Vellayani Lake – Largest Freshwater Lake in Trivandrum
By all means, Vellayani Lake is the largest lake in the capital district of God's Own Country. It is locally known as Vellayani Kayal (Malayalam). Coincidentally, it is also the largest freshwater lake in Thiruvananthapuram district. The happy news is that the lake has not been touched by modernity and commercialism. This is the reason by people visiting the capital city of the state make it a point to visit this place despite its absence in the Kerala Tourism Map rolled out by the government of the state.
Situated at a distance of 9 kilometres from the Trivandrum City centre, Vellayani Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, It can be reached by road at any point in time as there are many buses plying to that location. It is just 7 kilometres away from famous Kovalam Beach through Poonkulam junction. A few years ago, a road was laid across the lake with the help of a bund. This road offers an unfettered view of the unblemished lake to the nature lovers. Since there is no sign of construction activities, the areas around it have remained unspoilt. Hence, the lake has become a tourist attraction for the people. However, the size of the lake is slowly shrinking with passing years. Few years ago, the lake was spread to an area close to 750 hectares. Now, its size is reduced to half its original size mainly due to the encroachment of the land by the growing population. Moreover, due to the releasing of the industrial effluents from the industries have started spoiling the ambiance around the lake.
Salient Features of the Lake
Its crystal clear water offers cooling and serene environment for the visitors. The lake offers spectacular view during the moonlit nights. The locals living in the western side of the lake call that portion as Kochu Kovalam or tiny Kovalam. The water from the lake is used for the irrigation and drinking water purposes. Though there are no tourist facilities available in the vicinity of the lake, many people make it a point to visit this picturesque place to imbibe its beauty and its serene surroundings. Due to the absence of accommodation and other related tourism supporting facilities, it is advisable for the visitors to spend not more than 2 hours in the vicinity of the lake. This is due to the fact that the devastating effects of real estate business has not breached its serene surroundings. The road running across the lake offers a beautiful view of the lake from close quarters. A visit to this lake early in the morning provides a refreshing view of nature. Hence, locals make it a point to visit the lake early in the morning in guise of morning walking.
Activities on Banks of Lake
Boat races are conducted every year in this lake during the time of Onam festival. Moreover, religious people also throng this place due to the presence of two pilgrim centres. They are Vishnu temple and Devi temple. Of these two, the Devi temple situated on the bank of the lake is quite famous in the southern part of Kerala. The festival conducted in this temple brings lot of people from different parts of the southern part of Kerala. People can enjoy the fresh air in its vicinity in cool and comfortable environment near the lake.