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. However, when Kerala became 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 destination -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 Kurnarakorn 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 network of backwaters, this bewitching water world forms part of the Kuttanad region. Although situated in a labyrinth of lush waterways, Kumarakorn's advantage is that it can be reached easily by road from Kottayam, Kochi and Alappuzha.
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.
Kumarakom Tourist Village offer comfortable accommodation and holiday packages that include houseboat cruises, Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing, angling, swimming etc.
Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The best time to visit the sanctuary is a noted bird sanctuary where many species of migratory birds visit. The best time to visit the sanctuary is between Novembers to March. The sanctuary is open every day from dawn to dusk and one can enter after buying a ticket for Rs 45.
The Vembanad Lake, the largest backwater in Kerala. Immortalized by Arundhathi Roy in her Booker-Wining God of Small Things, the stunningly serene Kumarakom was the place chosen by A B Vajpayee to coalesce while he was Prime Minister. Surrounded by the sprawling Vembanad Lake a cruise around the tiny Kumarakom islands here will teach you the magnificence of quietude. Kumarakam is amidst marvelous mangrove forest, coconut canopies and pulsating paddy fields sprinkle with enchanging waterways and canals. No wonder as many as five 5-Star hotels have come up in the past decade in the tourist village.
Kumarakom has a wide variety of houseboats and is well known throughout the world for houseboat experience. They are used only for tourists these days. A separate boat known as Kettuvallam is used by the people to go fishing or to transport goods. Apart from these, there are elegant special boats like Kochu-odi Vallam, Odi-Vallam, Iruttukutthi Vallam, Churulan Vallam and Chundan Vallam(Snake Boat), which take part in the boat races around Onam time. More than 1000 oarsmen in boats of different sizes and shapes will participate in this event. Even though Snake Boats participate in this race, the importance is given here is for iruttukuthi, in which about 50 oarsmen row. The Kumarakom boat-race is conducted in the big canal in the centre near the market. The Sree Narayana Ever Rolling Trophy will be given to the winner at the end of the day. There is a private sailing club in Kumarakom, located on the shore of the Vembanad lake.
Vembanad (Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol) is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in the state of Kerala. It is also one of the largest lakes in India. A lake spanning several districts in the state of Kerala, it is known by different names in different localities viz. Punnamada Lake in Kuttanad, Kochi Lake in Kochi.
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 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.
Spread across 14 acres in a former rubber plantation that was previously known as Baker's Estate, the Englishman who developed this area 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 colonised these woods. There are also large populations of breeding darters, purple herons, little cormorants, Indian Shag, white ibis, local waterfowl and pond herons. Neighbouring areas such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal and Poothanpandi Kayal are also excellent locations for spotting birds. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an ornithologist's paradise, is a favorite haunt of migratory birds. June to August is the breeding season of resident wetland birds like Siberian stork, cormorants, darter, white ibis, egret, darter, heron and teal. Between November and May is the season of migratory birds like pintailed duck, garganey teal, spot billed duck, osprey, marsh harrier, steppe eagle etc. A cruise along the Vembanad Lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Pathiramanal, an enchanting island on the lake, can be accessed by boat from here.