Kumarakom Tourism

 Image of KumarakomKumarakom is the most renowned responsible tourism destination in Kerala located in the district of Kottayam.Kumarakom, an ideal spot for village visits and a houseboat cruises through the Vembanad backwaters, is truly awesome and a unique product of Kerala tourism. The cruise offers the most wonderful and unforgettable experience in God’s own country. For ornithologists, the bird sanctuary is an added attraction.

Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the bird sanctuary at Kumarakom in Kottayam district is home to a wide variety of birds. It is popularly known as Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and is one of the favorite spots for Ornithologists and those who love nature. It is approximately 15 km from Kottayam town close to Kavanattinkara.

Set against the backdrop of rich green paddy fields and still grey waters.Kumarakom was for years, just another sleepy town, resplendent in scenic beauty.Howerver,when Kerala become a popular tourist destination,Kumarakom’s charms were soon unveiled.Today,plush resorts scattered around a large lake and delightful backwaters have transformed this once quiet settlement into a sought after destinations – Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, wrote in his hotel register ‘Truly, this is god’s own country’.

Located 15 km west of Kottayam town, the picturesque village of Kumarakom is actually a cluster of small islands on the eastern banks of the Vembanad Lake. Sandwiched between a lake that looks more like the sea and a parallel networks of backwaters, this bewitching water world forms part of the Kuttanad region. Although situated in a labyrinth of lush waterways, Kumarakom’s advantage is that it can be reached easily by road from Kottayam, Kochi and Alappuzha.

Kumarakom Bird SanctuaryBefore entering the sanctuary, visitors are invited to watch a video, which gives detailed information about the sanctuary, variety of birds seen in the sanctuary, and main locations to spot the birds. Set against the backdrop of backwaters, the walk into the tiny forest spread over 14 acres begins with a walk through a butterfly garden.Aftern the garden, one should walk on a muddy path that leads to the sanctuary. As you move forward, the path becomes narrow, but the beauty of the forest around you beckons you to go ahead. There are two watch towers inside that give a panoramic view of the sanctuary that was once a plantation. It was late developed into a sanctuary by an English man. Local birds such as waterfowl,cuckoo,owl,egret,beron,cormorant.moorhen and migratory birds like Siberian Crane,Parrot,teal,lark, and flycatcher are the major attractions of Kumarakom birdlife sanctuary. Early morning is the best time for spotting birds. The visitors are advised to walk in silence in the forest to get glimpses of birds. One can hire boats and ferries to cruise across the lake.Novermber to February are considered to be the ideal season for spotting migratory birds. Other birds like the darter and cormorants can be seen between June and August.

Tourists throng Kumarakom to experience its gentle pace of life and stunning views of nature. The only places to visit are the nearby Bird Sanctuary, the Driftwood Museum and the Pathiramanal Island.

Driftwood Museum

This museum was the brainchild of Raji Punnose, a teacher who worked in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for 25 years. She started collecting pieces of driftwood washed ashore and spent hours pruning and giving shape to what had already been shaped by the sea.

Located at Chakranpadi, the museum has a stunning array of elegant driftwood sculpture. In its ferocity a crocodile looks almost real. The flowers and buds collection is also worth a peek.

Bird Sanctuary

Kumarakom Bird SanctuarySpread across 14 acres in a former rubber plantation that was previously known as Baker’s Estate, the Englishman who developed this are into a bird sanctuary would be glad to see the large number of delighted birdwatchers who gather here today.

At dawn and at sundown, the forests come alive with a cacophony of shrill calls and cries. Night herons, purple moorhen, Brahminy kites, teals, egrets, cormorants, darters and large Indian fruit bats have colonized these woods. There are also large population of breeding darters, purple herons, little cormorants, Indian Shag, white ibis, local waterfowls and pond herons.

Toddy Shops

Kallu shaap is ubiquitous in Kerala signboards strung before shacks proclaim that toddy is available inside, and men can be seen weaving in and out of these shanties at all odd hours. Combining the mildly intoxicating spirit with snacks, usually spicy seafood, has been the tradition in Kerala for a long time.

Getting There

The nearest airport is Kochi International Airport, 72 km.Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is 170 km.

The nearest rail head is Kottayam Junction.

The nearest KSRTC bus stand is at Kottayam.Kumarakom is well connected to most part of Kerala. 

Where to stay

For details of hotels and resorts in Kumarakom,see accommodation listing on http://halokerala.com/hotels/kumarakom/

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Published on 17/07/2015

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