Vembanad Lake (Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol) is the largest lake in Kerala, India.
It covers an area of 200 km², and bordered by Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. The lake lies at sea level, and is separated from the Arabian Sea by a narrow barrier island. Canals link the lake to coastal lakes to the north and south. Several rivers flow into the lake, including the Achenkovil, Manimala, Meenachilaru, Muvattupuzha, Pamba and Periyar. The lake surrounds the islands of Pathiramanal, Perumbalam and Pallippuram.
The Vembanad Lake , Kumarakom (16 km from Kottayam town): Kottayam is a vast network of rivers and canals which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Lake Kumarakom . The lake, an enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, provides boating, fishing and sightseeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Kumarakom Tourist Village offers houseboat cruises and holiday packages. The serene lake comes alive during Onam with a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races. It is indeed amazing to watch oarsmen, at least a hundred in one boat, slice their way through the waters to the fast rhythm of their own full throated singing.
The port of Kochi (Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. The town of Alapuzha (also known as Allepey), is sometimes called the "Venice of the East" for its large network of canals that meander through the town. The Vallam Kali (the Snake Boat Race) held every year in August is a major attraction.
Vembanad Lake Kumarakom is designated a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.