Akkulam Backwaters: A Hidden Gem in Kerala’s Natural Landscape
Kerala, the southernmost state of India, is renowned for its enchanting backwaters and serene natural landscapes. Among the numerous backwater destinations in Kerala, Akkulam Backwaters is a lesser-known gem that offers a tranquil escape for those seeking to explore the state’s scenic beauty away from the crowds. In this article, we will take a closer look at Akkulam Backwaters, its location, attractions, and why it’s worth a visit.
Location and Geography
Akkulam Backwaters are situated just 8 kilometers from the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. This proximity to the capital makes it easily accessible for both tourists and locals. The backwaters are formed by the Akkulam Lake, a man-made reservoir, and they are connected to the Arabian Sea through a canal.
The Akkulam Backwaters area covers approximately 15 acres and is surrounded by lush greenery, making it a picturesque location to explore.
Attractions and Activities
1. Boating: One of the primary attractions at Akkulam Backwaters is boating. Visitors can rent paddleboats, rowboats, or speedboats to explore the calm waters of the lake. Boating is not only a fun activity but also an excellent way to soak in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
2. **Children’s Park**: The Akkulam Tourist Village, located adjacent to the backwaters, features a well-maintained children’s park. It is an ideal spot for families, and children can enjoy a variety of rides and play equipment.
3. **Picnicking**: The backwaters area is a favorite spot for picnicking among locals and tourists alike. You can bring your own picnic supplies or buy snacks from the stalls available in the vicinity.
4. **Birdwatching**: Bird enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse avian population that frequents the Akkulam Backwaters. Bring your binoculars and enjoy some birdwatching as you spot various species of waterfowl and migratory birds.
5. **Relaxation**: The serene atmosphere and the gentle lapping of water against the shore make Akkulam Backwaters an excellent place to unwind. Many visitors come here simply to relax, read a book, or meditate amidst the natural beauty.
6. **Nature Walks**: The surrounding greenery and well-maintained pathways provide an opportunity for pleasant nature walks. It’s a great way to stretch your legs and explore the flora and fauna of the area.
7. **Fishing**: Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck in the Akkulam Lake. However, it’s essential to adhere to local regulations and obtain any necessary permits.
**Akkulam Backwaters’ Cultural Significance**
Akkulam Backwaters hold cultural importance for the local population as well. The serene and tranquil ambiance of the place makes it a perfect setting for various events and festivals. The Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) often hosts cultural programs and festivals here, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience Kerala’s traditional art forms, music, and dance.
1. **Best Time to Visit**: The best time to visit Akkulam Backwaters is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the skies are clear.
2. **Entry Fee**: There may be a nominal entry fee for entering the Akkulam Tourist Village, where the backwaters are located.
3. **Boating Timings**: Boating is generally available from morning until evening. It’s advisable to check the operating hours and availability of boats in advance.
4. **Respect Local Customs**: As with any tourist destination, it’s essential to respect local customs and regulations, including maintaining the cleanliness of the area.
Akkulam Backwaters may not be as famous as some of Kerala’s more prominent backwater destinations, but it offers a peaceful and scenic escape for nature lovers and families. Its proximity to Thiruvananthapuram makes it a convenient day trip or a short excursion during your Kerala visit. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Akkulam Backwaters has something to offer, making it a hidden gem worth exploring in “God’s Own Country.”