The Ashtamudi Lake, so named because of its eight 'arms' or channels is the gateway to the backwaters. Located in Kollam district, Ashtamudi is famed for its panoramic for its magnificent views.
There are coconut groves and palm trees all along the banks of the lake and the monotony is broken by the quiet town of Kollam. The Kollam Boat Club provides boats to cruise on the lake.
You can also go on a backwater cruise starting at Kollam and ending the journey at Alappuzha. Beside the coconut palms, all along the waterline one can see the famous Chinese Vala or the Chinese fishing nets.
The nearest airport is the Thiruvananthapuram International and Domestic Airport 76 km away from the city. Kollam is connected to most Indian cities and is on the railway routes. The city's main station is Kollam Junction.
Other Kerala Backwater Tour