A gateway to the backwaters, Ashtamudi Lake is the most popular place in Kollam, which is surrounded by lush green trees and swaying coconut palms. This 16 km long lake is the second largest lake in Kerala, which has found its way into the sea through the Neendakara estuary. This place is so beautiful that tourists from different parts of the country and abroad, visit this natural paradise to catch a glimpse of one of many splendours of Ashtamudi. A lot of tourists come here to experience boat ride, which gives a glimpse of village life, natural habitat, and abundant flora. This lake is known for its panoramic beauty and eight channels that connects to one lake. It is because of its eight 'arms' or channels, that the lake is named Ashtamudi.
The boat ride here is offered by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) Kollam. The tourists often take a ride between Kollam and Alappuzha, which is one of the most popular and longest backwater cruises in Kerele. This magical eight hour journey will give you an unforgettable experience of the stunning coconut groves, palm trees, red cliffs, and more. The major river discharging into the Ashtamudi is the Kallada River, formed by the confluence of three other rivers, namely, Kulathupuzha, Chenduruni, and Kalthuruthy.
The famous Chinese fishing nets, which are laid on the water of the lake, is another attraction of Ashtamudi Lake. These nets are called Cheena Vala and they have former links with China. The best time to visit this picturesque destination is between August and March, when the weather is just perfect for a boat ride and the temperature is relatively low.