- Kumarakom Backwaters- A holiday option sans parallel
In case you are fancying an exotic holiday in Kerala nothing can match
the charm of Kumarakom tourism. Some of the best imprints of the
breathtaking natural beauty of Kerala are well showcased in Kumarakom in
the form of mangrove forests, coconut plantations, paddy fields and
above all the intriguing charm of the backwaters.
The village of Kumarakom is a group of small islands in the Vembanad Lake, which forms part of the Kuttanad region. It is a good choice for bird watching, village tours and nature trails. Even if you do not have any fixed agenda for your holiday, Kumarakom would fit your bills perfectly as it offers a relaxing and tranquil holiday, away from the maddening pace and mayhem of the urban life, yet not cut off from the modern comforts.
Kumarakom literally offers the best of everything you could ask for. The sights, sounds and colors of Kumarakom present an envious picture that is difficult to replicate! Be it the flock of ducks waddling through the backwaters, the echoing calls of the flocking birds in the Kumarakom bird sanctuary, the simple and slow charm of the village life or the fishermen scouting for pearl spot fishes in the lake bed, everything speak of the beauty and the innate charm of this beautiful place on earth.
Nestled on the banks of Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is best explored through a house boat cruise. A life time experience that will linger in your memory for ages, a cruise in one of the Kumarakom houseboats is a must to do activity in the tourist itineraries of Kumarakom. Feel at home at these well furnished house boats where you can relax and enjoy the brilliance of nature at its best from the comforts of your bed room or the cozy lounge. There are various types of house boats including standard, luxury and premium category house boats that allow you to explore the Kumarakom backwaters at your pace that too well within your budget.
The houseboats are designed to meet the luxurious needs of the contemporary travelers without compromising on the ethnic charm and milieu in its design and decor. These houseboats give the tourists ample scope to understand the tradition of Gods own country, as these make stopovers in some of the ancient religious places, village markets, eateries and watering holes along the embankments of the lake during the cruise. While you are in Kumarakom, the options are truly countless. You can try your mettle with the fishing rods in these backwaters, enjoy a swim with the village lads or soak up the fun of an unadulterated tropical holiday by the Kumarakom backwaters.
You can make your holiday wild and weird or slow and off beat as you wish as there are enough options to cater to every genre of holiday makers in Kumarakom. Ideal for corporate weekends, romantic holidays and family get together, Kumarakom will never leave you disappointed for sure. There is so much to explore and experience in this tiny strip of land that you might be tempted to extend your holidays or make this tropical haven your abode.
- Tourism Attractions
Vembanad Lake :
Vembanad Lake, one of Indias longest and largest lakes, forms the backbone of Keralas renowned backwater tourism. Encompassing a vast network of canals, streams, wetlands and mangroves, the lake brings to you the surreal tropical beauty of Kerala. The whispering coconut grooves and lush paddy fields fringing the lake further accentuate its scenic beauty. The best way to enjoy the backwaters is to rent a houseboat. Sit-back and relax as the beauty of the backwaters unfolds right in front of your eyes.
Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls :
Enjoy a pleasant getaway to the beautiful Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls. The waterfall cascades down the rocky terrain from a height of 100 feet. Located at a distance of just 2 km from Kumarakom, the place is perfect for a weekend picnic trip. The rubber plantations near the falls add more charm to the beauty of the falls.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary :
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, spread across 14 acres and surrounded by lush wooded landscape, plays host to a diverse variety of avian residents. The sanctuary is a safe haven for the egrets, darters, golden backed woodpeckers, herons etc, just to name a few. It is also a favorite stop-over for thousands of migratory birds that flock from as far as the Himalayas and Siberia. A vibrant mix of colorful exotic birds and migratory birds makes Kumarakom an attractive destination for bird-lovers from around the globe. The sanctuary, accessible only through water, can be best experienced by renting a boat.
Arundhati Roys bestseller and 1997 Booker prize winner the God of Small Things is set in Aymanam. The fame of the book catapulted Aymanam into a popular tourist destination- sought after by the fans of the book. Many places in Aymanam finds mention in the book like the History House, Aymanam House etc. The History House, built by the British missionary Alfred George Baker aka Kari Saipu, is now a luxury hotel- The Taj Garden Retreat, managed by Taj Group of Hotels. The Aymanam House, connected with the childhood of the author, is situated on the banks of the river Meenachil.
Kottayam, the district headquarters, is a place famous for its many ancient Syrian Christian churches. Among the most famous of the churches are the Cheria Palli and Valiya Palli. Cheria Palli, under the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, is renowned for its biblical murals done in vegetable dyes and exquisite altar paintings. The Valia Palli, under the Knanaya Jacobite Syrian Church, is famous for its ancient stone cross with Persian inscriptions. Kottayam is also famous for the shrine of Sr. Alphonsa, the first catholic woman saint of Indian origin, hailing from the Syrian Malabar Catholic Church.
Bay Island Drift Wood Museum :
The museum houses a large collection of root-sculptures of different shapes and sizes. It is aptly named as the exhibits are mainly from the Bay Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The museum extols the creative and imaginative mind of a single artist- Mrs. Raji Punnose- a retired teacher from Bay Islands
- Things To Do
House boat :
Houseboats, aptly called the floating palaces, can accommodate any number of people from a couple of two to a family of many. They are equipped with all modern luxury amenities including living room, fully stocked kitchen, balcony, modern bathrooms, a personal cook, and a captain.
Fishing is a good way to enjoy the backwaters in an idyllic pace. The most perfect way to enjoy a fishing trip would be to rent a small canoe and relax and laze-around while attempting to catch some fish.
Kumarakom has many Ayurvedic facilities including some of the best spas. One session is bound to leave you invigorated both in body and soul. Do ensure that you consult a certified Ayurvedic practitioner before venturing into any treatment.
You can buy good quality traditional handcrafted merchandise for a gift
or a souvenir. Popular buys include Kathakali masks, lampshades, brass
lamps, items made from coconut shell, bamboo and cane, etc. There are
also a handful of shops selling hand-woven garments and antique items.
- Moving Around
Many of the popular tourist destinations are accessible only by boat. If you are traversing short distances on ground, hire an auto rickshaw for a comfortable travel.
- Best Time To Visit
Tourist season is at its peak between September and March. Do plan your itinerary to include the adrenaline- packed Kumarakom Boat-race conducted during the Onam season in the August- September period.
- How to Reach
By Flight :
The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport located at a distance of about 85 km from Kumarakom and the Trivandrum International Airport is at a distance of 175 km.
By Rail :
Kottayam railway station is at a distance of 16 km and Cherthala railway station at a distance of 14 km from Kumarakom.
By Road :
Kottayam, the main road junction is just 14 kms from Kumarakom. Kumarakom is also well linked with all the major cities in India through the State and National Highways.
By Water :
Boats ply connecting Kumarakom to Kollam, Alappuzha and Cochin. This is the most inexpensive way to reach Kumarakom.