Kumarakom are probably the most popular among the various locales of Kerala. Situated in Vembanad, this wondrous water world is part of the Kuttanad region. Located between Kochi and Kottayam, Kumarakom is considered as one of the top fifteen beautiful spots in the world by the National Geographic. Exotic greenery and the panoramic view of the swaying palms at Kumarakom offer a haven of peace and tranquility to the tourist.
Kumarakom can be reached by road from Trivandrum in four hours, from Kochi in one and half-hours and in fifteen minutes from Kottayam, which is 16 kms from Kumarakom. The nearest airport is Cochin, which is 80 kms away and Kottayam is the nearest railway head.
Unbelievably beautiful emerald paddy fields, pulsating mangrove forests, coconut groves and canopies and enchanting waterways and canals decked with white lilies - little wonder that Kumaralom is considered paradise on earth.
Forty two of the forty four freshwater rivers originating in the Western Ghats flow eastwards forming an intricate network of waterways. Backwaters are formed when these rivers empty themselves into the Arabian Sea.
Kumarakom is perched on the western banks of the Vembanad Lake and has about 900 sq. kms of backwater ripples spread endlessly into the horizon.
Kumarakom is a fascinating hamlet where tradition and modernity go hand in hand. A blend of tradition and culture is interwoven in the lives of the natives living in ancient rustic homes with temples and churches. At the same time, you can spot tourists glide through the canoe, motorboat or houseboats and accommodated in state of the art guesthouses, hotels and resorts.
Kumarakom is famous for houseboat cruises on the backwaters. Plenty of thatched houseboats, cormorants and canoes take you to the heart of these scenic backwaters.
The tourist can enjoy and out of this world experience at Kumarakom in the traditional 'Kettuvallams' houseboats. Jack wood planks are joined together with coir rope and coated with black resin made from cashewnut shells to form these boats that do not have a single nail on them.
Sailing through the coconut palm fringed river sides reflecting in the glassy waters, a tourist can watch hundreds of white lilies, multi hued birds and freshwater fishes. Taking a voyage down the amazing backwaters is the best way to enjoy the romantic ambience of Kumarakom backwaters.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The Kumarakom Bird sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds. Spread across fourteen acres of land close to Kumarakom, this bird sanctuary is a paradise for ornithologists. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and several migratory birds like the Siberian stork are regular visitors.
The architecture in the buildings of Kumarakom exudes an ambience of a bygone era. This can best be seem in some Kumarakom resorts where one can see intricately carved stone pillars as seen in typical traditional Kerala homes which support the roof structures.
These are low-rise buildings and are connected on either side to the central facilities of the hotel by cobbled walkways. These walkways wind through lush tropical gardens and well-spaced out open-air gardens.
Luxury resorts in Kumarakom offer facilities such as swimming pools, lounge chairs, deck seating and water sport facilities. Independent air-conditioned cottages and executive rooms in a variety of styles cater to a range of budgets.
Private accommodations that are spacious and superb in style with state of the art designer amenities and personalized services are also available at Kumarakom resorts. These resorts are self-contained with impeccable service and superlative dining facilities.
There are cottages built across the lakes and canals. These are individually designed and offer modern comforts with satellite television, telephone, refrigerator and Internet connections, swimming pools, laundry, doctor on call and car hire facilities.
Tourists can watch the sunrise and sunset, rejuvenate and laze around in the spellbinding view of the Vembanad Lake. Kumarakom resorts also offer professional Ayurvedic massages, yoga and meditation combined with boating, fishing, angling and swimming facilities for the tourists.
Food in Kumarakom
There are multi cuisine restaurants standing on the stilts over the lakes that offer unique dining experiences amidst the serene backwater environs in Kumarakom. The specialty is freshwater fish and tapioca. 'Karimeen' (Pearl Spot) is a common freshwater fish in Kumarakom area.
Climatic conditions at Kumarakom
Kumarakom enjoys a well-balanced tropical climate. The local spring season is from August and this coincides with Onam, the harvest festival in Kerala. The peak tourist season is from November to March. Slight drizzles persist till early November. A cool fresh breeze always seems to blow the backwaters.