Vembanad (Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol) is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in the state of Kerala. It is also counted as one of the largest lakes in India. Spanning several districts in the state of Kerala, it is known as Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kochi Lake in Kochi. Several groups of small islands including Vypin, Mulavukad, Vallarpadam, Willingdon Island are located in the Kochi Lake portion. Kochi Port is built around the Willingdon Island, and the Vallarpadam island.
The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is conducted in a portion of the lake. High levels of pollution have been noticed at certain hotspots of the Vembanad backwaters. Government of India has identified the Vembanad wetland under National Wetlands Conservation Programme.
Vembanad Lake is at the heart of Kerala Backwaters tourism with hundreds of kettuvallams plied on it and numerous resorts on its banks. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located on the east coast of the lake. The lake has become a major tourist attraction. A generally safe destination, this place had just one incident of tourist harassment in 2004 as reported in The Times of India.