Kumarakom KottayamKumarakom is a very popular backwater tourist destination. It is the largest freshwater lake set as a part of Vembanad river.
Kumarakom is an enchanting maze of canals, waterways and water bodies alongside the Lake Vembanad, which is green and dense with mangroves. It is a famous tourist destination for the boat lovers and backwater tourism. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Various migratory birds are found - presumably around 91 local species and around 50 types of migratory ones.
Kumarakom Bird SanctuaryIt also houses the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary where these birds visit. The river maze is inhabited with fresh water and ocean fishes. The bird sanctuary has become a popular destination with the conservation efforts of the government. It extends over 14 acres. The bird sanctuary opens from 6 am to 6 pm and can be visited with the scenic canoe/boat rides which are very reasonable and the best time to undertake them is early morning or at evening.
Tourist Activities in KumarakomKumarakom is a haven for tourists looking to rejuvenate and seek peace. The place is surrounded by coconut trees and is a floating paradise of canoes, boats and traditional country built of houses and water ways. The houseboats of Kumarakom are famous for their luxury and exquisite travel option complete with all conveniences. The fresh water river passes through land areas building various shapes and sizes of lagoons with its own aquatic life. It houses 'Kumarakom Karimeen' (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) to name a few. During monsoon it transforms into a lush green spectacle of greenery where newer species of water and migratory birds can be observed.
For tourists the leisure activities include traditional ayurvedic massages/treatments, meditation courses, yoga courses and ofcourse swimming and fishing. Also water sports like windsailing and water-skiing are popular. There is also a private sailing club in Kumarakom.
Boat Races in KumarakomThe boat races held in September every year during Onam known by the name of Sree Narayana Jayanthi Vallam Kali are one of the biggest congregation of oarsmen - about a 1000. The other competing race is called Kavanattinkara Boat Race. This is a time for great festivity underlying with competitive spirit. The oarsmen have their try-outs for the competition almost a month before. The most elegant feature are the vanchippattu (rhythmic songs of the oarsmen).
Best Time to Visit KumarakomThe best season to visit Kumarakom is usually August when the spring season is in bloom and the famous festival of Onam is celebrated with great pomp and show. The tourist season, however, extends from November to March.
This area sees the first showers of the South-West monsoon in India and the area receives approximately 1100 mm per year. The area has a comfortable tropical weather and temperatures range between 16 C to 37 C. There is a cool breezy atmosphere which enables an enjoyable summer. Kumarakom and its adjoining area of Aymanam village has been made famous by Arundhati Roy’s descriptive “God of Small Things” which added to the charm of the place and its tourism. Kumarakom is a declared Special Tourism Zone by the Kerala State Government under the Kerala Tourism Act, 2005. Hence developments and construction is controlled with special permissions and rules.
Where to Stay in KumarakomKumarakom has all kinds of accomodation ranging from budget hotels to luxury stays of five star hotels. Some of them are situated keeping in mind the proximity to the bird sanctuary for the bird watching enthusiasts. Also various kinds of boat stay packages ranging from a day to few days are available. One of the most notable places to stay is the Taj Garden Retreat which is the refurbished Victorian mansion of Alfred George Baker who lived here in 1881. It boasts of teak wood rafters with mud base.
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