Head to Nedungolam in Kollam for a refreshing rendezvous with nature

Head to Nedungolam in Kollam for a refreshing rendezvous with nature

The natural settings of Nedungolam are surreal with placid waters, lush greenery and tranquillity punctuated only by the chirping of the birds. This hidden gem is situated near the spot where the Ithikkara River flows into the Paravur Lake in Kollam district. The striking feature of Nedungolam, which is 6km into the Chathanoor-Paravur route, is the well-pruned, that too by nature, meters-long mangrove wall. The boat ride through the waters tightly hugged by verdant mangroves is something special.

One can start the boat ride from the Vadakemukkekadavu and meander through the tranquil waters with the mangroves forming a perfect canopy over you. As you move forward by enjoying the wonders of nature, you could find a small temple with Vishnu as the main deity on an island in the middle of the river. This place of worship is known as Amavattam Temple (ama means tortoise) and got its name, it is believed, after a tortoise that was present on the island till recently.

Small and large patches of lush green mangroves make the entire place idyllic and enchanting, to say the least. It is indeed interesting to note that lot of fish could be found in the water under the mangroves as the mangrove forest is a perfect breeding ground for fish. Rightly, the mangroves are known as the rain forests of the ocean and the coastal forests provide habitat for fish and other aquatic species.

At first sight, you might get a feeling that a huge black cloak is covering three or four trees in the region but a close look would reveal that the trees are flowing with colonies of bats.

As you snake through the canal that branch out of the river, you can see the majestic Paravur Lake in the distance and while boating through the canal, you should be careful of the hanging mangrove branches. The ‘Eagle Island’, which is replete with black kites and ‘Krishna parunthu’, is near the mouth of the canal. The island got its name as hundreds of eagles could be found in the area. One could also see patches of bamboo forests on the sides of the canal.

A 13-meter tall mangrove wall, which is a spectacle of nature, will greet as you glide forward through the waters. There are three or four arches through which one can go through the green wall and this is the ‘Center of Island’, the main attraction of Nedungolam.

Natural tunnels

Two tunnels, one big and the other small, will take you to the lake. Don’t get the notion that these tunnels are made of bricks and mortar as they are well-formed mangrove tunnels. And these natural tunnels are the tourists’ favourite ‘photo shoot point’. The mangroves are so thick that the blazing sun outside will struggle to penetrate the natural tunnels. The strong roots of the mangroves prevent land erosion and the mangroves act as a shield against strong winds. It is noteworthy that it is against law to destroy the roots, leaves and seeds of mangroves.

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