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Marine Places

Kerala Backwaters

The backwaters of Kerala in southern India are a labyrinth of lagoons and small lakes, linked by 900 miles (1,500 km) of canals. The lagoons are shielded from the sea by low barrier islands that formed across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the surrounding hills. During the summer monsoon rains, the lagoons overflow and discharge sediments into the sea, but toward the end of the rains, the seawater rushes in, altering salinity levels. The aquatic life in the backwaters, which includes crabs, frogs, otters, and turtles, is well adapted to this seasonal variation.

Kerala Backwaterszoom image
  • Indian Ocean North
  • Type Chain of coastal saltwater lagoons
  • Area Approximately 400 square miles (1,000 square km)
  • Location Southeast of Cochin, Kerala State, southwestern India
Kerala Backwaters habitat mapzoom image