverbank and is edged by the sandbank. The second type has land at its frontage and the third type flows almost at right angles to the bank of the river. A large number of these lakes form superb destinations for backwater tours in Kerala. The still waters of the serene lakes offer a feeling of tranquility amidst nature and one seems to get lost in the world of his own thoughts. The most significant and famous lakes are -

Rivers and Lakes Map of Kerala

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Kerala is a natural paradise for nature admirers and there is no dearth of biodiversity in this state which boosts about not only its waterbodies but also other geographical features like hills, valleys and golden beaches.

Backwaters: The Backwaters consists of lakes and coves of oceans which straggle out in the land. The largest backwater is the Vembanad Lake which stretches out into the Arabian Sea at Cochin Port. The other important backwaters are Anjingo, Veli, Edava, Kadinakulam, Madayara, Kayamkulam, Paravoor, Kodungallur, Ashtamudi and Chetwa.

Lakes: The34 lakes in Kerala can be classified geographically into three categories. The first kind moves parallel to the riverbank and is edged by the sandbank. The second type has land at its frontage and the third type flows almost at right angles to the bank of the river. A large number of these lakes form superb destinations for backwater tours in Kerala. The still waters of the serene lakes offer a feeling of tranquility amidst nature and one seems to get lost in the world of his own thoughts. The most significant and famous lakes are -

Sasthamkotta Lake - Situated 19 km from the Kollam town, the Sasthamkotta Lake is one of its kind in the state of Kerala. It is a freshwater lake spread over a huge area of 375 hectares. The highlight of this lake is that it neither gets frozen during the winter season nor does it dries up in the summers. Throughout the year, the freshwater of this lake provides clean drinking water for around 10 million people. For tourists, it is not just the scenic beauty and tranquility of the lake that is attractive; rather there is something else as well. An ancient Sastha temple stands on its shore which is major draw for pilgrims to Kerala

Vembanad Lake - This freshwater lake is situated 12 km west of Kottayam and is internally connected with a number of rivers and canals. Tourists can have loads of excitement by cruising in the lake and enjoying the blissful beauty of the lake.

The Ashtamudi Lake - This is another significant lake in Kerala that exhibits an idyllic beauty that is very pleasing to our eyes. The Ashtamudhi Lake has eight channels and hence it has this name. The lake looks unique with the Cheena Vala, the famous Chinese fishing net in its background. You can head towards the Kollam backwaters by sailing dreamily in a boat as you will be enchanted by its spell-binding beauty.

Akkulam Lake - This Lake is situated at a little distance from Thiruvananthapuram. This lake is an ideal site for a private picnic and there is also a children's park adjacent to it. Tourists love lounging at the park and sitting lazily by the cool waters.

Pookot Lakes - This pristine lake, bounded by gigantic mountains is located at a distance of 3 km from south of Vythiri town.. Boating in the Pookot Lake is a delightful experience. Besides there is also a freshwater aquarium with a large number of multi-colored fish, a children's park and a shopping centre for handiworks and spices.

River: There are 49 rivers flowing in the state of Kerala, among them 46 flows to the west and the other 3 flow to the east. They evolve from Western Ghats and rush towards the west into the Arabian Sea. All these rivers are rain-fed, non-perrenial Rivers that are short and are transformed into streams during summer season. The most significant rivers from north to south are-
  • Valapattanam River(110 kms.)
  • Chaliar (69 kms.)
  • Kadalundipuzha(130 kms.)
  • Bharathapuzha (209 kms.)
  • Chalakudy River (130 kms.)
  • Periyar (244 kms)
  • Pamba (176 kms)
  • Achancoil(128 kms.)
  • Kalladayar(121 kms.)
Besides these, there are more 35 small rivulets and rivers that flow down from the Western Ghats and most of these rivers are crossable up to the midland region and thus provide the means of economic transport for boats, ferries and etc.

The existence of these rivers in abundant numbers has made Kerala a resourceful state and Kerala has been able to harness a lot of Hydro- electric power through its waterbodies.

Last Updated on : 12/31/2012