Saturday, June 17, 2006

Vembanad Lake

(Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Koil) is the largest lake in Kerala, India.

It covers an area of 200 km², and bordered by Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The lake lies at sea level, and is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow barrier island. Canals link the lake to coastal lakes to the north and south. Several rivers flow into the lake, including the Achenkovil, Manimala, Meenachil, Muvattupuzha, Pamba and Periyar. The lake surrounds the islands of Pathiramanal, Perumbalam and Pallippuram.

The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. The town of Alapuzha (also known as Allepey), is sometimes called the "Venice of the East" for its large network of canals that meander through the town. The Vallam Kali (the Snake Boat Race) held every year in August is a major attraction.

Vembanad Lake is designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

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