Ashtamudi Lake (Ashtamudi Kayal) in the Kollam District of Kerala, India, is the second largest and deepest wetland ecosystem, Ashtamudi means 'eight coned'(Ashta = 'eight'; mudi = 'coned') in the local language of Malayalam. This name is indicative of the lake's topography: a lake with multiple branches. The lake is also called the gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. Kollam and the Ashtamudi lake's importance is claimed to be dated to the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. Ibn Batuta, during his 24-year sojourn in the 14th century, is reported to have mentioned about the Kollam port as one of the five ports for Chinese trade. Kollam city is the major city near to the Ashtamudi lake. Kollam situated 71 KM north of Trivandrum International Airport. Paravoor Elephant park is very near to Ashtamudi.