It is the first scientifically formed and preserved bird sanctuary in India, with about 180 species of birds. These include more than 90 species of migratory birds. The profuse bird life owes much to the location and the climatic peculiarities of the region. June to August is the best time of the year for bird watching. Migratory birds in huge numbers visit the sanctuary from November to February.
The rice bowl of Kerala, Kuttanad boasts of paddy fields, which are below sea level and are surrounded by earthen embankments. The crops are grown on the low-lying ground and irrigated with freshwater from canals and waterways connected to the Vembanad Lake. The area is similar to the dikes of the Netherlands where land has been reclaimed from the sea and crops are grown.
Kuttanad probably got its name from Karimadi Kuttan, a black statue of Buddha worshipped by locals, as the area was under the sway of Buddhism eons ago.
The Thanneermukkom Bund (Thanneermukkom Salt Water Barrier) was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme to prevent tidal action and intrusion of salt water into the Kuttanad lowlands across Vembanad Lake between Thanneermukkom in the South and Vechur in the North. It is the largest mud regulator in India. This barrier essentially divides the lake into two parts - one with perennial brackish water and the other with freshwater fed by the rivers draining into the lake. The construction of the bund also facilitates two crops of paddy in a year.
Alumkadavu, located north of Kollam district, is where the first houseboats in India were built. It is today a major centre for the construction of Kettuvalloms, which are later modified into houseboats for travellers.
Referred to as Venice of the East, Alappuzha with its vast network of lakes, lagoon and freshwater rivers is immensely beautiful. The venue for world-renowned snake boat races, Alappuzha is also famous for its marine products and coir industry.
One of the finest natural harbours in the world, Kochi is more popularly known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. Kochi is a place with deep roots in history and its streets exude an old-world charm; a place with beautiful monuments and a variety of linguistic and ethnic communities like the Jews.