Kumarakom is a must-visit tourist destination in Kerala located on the Vembanad Lake with immense natural beauty. This scenic vacation spot is a cluster of small islands and a paradise for each ornithologist. The main tourist attraction of this destination is its bird sanctuary which spread across more than 14 acres. You can spot many migratory and rare bird species here such as herons, waterfowls, teals, cuckoo, egrets, wild duck and darters. It must be a fascinating experience for the visitors to watch the migratory Siberian Stork that visit the region in flocks.
Kumarakom – A veritable dreamland!
Kumarakom is a very scenic tourist destination that offers a lot to its visitors. A lot of people visit this exhilarating vacation spot to experience its stunning backwaters. Aside, it is a gifted tourist place rich in coconut palms, paddy fields and mangroves. The sparkling backwaters of Kumarakom reflect the beautiful blue sky.
Kumarakom is an ideal destination to spend a vacation with your family. It is a truly a dreamland which the National Geographic Magazine has described as a must-visit tourist spot in a lifetime. In fact, more than seven million tourists visit this enchanting tourist destination every year.
The Vembanad Lake has its maximum length and breadth near Kumarakom than other nearby villages. With a vast network of waterways and a large and beautiful lake on one side, this enchanting destination can be a masterpiece created by both nature and man. Kumarakom plays an important role in the tourism scenario of Kerala.
Geographic and Demographic Information
Located nearly 14 kilometres away from Kottayam, Kumarakom is a part of Kuttanad, which is popularly known as the Rice bowl of Kerala. It is interesting to know that these areas lie a few feet below sea-level. You can reach Kumarakom within 2-hour journey from Kochi/Cochin International Airport and it takes half an hour boat ride from Muhamma in Alappuzha.
Kumarakom is a picturesque village spread across more than an area of 51.67 sq km which including 24.13 sq km of the lake. The green rich paddy fields in the area below the sea level are sprawls over 15.75 sq km. There are around 1253 hectares of dry land in Kumarakom which is the inhabited area. Criss-crossed by streams and canals, you can watch the rural life by visiting this area.
As per the 19th century records, Kumarakom was a sparsely populated area. There was only a population of 8332 in this small village according to the census of 1891. At that time, the houses built in this area were only 1700. However, the population in Kumarakom has increased to nearly 23000 with approximately 5120 households by 2001. Like the rest of the state, the sex ratio of the region is supporting women. The ratio was 1026 females as of 2001 for 1000 males.
Kumarakom is such an area that experiences pleasant and moderate climate throughout the year. It is a safe tourist destination and the visitors do not face much challenges or risks. You can experience a very favourable weather throughout the year because of the proximity to the Vembanad Lake. There is a continuous flow of cool wind to the land from this lake. The temperature of the area usually varies from 22 to 340C.
When it comes to Monsoon, Kumarakom obtains 2 monsoons- the southwest monsoon from June to August with an average rainfall of 1100 mm and the northeast monsoon in November. Even if Kumarakom is famous for backwater cruising, you will not be able to enjoy this activity during southwest monsoon. November to March is the best time to visit Kumarakom but people visit this destination throughout the year.
Kumarakom – A unique name
It is believed that the word Kumarakom means a land formed by the build up of sediments as it may be derived from 2 words ‘kuminja’ and ‘akam’. This land may be formed by the accumulation of mud and other substances through different natural and man-made ways.
In another version, the word Kumarakom might originate because of the presence of the Lord Subrahmanya temple which located a few kilometres away from the centre of the village. It may be the combination of two words, ‘Kumara’ (Lord Subrahmanya) and ‘aham’ (home).
Must visit places In and around Kumarakom
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The most important attraction of Kumarakom is its bird sanctuary. It was originated dates back to 1847 in the name of Bakers’ Estate. The Kumarakom of today is the effort of Alfred George Baker who tried to develop the wetlands near the lake into fertile area. He planted mangroves in 10 acres out of the 500 acres granted by the then king which were on the southern bank of Kavanar River. Gradually, both local and migratory birds adopted this area as their habitat and later grown to a popular bird sanctuary.
Also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom bird sanctuary was later developed into more than 14 acres. This first scientifically made and preserved bird sanctuary in India has more than 180 bird species. The favourable climatic situations and unique landscape attract plenty of different species of birds to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The proximity to the Vembanad Lake, fertile and undamaged land and lush mangroves are suitable for rich avian and insect life.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum
Never miss the Bay Island Driftwood Museum located at Chankarapadi, near Kumarakom. This red-brick construction is located off the main road worth a visit to enjoy a wide range of high quality driftwood sculptures. Prepared through a unique and modern innovative art form, you can find a large collection of driftwood sculptures in different designs and shapes here. The driftwood pieces are collected from the Bay Islands of Andaman and Nicobar and cleansed and give the final touches by retired teacher, Ms. Raji Punnoose.
Most of these sculptures resemble the shapes of reptiles, animals, birds, fishes and amphibians. You can take a glance at these sculptures which has the hallmark of Nature. You can visit this Museum from 10 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Saturday while it is open on Sundays from 11.30 to 5 pm. Mondays are closed. Take a pass to get the entry to this museum.
People who visit Kumarakom never forget to plan a trip to the scenic island of Pathiramanal which is located in the Cherthala Taluk of Alappuzha district. It is a small island famous for its picturesque landscape and presence of plenty of rare migratory birds. Simply en route at this marvellous island if you plan a backwater cruise from Alappuzha to Kumarakom.
Also known as Pathira Thoppu or Ananda Padmanabhan Thoppu, Pathiramanal is located in the middle of the enchanting Vembanad Lake.
Experience Ayurveda at Kumarakom
Of course, Kumarakom offers a lot to its visitors. You can watch many rare local and migratory birds and experience mind-blowing backwater cruising in a traditional houseboat. It must be exciting to wander along the tranquil roads to watch the rural life and scenic nature of the destination. The spicy fish, seafood and other traditional cuisines that you tasted should give you a memorable dining experience. Now it is the time to experience a wonderful and mind-blowing Ayurvedic treatments and therapies to rejuvenate your body and mind.
Ayurveda at Kumarakom
Ayurveda is an age-old health system of Kerala which encourages longevity and holistic living. Most of the hotels and resorts in the state have excellent Ayurvedic spas and healthcare centres for their guests to provide rejuvenating massages and treatments. You have the option to choose a suitable rejuvenating and stress-relieving package. Undergoing Ayurvedic therapies is the best way to remove toxins from the body and renew the balance of it.
Many tourists to Kerala prefer to undergo standard oil massages which relax and rejuvenate the body and mind. You can acquire glowing and attractive skin also by undergoing such Ayurvedic therapies. The expert Ayurvedic masseurs and therapists apply warm herbal oil on your body that give perfect relaxation to you.
The monsoon season is the best time to undergo rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments and massages and strengthen your body. This is the time when the heavy rain cleanses the air. You can choose a monsoon package which usually includes a medicated steam bath besides massaging your body, head and face with herbal oils.
Most of the Ayurvedic centres in Kumarakom have special therapy rooms and facilities for steam bath. Besides, they have yoga and meditation centres. You can also find special area for recreational activities at these Ayurvedic centres.
Enjoy Kerala Houseboat Cruising
Backwater cruising in an eco-friendly houseboat can be a wonderful experience for each traveller to Kumarakom. It is the best way to explore the scenic beauty of this mesmerizing tourist destination. Simply plan a houseboat cruising in the gorgeous Vembanad Lake from Kumarakom to Alappuzha and explore the scenic eco-system of the destination.
Nearest railway station: Kottayam, about 13 km
Nearest airport: Cochin International Airport, about 94 km