Tourist Destination of the Week - Kumarakom
Blessed with slender coconut palms, undulating paddy fields, meandering lagoons and marshy mangroves, Kumarakom is a sleepy little village located about 15 km from Kottayam town, along the picturesque Vembanad Lake.An ideal picnic spot to spend a leisurely weekend, the place has developed as a popular destination for backwater tourism, offering memorable boating, fishing and bird watching opportunities.
Vembanad Lake comprises a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwaters at Kumarakom carry a variety of both fauna and flora, the former including marine species like the exclusive 'Kumarakom Karimeen' (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawn), Njandu (crab), Chemmeen (prawn) and many more.
The picture perfect village of Kumarakom located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is a cluster of little islands and this small water world is part of the Kuttanad region. The pristine paradise stocked with mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut trees, and comprising waterways and canals adorned with floating white lilies and flocks of ducks paddling by, offers beautiful natural sightseeing that will invigorate your mind.Kumarakom is also famous for its handicrafts painstakingly and exquisitely done by craftsmen in the traditional way.
Kumarakom enjoys a well-balanced tropical climate all year through. The lowest and highest temperatures recorded are 16.10 C and 37.80 C. There is always a cool, fresh breeze, which makes even the warmest weather readily agreeable. The South West monsoon is from early June to early August. However, slight drizzles persist till early November. Average rainfall is 1100 mm per year. The peak tourist season is from November to March.
An exclusive attraction of this much sought after backwater resort is the Kumarakom bird sanctuary, home to migratory and nesting birds of a hundred varieties. Spread over 14 acres, the Kumarakom bird sanctuary is an orthithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the SiberianStork, Egret, Darter, Wild Duck, Water Fowl, Heron and Teal. The bird sanctuary is a safe haven for these birds which co-habitate in flocks with the local ones like the Parrot and Cuckoo.A cruise along the Vembanad Lake is the best way to view the fascinating bird life here.
A visit to the bird sanctuary, set within the lush acres of wooded land nearby, acquaints you with a variety of migratory birds that flock in thousands, some from the far off Himalayas, some even from as far as Siberia. In addition, you get thrilled at the sight of the native Kingfishers ablaze in psychedelic colours, perched on the shrubs with a vigil looking for their prey, and on finding a fish, swooping down with a whisking movement and with the struggling fish tactfully held between its beaks, flying back to its position.It is also a different experience to take a walk under rookeries of egrets and night herons, sight a lone golden-backed wood pecker and even delight in the acrobatics of the paradise f ly-catchers.
The main attractions are local birds like the Waterfowl, Cuckoo, Owl, Egret, Heron and the Water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. Parrots, Teal, Larks, Flycatchers, Wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons.The sanctuary is always alive with the chirping sounds of the numerous birds.
Houseboats and motorboats are available on hire for bird watching cruises on the lake. The best way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is by a boat trip round the islands.The best time to bird watch is between June and August, as numerous avian species flock at the spot during monsoon time. To watch migratory birds, November to February is the best time.
Tourists can pay a visit to the picturesque Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall located 18 km from Kottayam town, by trekking 2 km down a mud lane from Kumarakom to this beautiful picnic spot at Aruvikkuzhi where streams tinkle as they make their way through the landscape and waters roar as they cascade down the mountains from a height of 100 ft. The fabulous wooded landscape and the thundering cascade offer exciting opportunities for a short trip into nature. Here streams snake through the landscapes that house fascinating rubber plantations and the gushing waters make gurgling noises that are a treat to the ears. The Maramala Waterfall is another attraction nearby.
Aruvikkuzhi is a beautiful picnic spot where sparkling streams make tinkling noises like anklets as they make their way through the landscape and waterfallsroar as they cascade down the mountains from great heights.Tourists can also enjoy the shade of the rubber plantations here amidst which the numerous little streams gurgle past, providing music to the ears and a cooland refreshing atmosphere. The sight is especially enchanting to behold, when viewed after the monsoon season when the landscape is painted with a fresh coat of green.
As opposed to the serene liveliness of the streams, is the thundering sound of the numerous waterfalls at Aruvikkuzhi which seem to break the reverie in which the visitor has lost himself. Rushing down from a great height, the waterfall presents a picture of breathtaking beauty. It would not be wrong to state that the Aruvikkuzhi waterfall carries with it a magical quality that allures visitors at the very first glance.
Located on the border of Kottayam and Alappuzha, the island of Pathiramanal (meaning ‘sands of midnight’) is a 10 -acre island on the Kumarakom backwaters and is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world.This little island is a favorite haunt of hundreds of rare migratory birds from different parts of the world. The island lies between Thanneermukkom and Kumarakom, and is accessible only by boat. The scenic beauty of both sides of the lake as well as that of the island is mindblowing.According to mythology, a young brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water made way for the land to rise from below.
There is also a driftwood museum here that displays a unique collection of fine quality driftwood articles collected from the shores and prepared meticulously.A huge collection of root and stem sculptures of various shapes and designs can be seen at the museum. The articles kept in the museum are collected from the islands of the Bay of Bengal and hence the museum is named Bay Island Driftwood Museum.
The island is an hour and half drive by motor boat or 30 minutes by speed boat from Alappuzha town. One can also take the boats plying in the Kumarakom - Muhamma water route. It takes around 40 minutes from Kumarakom to reach Pathiramanal. The journey through the backwaters is a marvellous experience.One can see Pintailed ducks, Cormorants, Indian shag, Purple heron, Whistling duck, Pygmy goose etc here.
Backwater cruising in the traditional kettuvallam is a great way of spending your holiday in Kumarakom.A typical village setting - with the splendid sunsets, the mesmerising moonlights, the shoals of paddling ducks, the pulsating palms andthe wonderful waves - beckon travellers to take a dream trip down the placid backwater destination of Kumarakom.
An enchanting picnic spot not too far away from the state capital Trivandrum , Kumarakom is a major backwater tourism destination, where one can boat, fish and just watch the rustic Kerala countryside. Kumarakom backwaters on the Vembanad Lake is simply fascinating. Interspersed with lush green mangrove forests, paddy fields that stretch out far into the horizon and rows and rows of coconut palms that criss-cross the backwater canals, the little village of Kumarakom is in reality a backwater paradise.
A cool cruise in a kettuvallam along the backwaters will offer a closer view of the peaceful life in the village. One can see fishermen moving around the lake in country boats and women in neck deep water searching for Chemmeen prawns and Karimeen fish, a local delicacy. Cruising down the Kumarakom backwaters in cosy houseboats equipped with a living room, bedrooms, bath and private sit-out, alongwith a chef to offer local culinary delicacies, will prove to be a lifetime experience to the visitors. A number of these houseboats can be joined together to become boat trains to facilitate larger groups of visitors.
Kerala, the green and serene country, offers an amazing array of backwaters, lakes and lagoons against its landscape.
Kerala is known for its unique network of canals, lagoons, lakes and rivers which comprise the idyllic backwaters of the state.The backwaters provide a gateway to the tourists to get a feel of the rural life in Kerala. The prime attraction is the traditional Kerala houseboat or “ kettuvallam” with state-of-the-art facilities that cater to a variety of tourist needs and interests.
The backwaters are an integral part of Kerala's tourism scene wherein houseboat holidays offer a one-of-a-kind experience to travelers especially those outside the state. A journey through the curving and winding backwaters of Kerala is an exhilarating experience which makes you feel one with nature. The houseboats take one on a fascinating cruise at a leisurely and relaxing pace, across breathtakingly beautiful destinations in the state that are storehouses of nature at its best.
Kumarakom is known for its panoramic backwater stretches, lush green paddy fields, highlands and beaches. The scenery flashes up vivid contrasts of the breath-taking green landscape and the deep blue waters made especially thrilling during the monsoon.
Monsoon Tourism holds a lot of scope in this enchanting backwater destination of Kumarakom. It is an incredibly different experience to cruise in these backwaters in country boats, absorbing the beauty of a typical Kerala village. Boat rides, houseboat cruises and holiday packages are available for the tourists at nominal rates.
The house boat cruises along the backwaters of Kerala among which Kumarakom is a major stretch, have become a rage among Indians as well as international tourists. These waterways unique to God’s own country, connect distant villages and islands to the mainland and are nerve centers of the coastal area of Kerala.
The major backwater stretch is in Kottayam district.Bordered by the lofty Western Ghats on the east, the Vembanad Lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characteristics and charm.
Panaromic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and the total literacy level achieved by the people have given this district the title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.
By Air: 85 km from Cochin International Airport; 250 km from Trivandrum International Airport.
By Rail: 16 km from Kottayam.
By Road: Buses and Taxis are easily available at all times of the day from Kottayam.
By Boat: From Muhamma (near Alappuzha) to Kumarakom Jetty.
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