Kerala going for more houseboats to boost tourism at Ashtamudi Lake

Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala, a lake in the Kollam region known for its scenic wetlands, mangroves and various plants and birds, does not have enough houseboats for tourists to enjoy these attractions.

This is set to change as the State Tourism Department along with houseboat owners and operators will showcase Ashtamudi’s backwater attractions to tourists.

Ashtamudi is called the coastal gateway of Kerala, has 43 species of marsh and mangroves, including two endangered ones, while supporting 57 species of birds, including six migratory ones. Herons, oystercatchers, terns and cormorants abound here. 45 species of insects and 26 species of butterflies are also found here.

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Munroe Island, one of the many that dot Ashtamudi Lake (photo courtesy Twitter/@anandhuvnair)

The comprehensive campaign called Ariyam Ashtamudiye (Let’s know Ashstamudi) will highlight the biodiversity of wetlands and mangrove forests; village life on the islands dotting the lagoon; and ethnic events and arts to develop as a major retreat destination.

The campaign will end on January 14 with houseboats taking tourists on a cruise across the lake. They will serve unique and authentic seafood, while incorporating fresh catch from the shore to entertain traditional artists.

In the evening, at sunset, these boats will be lit up with traditional lanterns and splash the Ashtamudi Lake. Visitors will then release eco-friendly earthen lamps in the lake.

The entire campaign will be documented to be shown to local and international tourists. Visitors who enjoy this new approach to underwater tourism are expected to expand the site to become a tourist attraction.

In addition, the whole experience will be ecological, as biodegradable materials will be used and visitors will be encouraged to do the same.

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Tourists will enjoy the flora and fauna of Ashtapadi Lake and also enjoy the village life of the islands that make up it (Photo courtesy Twitter/@mkvenkit)

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