Ashtamudi Lake (Ashtamudi Kayal), in the Kollam District of the Indian state of Kerala, is the most visited backwater and lake in the state. It possesses a unique wetland ecosystem and a large palm-shaped (also described as octopus-shaped) water body. The Ashtamudi Lake (in native language - Ashtamudi Kayal) is the second largest wetland ecosystem in Kerala. The term Ashtamudi, deriving from two Sanskrit words - 'Ashta' and 'Mudi' with meaning 'eight' and 'cone' respectively, gets the literal meaning "Eight Coned." For its name, the palm-shaped Ashtamudi Lake, however, owes a lot to its topography blessed with the Kallada River and its three tributaries viz. Chenthurnipuzha, Kalthuruthipuzha, and Kulathupuzha. The lake is a confluence of these three tributaries is rightly called the gateway to the Kerala backwaters. Ashtamudi Wetland was included in the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.
Luxury houseboat in the backwaters Along both banks of the lake and its backwater canals, coconut groves and palm trees interspersed with towns and villages are seen. Kollam, (formerly Quilon) is an important historic port city located on the right bank of the lake. Boat cruises are operated by the Kollam Boat Club from Kollam to Alappuzha providing transport access to many other towns and villages along this route. Luxury houseboats also operate on the lake. The boat journey is an 8-hour trip, winds through lakes, canals and water bound villages, and gives complete exposure to the beauty of the backwaters of Ashtamudi Lake. Chinese fishing nets, called cheena vala in Malayalam, are used by local fisherman and are a common sight along the waterway. The beauty and strength of any sculpture depend on the medium used to create it. Consisting of the depth, breadth, life, pulse, and beauty of the lake on is an exhilarating experience with deep valleys and views all around. Reaching Vagamon itself involves traversing a meandering road that is cut in the solid rock and lined with pine forests.
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