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If heaven can claim a piece of land on earth, definitely it would be the breathtaking VEMBANAD LAKE and its surroundings!!!

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Kerala backwaters are a chain of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the ARABIAN SEA coast. The BACKWATER network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and virtually half the length of Kerala. The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats

Kerala Backwaters are a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets, system formed by more than 900 km of waterways. In the midst of this landscape there are a number of towns and cities, which serve as the starting and end points of backwater cruises. National Waterway No. 3 from Quilon to Kottapuram via Alleppey and Kumarakom covers a distance of 205 km and runs almost parallel to the coast line of southern Kerala facilitating both cargo movement and backwater tourism.

The backwaters have a unique ecosystem - freshwater from rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea. In certain areas, such as the Vembanad Lake (Kayal), where a barrage has been built, known as THANNERMUKKOM BUND across VaikomKayal. Salt water from the sea is prevented from entering the deep inside, keeping the fresh water intact. Such fresh water is extensively used for houseboat tourism, fishing & irrigation purposes

Many unique species of aquatic life, water birds and animals live in and alongside the backwaters. Palm trees, shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape.

Vembanad Lake orVembanadKayal is the largest of the lakes, covering an area of 200 km2, and bordered by Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. Alleppey, "Venice of the East", has a large network of canals that meander through the town. Vembanad is India's longest lake.Kumarakom is a place with green paddy fields, winding canals, birds, resorts and lagoons

Kerala backwaters have been used for centuries by the local people for transportation, fishing and agriculture. It has supported the efforts of the local people to earn a livelihood. In more recent times, agricultural efforts have been strengthened with reclamation of some backwater lands for rice growing, particularly in the Kuttanad area. Boat making has been a traditional craft, so has been the coir industry.

Paddy fields in the Kuttanad region at a level lower than that of water in the canal.

Kuttanad is crisscrossed with backwater waterways that run alongside extensive paddy fields. A unique feature of Kuttanad is that many of these fields are below sea level and are surrounded by earthen embankments. The crops are grown on the low-lying ground and irrigated with fresh water from canal and waterways connected to Vembanad Lake. The area is similar to the "dikes" of the Netherlands where land has been reclaimed from the sea and crops are grown.

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