Once the preferred picnicking destination of the Vizianagaram Maharajas and the British officials in the pre-Independence era; Kondakarla Ava is a large freshwater lake cradled in the foothills of the Eastern Ghats. The catamaran boats plied by the fishermen and local boatmen are prepared by joining two logs of palm trees and fashioning a seat across by placing a wooden plank or wooden bed over it. There are also canoes built from hollowed out palm trees logs. This is an area of rich aquatic biodiversity with lotus, fish and hundreds of species of resident avifauna and migratory birds. Storks, herons, cormorants, egrets and many other migratory birds flock here in season from as far away as Siberia. The lake, spread over 1,832 acres between Munagapaka and Atchutapuram mandals, provides a lifeline to 21 villages. It is fed by river Sarada, which flows through the eastern part of Visakhapatnam and empties into the Bay of Bengal. Unfortunately, rapid urbanisation is endangering the ecosystem and bio-diversity of the lake.