Ashtamudi Lake, in the Kollam District of the state of Kerala, is the most visited backwater and lake in the state. It possesses a novel wetland ecosystem and an outsized palm-shaped water body, second only in size to the Vembanad estuary ecosystem of the state. Ashtamudi means 'eight braids' (Ashta: 'eight'; mudi : 'hair braids') within the local Malayalam language. The name is indicative of the lake's topography with its multiple branches. The lake is additionally called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala and is accepted for its houseboat and backwater resorts. Ashtamudi Wetland was included within the list of wetlands of international importance, as defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands.