Palakkari is a haven of delicious fish delicacies which beckons seafood lovers to try out some of the most delectable preparations. The fish farm of the Matsyafed at Kaatikunnil in the Chembu village on the Vaikom-Ernakulam route has an array of unique sights in store for the visitors. If you are looking for a place to enjoy a fun-filled day with your family, then head straight to Palakkari. The cool breeze from the Vembanad Lake will surely refresh your mind and soul.
Family picnic at Palakkari
The residents of the Kottayam, Alappuzha, and Ernakulam districts are on the lookout for tourist spots nearby, to spend a beautiful holiday with their families. Palakkari with its mesmerizing backwaters, delicious sea food delicacies and many thrilling activities, await the visitors to a paradise of tranquillity. A reasonable package of Rs 250 per person offers a boat ride through the charming waters of the lake, a refreshing welcome drink, an elaborate lunch with their signature fish dishes, ice cream treats, and pedal boat ride. There will be a slight fluctuation in the price of the tickets on holidays.
One can enter the fish farm at 10 in the morning and enjoy the beautiful scenery until 6 in the evening. It is the majestic statue of a beautiful mermaid which welcomes you to the land of aquatic wonder. The long walkway lined with coconut trees has cement benches for you to sit and enjoy the rippling waters of the lake. There is a watch tower from where the scintillating sight of the lake and the farm can be enjoyed in all its glory.
Years ago, a huge prawn farm, owned by a group of people hailing from Pala in Kottyam, functioned at the 117 acres of land on the banks of the lake. It was taken over by the Matsyafed and named Palakkari which means 'land of the people from Pala.' Along with Palakkari, the Matsyafed has also begun fish farms at Njarackal and Malippuram in Ernakulam. Fishes like pearlspot, milkfish, northern red snapper, bluefin trevally and prawns are mainly farmed at Palakkari. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), too, are grown at this farm. This encourages tourists to enjoy a fishing group activity here. You can go home with the fishes that you catch at a reasonable price.
Farm manager Nisha says that the Palakkari fish farm was turned into a tourism centre with just pedal boating and angling facilities, in the initial days. However, efforts to explore the impeccable beauty of the lake were kicked off as tourists began to pour in. As a result the fish farm got transformed into a major tourist destination which draws hundreds of tourists today.
Just after the second watch tower, there is a stone paved walk way which is a favourite spot for couples, friends and families to enjoy the refreshing breeze from the lake. With the beautiful lake in the background, the farm is a favourite location for wedding photographers. An amount of Rs 2000 is charged to shoot videos here. The house boat museum is another interesting feature at Palakkari. The museum exhibits utensils and household materials, used by the natives of Kerala. This gives an amazing insight into the history, traditions and culture of this place. Palakkari offers two major packages for the tourists and the unique sights in the houseboat museum could be enjoyed only by availing one of them. Those who dwell in the hectic urban centres are particularly overwhelmed by the serene setting and the fresh air. A quick nap on the hammocks, lulled by the cool breeze from the lake would be the most amazing way to refresh your mind and body.
Bhoomika is one of the two major single-day tour packages that the Palakkari fish farm offers its visitors. The package begins with a delicious and satiating breakfast at 9 in the morning. It covers the houseboat museum among many other unique sights in the farm. By 10.30 am, the tourists will board a vehicle to Njarackal where they can enjoy spending time at a tree house or a bamboo hut. Adventure activities like coracle riding and water cycling are arranged here. You can treat your taste buds to an elaborated lunch which includes many delicious fish dishes. You can enjoy this lunch served in a bamboo hut in the middle of the lake, as you experience the breath-taking beauty of the nature. Angling facilities are arranged here as well. The coracle boat ride is the perfect group activity which can be enjoyed with your family and friends. It must, however, be noted that all the adventure activities are conducted with the expert supervision of trained life guards.
After enjoying the unique sights at Najrackal, the group is taken to Malippuram by 4 pm. The thrilling speed boat ride is the most attractive feature here. The tourists can even swim and have a great time bathing in the shallow parts of the lake. Under the Bhoomika package, the visitors are given an exclusive tour to the beautiful mangrove forests, in cooperation with the forest department. At 5.30 pm, you can enjoy the sunset along the scintillating shores of the Chappa beach. The visitors are then brought back to Palakkari where they are served a delicious dinner of boiled tapioca and fish curry. The Bhoomika package charges Rs 2000 per head for a day of unlimited fun and unique activities. This package accommodates up-to 15 people at a time.
The Pravahini tour package, offered by the Palakkari aqua tourism centre, begins with breakfast at 9.30 am. After enjoying the various sites in the farm, the visitors are taken for a thrilling speed boat ride to Vypin, through the Vembanad Lake. Two life guards accompanies the tourists in this ride. Eight people can take part in this exclusive package which unfolds the mystic beauty of the lake. The tourists can walk around Vypin, enjoying the beautiful sceneries here. Meanwhile, another guide will be ready with a vehicle to take them to Njarackal. At Najarackal they can enjoy the delicious lunch and other fun activities. They are then taken to Malippuram in the evening to experience the mesmerizing features there. The trip ends, back in Palakkari, with a tea service where the tourists are served hot tea, juices and snacks. The Pravahini package charges Rs 1500 for adults and Rs 750 for children.
Palakkari is undergoing a significant face lift to draw more number of tourists. The Chinese nets are the latest additions which attract lots of visitors. Among the upcoming projects, a speed boat ride with 20 people on board would be the most thrilling one. This trip which begins at Palakkari would end at Fort Kochi. The package includes food as well.
The unique and beautiful sights are what makes Palakkari one of the most preferred single-day tourist destinations in Kerala. The visitors are thrilled to experience the fun activities and taste some delicious food. Those who visit here once, vow to come back to enjoy the beautiful lake and the unlimited sights at Palakkari.