The scenic lake Mayem Lake is a popular tourist attraction in Bicholim Taluka of North Goa, east of the market town of Mapusa. It is also known as Maya Lake. It is a fresh water lake. It is a popular tourist spot in Goa for boating. The beautiful Maya lake is located 35kms from Panaji and is a famous picnic spot for the locals of Goa and tourists alike. Mayem Lake is mainly known for the scenic beauty and the leisure activities which can be carried out in the lake. Located amidst the green hills this place provides great recreation from the busy life of Panaji. On the roadside there are vendors dealing in Goan handicrafts and refreshments boasting of delicious coconut water. Known for the clear water this lake provides great opportunity for paddle boating and photography. As the area is often visited with beautiful migratory birds and surrounded with rural cottages which peep from the slope of the surrounding mountains; these create a panoramic view of the region. The region, in which the lake is located, is mostly unspoilt countryside full of sleepy villages.
The lake is surrounded by low hills enveloped by dense forest cover. Birdlife is plentiful here, with a variety of birds making their home on the shores of the lake. Birds like Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Comb Duck, Herons, Egrets, Pygmy Goose, etc can be seen here.
The placid waters of this lake are ideal for boating. Small pedal operated boats are available for a charming boat ride on the lake. One can enjoy a ride on the small pedal operated boats for a panoramic view of the serene landscape around.
The lake has in its grounds a shady park which boasts of an excellent cafeteria and several other stalls, the most popular of which are the soft drink ones.
Nearby Places to Visit
To leverage the tourism potential of the lake, Goa Tourism Development Cooperation has emphasized on building the necessary infrastructure for tourist.
Worth visiting nearby in the picturesque village of Mayem is the Kumbharwado where villagers belong mainly to the farming community. But they do not till the lands until after the celebration of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. They are engaged in an activity of an entirely different kind. Most families of the Kumbharwado locality make Ganesh idols out of terracotta which are shipped all around Goa for the festival. The idol making is an art passed on from generation to generation and produces some of the most beautiful and colourful idols in the state.
When visiting the Mayem Lake, a trip to the famous Chamundi temple at Piligao is worth a visit. The image of the Chamunda goddess was originally brought from a temple in Goa Velha which was ruined by the invasions of the Muslim ruler, Malik Kafur in 1312. This temple is very old, although having been rebuilt a number of times. The temple tank is quite large and in its centre is a platform stone with ancient carvings.
The crossroads that proceeds towards the Mayem Lake has a beautiful and natural array of cashew trees surrounding hills and valleys, areca nut palm trees with betel leaves and pineapple plantations. An occasional glimpse towards the coast, one can see the capital of Panjim with the Mandovi River in the far distance.
The drive to Mayem is fascinating as each village unfolds. The Corjuem Fort is an interesting stop to make. It is a low fort which has a 360 degree view of the surrounding villages. One can see as far as Panjim too. The fort was actually just a vantage point equipped with strong walls and cannon stations to repulse invaders. The fort is said to have been built in 1705 by the Portuguese and a small chapel sits to the right of the entrance itself.
Another must-visit site is the Saptakoteshwar temple at Narve, which is dedicated to Lord Saptakoteshwara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
How to Reach Mayem Lake
There are a number of buses that run from Mapusa and Panaji to Bicholim and from there to Mayem Lake. The nearest interstate bus station is at Mapusa, the KTC bus station.
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