Sasthamcotta Lake, a Ramsar site & the Largest Fresh Water Lake in Kerala
Sasthamcotta Lake is the largest fresh water lake at Sasthamcotta, in Kollam district, Kerala state, India. It is declared as a Ramsar site and a wetland of international importance, under the Ramsar Convention. It is spread over an area of 375 hectares.
Sasthamcotta Lake is named after the Sastha temple, located on the banks of the lake. Cavaborus Larva consumes the bacteria found in the lake waters and thus purify the water. The lake waters are the main source of drinking water to Kollam City.
Except for an earthen embankment on the southern side of the lake having a length of 1.5 kilometers, all other sides of the lakes are surrounded by hills. Varkala formations are observed along the coastal beds in the state of Kerala. Varkala Geological formations are believed to be formed 66 million to 2.6 million years ago.
Fishing in the lake is allowed and is a major source of income for the local people. Neendakara fishing harbor, a major fishing harbor in the state, is situated at around 20 kilometers from Sasthamcotta.
This lake is habitat to 27 species of freshwater fishes and two species of prawns. 21 species of herrings and sardines are also found in this lake waters.
There are no visible tributaries feeding Sasthamcotta Lake; though it is situated at very close proximity to Kallada river. Sasthamcotta Lake is situated on the northern side of Ashtamudi Lake, the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Ashtamudi Lake is another Ramsar site and the second largest backwater in the state of Kerala.
How Do I Go to Sasthamcotta Lake?
Sasthamcotta Lake is at around 27 kilometers from Kollam city. This town and lake is also known as Sasthamkotta Lake or Sasthankotta Lake.
Sasthamcotta lake is easily accessible by road. It is situated on the side of National Highway 183A, which connects Titanium Dioxide Factory Junction at Chavera to Vandiperiyar; via Adoor, Pathanamthitta, Angamoozhy, Kakki, Gavi. At Chavra, NH 183A joins with NH 66 (Panvel- Kanyakumari National Highway). At Vandiperiyar, NH 183A merges with NH 183.
Karunagappally railway station is the nearest railway station to the lake; very few trains stops here. Kollam junction railway station is the nearest major railway station to Sasthamcotta.