About Sasthamkotta Lake : Sasthamkotta is largest freshwater lake in Kerala and is surrounded by hills on three sides except on the south side, where a bund has been constructed separating the lake from the neighbouring rice fields. The ancient Sastha Temple which lends its name to the town, is an important pilgrim centre. A large part of the lake has been reclaimed for agriculture. The source of water is from the underground sprouts. The lake has a capacity to hold 22390 million litres of water and serves as the source of drinking water for the people of Kollam district. The lake is special in the sense that water in the lake does not contain common salt or other minerals and metals. The lake supports 27 species of freshwater fish including pearl spot and cat fish and two genera of prawns. The lake abounds in 21 species of herring and sardines of the family Cupeidae. Flora : The Insectivorous plant Drosera Sp. is found on the eastern shore of the lake. Vegetation is very scant, floating and rooted plants are negligible. Cashewnut, paddy, tapioca and plantain are grown on and along the banks of the lake. Biodiversity of the Lake : The wetland around the lake supports 27 species of freshwater fishes and two genera of prawns. The lake abounds in 21 species of herrings and sardines of the family Cupeidae alone. The most common fish in the lake is Callichrous bimaculatus and Wallago attu. The fish is so called because most of them are provided with whisker like barbels arranged round the mouth. Bonnet monkeys frequent the banks. Notable migratory birds are teals. Social and Cultural Values : The lake provides drinking water to the people in its environs. A large part has been reclaimed for agriculture. The lake is used for fishing. The surrounding areas are under cultivation and utilized for cattle grazing. Fisheries production, water supply to Kollam municipality and suburbs are other uses. The ancient Sastha temple, which lends its name to the town is an important pilgrim centre.
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