Vembanad is quite simply, India’s longest lake. It is a staggering 96 kms in length and 14 kms wide in width. It is also less popular than Alappuzha and this is surprising becasue this lake is a marvel to look at. Vembanad Lake is surrounded by Cochin, Alappuzha and Kottayam. To experience the best of Vembanad, book a hotel near its banks at Kottayam. Travel booking websites provide lucrative discounts at the best hotels. After all, Kottayam Railway Station to Vembanad is a 15-km drive.
Best Options at near Vembanad Lake: A houseboat at Vembanad can cost Rs 12000-20000 for a 1 day & 1 night stay. Our expert advice: Book a hotel by the lake and rent a boat out for 2-3 hours. Late morning, say 11 am-1 pm is a good time to explore the lake. You can have lunch by one of the lake’s tranquil banks. The restaurant rates are usually very reasonable around Kerala. We suggest you go for Kerala traditional meals. It is always advisable to eat at a local restaurant, rather than the hotel especially if the hotel is charging exorbitantly. For local delicacies, search for wholesale shops near Kottayam Railway Station.
Carry a good camera with ample zoom. Breathtaking photo opportunities are many. Water hyacinth has certainly marred the lake’s beauty. But the lake still teems with birds and marine life. Cormorants, sea gulls and endless flocks of migratory birds are a common sight here.
Houseboats at Vembanad: For a budget houseboat experience, opt for an old houseboat. A couple can get a 1 day & 1 night stay for as low as Rs 4000. This includes lunch, snacks, dinner, and morning breakfast. Locals do speak in English and ample Hindi. Knowing a bit of Malayalam will certainly be handy though.
Among Kerala‘s underrated tourist spots, Vembanad is a must-visit. December to February is a good time to visit. Check out the coconut-lined shoreline, the clean air and wide open sky at Vembanad. You won’t be disappointed.