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Kerala going for more houseboats to boost tourism at Ashtamudi Lake

Kerala will promote houseboats to showcase the beauty of Ashtamudi lake (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@IndianDiplomay)

Kerala’s Ashtamudi lake located in the Kollam region which is known for its scenic wetlands, mangroves and diverse plants and birds does not have enough houseboats for tourists to enjoy these attractions.

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

Called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala, Ashtamudi boasts of 43 species of marshy and mangrove associates including two endangered ones while it supports 57 types of birds, including six which are migratory. Herons, plovers, terns and cormorants are found in plenty here. There are also 45 insect and 26 butterfly species found here.

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Munroe Island, one of the many which dot the Ashtamudi Lake (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@anandhuvnair)

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

On January 14 the campaign will culminate with the houseboats taking the tourists on a cruise along the lake. They will be served special and authentic seafood that will include fresh catch from the backwaters while traditional art forms will be performed for their entertainment.

During evening, nearing sunset these houseboats will be lit up with traditional lanterns and dot the Ashtamudi lake making it picturesque. The visitors will then release eco-friendly earthen lamps on the lake.

The entire campaign will be documented so that it can be shown to both domestic and international tourists. It is expected that visitors who enjoy this new approach to backwater tourism will spread the word around to make the place a tourist attraction.

Further the whole experience will be eco-friendly as biodegradable materials will be used and visitors will also be encouraged to do the same.

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Tourists will enjoy the flora and fauna of Ashtapadi Lake and also the life of villages on the islands that dot it (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@mkvenkit)