Munroe Island & Ashtamudi Lake
One can reach Munroe Island by traveling just 27 km from Kollam, Kerala. The Kallada River and the backwaters of the Ashtamudi Lake together envelop the Munroe Island. This island got its name after the British Resident of Travancore State (former), Colonel Munroe. He seems to have had integrated a few backwater regions by means of digging canals. Moreover, the megaliths and Stone Age tools that were discovered stand as testimony to this islet’s antiquity that shelters a charming little village.
Munroe Island happens to be a cluster of 8 tiny islands amidst the Ashtamudi Lake. It is located at the meeting place of the Kallada River and the Ashtamudi Lake. This place is a splendid sight indeed; lush green countryside decorated with lavishing coconut plantations — who wouldn’t love to look at it!
At the Munroe Island, you can watch the village life closely; a life that has been completely unaffected by the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The picturesque small village, surrounded by the Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, is home to numerous zigzag water channels and criss-cross canals. A cruise through the water bound villages, beautiful waterways and zigzag canals is nothing less than a feast for the eyes.
Besides offering a visual treat, what has the Munroe Island in store for you?
At the Munroe Island, one may get to experience coir making, hands on. Coir making is the home industry here. You can still see the women in the villages making coir using weaving wheels and coir ropes using just hands. The sight of the local men engaged in boat building, fishing, and sand mining is also likely to captivate one’s attention.
The island turns host to a number of migratory birds flying in from different countries, worldwide. Sighting birds like the woodpecker, kingfisher, crow pheasant, bee-eater, egret and paddy birds can be fascinating to anyone.
To add, you also get to see the traditional Indian spice plants like nutmeg, cloves, and pepper in their full glory and also get to enjoy their rich aroma. The process of extracting pure coconut oil from dried coconut or ‘copra’, as it is known locally and is a common sight in Munroe Island. One can also go check out prawn breeding and duck farming, which are some of the popular local engagements here.
The entire tour to the Munroe Island along the Ashtamudi Lake takes about three hours, gliding through the narrow & strikingly beautiful palm/coconut tree-lined channels. You can also travel in a canoe that can carry up to six passengers. The tourist guides here are generally knowledgeable about the birds, wildlife, plants and life of people here and hence can offer you a window and perspective to see the real local village life of the place. For your stay, it is best recommended that you choose the finest in the locality; some place like the Raviz Hotel that offers world class stays, comforts and facilities, skillfully cooked local cuisine/international and also some of the best views anyone has to offer.