Ashtamudi Lake in Kerala offers one of the best backwaters experience that the South Indian state is so well known for. Part of a river with little or no current, the backwaters lie parallel to the Arabian Sea Coast – an environment conducive to fishing.
As in Cochin, the fishermen here use Chinese fishing nets to haul in their catch, rather than going out to sea in huge boats. While the big fish might elude them, prawns and smaller fish that do take the bait are enough to eke out a living. As an impartial observer, it seems like a more eco-friendly and less labor intensive way of fishing to me.
When the fishermen pull their nets out of the water in the morning, herons, crows and other birds flock to them for an easy breakfast. To ensure that the fishermen’s interests are protected, water sports are restricted and private resorts or hotels are permitted to operate their boats for leisure activities during certain hours only.
Ashtamudi gets fewer tourists than Alleppey and Kumarakom, mainly on account of fewer accommodation options, which makes it an ideal spot for people who’re looking for peace and quiet. I certainly prefer that. What about you?