Vellayani – Our lifeline!
If you are in Trivandrum, you need not always go to the hills and hill stations or beaches to spend your holidays and to take a break from the city life.
For the city dwellers of the capital city, a day by the lake side is magical; we go there, get refreshed and come back, once in a month at least! Vellayani constitutes an integral part of nostalgia for people from Trivandrum, especially the city dwellers. The place and name of the lake is the same.
Dear to behold
What makes Vellayani and its magnificent lake special? Vellayani Lake is the largest fresh water lake in the capital city. It is one of those rain-fed lakes in Kerala.
If you have any plans to visit Kovalam, it would be a great idea to add Vellayani in your itinerary and make it an extended holiday, because the place is just 7 kms from the beach. It is also referred to as “Kochu Kovalam’ by the locals, which means “Little Kovalam”.
The place was quite popular as vacation spot even during the reign of erstwhile kingdom of Travancore. Till 1950s, the lake was used solely for the purpose of growing lotus flowers, for offering at Lord Padmanabha Swamy temple.
The renowned college of Agriculture is also situated here. Established in 1955, it is one of the best centers of agricultural studies in the country, offering variety of specializations like animal husbandry and plant pathology.
Natyashram, the dance academy run by dancing exponent Daksha Seth is also situated on the bank of the placid lake. The place in itself is a sight to behold. The low cost construction of the school adds beauty to the environment and still it stands out from the rest, beautifully etched out of the surroundings like a sculpture.
The vellayani Devi temple is one of the most famous temples in Kerala and the Goddess’s shrine here is highly revered by the Hindu community. The temple serves as the best example of Dravidian architecture with ‘Gopurams’, which you can hardly see in other temples of Kerala. This is an integral part of temples of other states of South India, though that prominent in Kerala.
A Complete Package
Usually, after reaching Trivandrum people travel to other nearby districts to get a glimpse of backwaters. What I suggest is, it would be great if you go to other places like Allepey or Kollam if you want to relax and enjoy the waters for a long time, say more than a day. But if you are in Trivandrum and plans to get a glimpse of everything, stay back in the city and take a tour of it. It would be a mixed sundae of everything, beach, hills, museums, zoo and Vellayani lake would be for sure the cherry on the top.
How To Reach
Vellayani is well connected by roads, both the state transport and private buses run in this route. The nearest bus station as well as railway station is in Thampanoor.
This article is authored by Janu Narayan who is one of the authors of the blog Kerala Ayurveda.