Sasthamkotta

Sasthamkotta Lake Kerala

Sasthamkotta Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Kerala, is beautified by green valleys and chilly hills that surround from three sides. The lake located about 29-km away from Kollam, can be reached easily with an hour's drive from Kollam town or one and a half hours from Thiruvananthapuram international airport. The lake, set in the midst of hills and valleys, is doubtlessly an awesome tourist destination in Kerala.

If Kerala is renowned as God's own Land owing to its matchless beauty, Sasthamkotta Lake has all the rights to be called the 'Queen of Lakes'. Tourists who visit Sasthamkotta Lake is excited to see the beauty and charm of the forests and the hills.

Containing lower or least amounts of salt, metals or minerals that are normally found in other lakes, Sasthamkotta Lake becomes an abode for a wide variety of fresh water fish. A boating on the lake would be sufficient enough for the tourists to see them.

While visiting Sasthamkotta Lake, the tourists fall in love with the lake's beauty offered by the coconut palms that stand in line on the banks of the lake.

Sastha Temple

Rather than merely being a tourist site, Sasthamkotta is one of the top Hindu pilgrim centers in Kerala. The presence of an ancient temple called Sastha Temple from which the land received its name Shasthamkottta, is one of the major pilgrim-pullers here.

The Sastha Temple which is dedicated to two deities - Lord Ganesha (also spelled Lord Ganesh) and Lord Ayyappa, the surrounding forests and hills, monkeys, etc. are deeply related to Hindu beliefs and mythology.

Unlike normal monkeys, the monkeys at  in Sasthamkotta forests are given a holy-image as they are believed to stand with the ruling deity the Dharmasastha as his close aides. Relying on mythology that hails the monkeys to be holy, the pilgrims who come to Shasthamkotta take special care in feeding the monkeys here.

How To Reach

Nearest railway station:- Sasthamkotta railway station.
Nearest Airport: - Thiruvananthapuram International Airport

   
  Sasthamkotta Lake, also categorized as a wetland, is the largest fresh water lake in Kerala. The lake is named after the ancient Sastha temple (a pilgrimage center) located on its bank. It is surrounded by hills on all sides except south where a bund has been constructed separating the lake from the neighboring rice fields. The present area of the lake is 375 ha since large part of the lake is occupied for agriculture. The lake is used for fishing. The source of water is from the underground sprouts. The lake has a capacity to hold 22390 million litres of water and serves as the source of drinking water for half a million people of Kollam district. The purity of the lake water for drinking use is attributed to the presence of large population of larva called cavaborus that consumes bacteria in the lake water. The wetland supports 27 species of freshwater fishes and two genera of prawns. The lake is a designated wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention since November 2002.

The lake is slowly dying owing to many reasons, including alarming decrease in water level and pollution of the lake water. It is seen that large tracts of land around the lake have been cleared off trees and people are undertaking paddy, plantain and tapioca cultivation over here. Illegal sand mining in West Kallada River flowing very near the lake is one of the causes for the fall in the lake's water level. A recent investigation by the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) had revealed that the lake was losing its water level at an alarming rate of 1 cm per day. Agricultural and domestic wastes from surrounding areas entering the lake cause lake pollution. Other major threats include reclamation of the land adjacent to the lake for agricultural purpose. 

The Kerala State Government prepared a Conservation and Management Action Plan (MAP) in 1999 for the Lake’s sustainable utilization and conservation and to address the threats faced by the lake. Financial support was sought from the Central Government under the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP). The forest department has planted trees to prevent soil erosion at some places along the embankments. Efforts had been made to control cultivation along the banks of the lake. It was proposed to rejuvenate the lake fishery by ranching with the seeds of indigenous fishes especially pearl spot. The centre granted an amount Rs. 3.4 lakhs to FIRMA (State Fisheries Resource Management Society) for the implementation of the project. The project is under progress according to the government source. The Kollam based NGO Paristhithi-Samrakshana Ekopana Samithi is working actively to restore the lake. According to them the condition of the lake is deteriorating day by day. They alleged that although the state government had promised to constitute a statutory authority for the conservation of the lake by coordinating the activities of Forest, Revenue, Panchayat and Water Resources Department—no action has been taken till date. The NGO has planned a convention in the last week of May to save the lake. 

  

   
 
 
  PEOPLE  
     
 
Government

State Fisheries Resource Management Society (FIRMA)
TC-28/2817, 
Kuthiravattom Road, 
Chettikulangara Ayurveda College Junction
Thiruvananthapuram
India-695 001
Phone: +(471)-(.)-2574667

NGO 

Sasthamkotta Lake Protection Action Council
Contact person: Sabuji ( Convener )
Ph: 09495055581

 

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