Nature's symphony

Nature's symphony

Kumarakom

Nature's symphony

Shimmering blue waters, rows of swaying coconut palms lining the shores, lush green mangrove forests and paddy fields, countless banana trees loaded with fruit. Sounds like the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday, doesn’t it? That’s exactly what Kumarakom is, the PERFECT holiday destination.

Situated just 16 km away from the town of Kottayam, Kumarakom is easily accessible by road, rail, air and water routes. Many buses, taxis and autorickshaws ply from Kottayam, which is the nearest railway station. Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport and Kumarakom can also be reached by boat from Muhamma.

Backwaters beckon

Kumarakom is a backwater destination, set on the eastern shores of the Vembanad lake, which is the largest fresh water lake in Kerala. The large expanse of the lake with serene waters, coconut palms gracefully swaying in the breeze in the backdrop of clear blue skies is a sight to behold. The Vembanad lake is home to marine and fresh water fish like the pearl spot or the famous karimeen, shrimps or poovalam chemmeen which are extensively used in the local cuisine.

House boats and yatches slowly moving to and fro on the tranquil waters of the lake are a common sight. The backwater cruise on these houseboats or kettuvallams are a major tourist attraction of this place. This cruise is a wonderful and unforgettable experience as it provides a panoramic view of the backwaters and the natural scenic beauty of the place. One can get also get a glimpse of the flora and fauna of the backwaters. There are various options which one can choose from, like a two-hour evening cruise, a half-day cruise or an overnight stay on the houseboat. As most of the resorts are on the shores of the lake, the guests going for the cruise are picked up and dropped off at their resorts.
Watching the glorious colours of the sunset on board the boats, with just the sound of water and birds, is an exhilarating experience.

Luxury on water

Originally, kettuvallams were used to carry rice and spices across the waters, but with the advent of other modern modes of transport, their use slowly deteriorated. So the locals transformed these architectural wonders into houseboats, which are like floating cottages. Eco-friendly materials like bamboo, cane, coconut fibre, planks of jackfruit tree, wood and coir are used in the construction and decor of these boats.

The other major attraction in Kumarakom is the bird sanctuary. Spread over 16 acres, this sanctuary is home to different species of birds like egrets, darters, herons, waterfowls, cuckoos, wild ducks, kingfishers, Siberian cranes, teals, larks and fly catchers. The best time to spot the birds is in the early morning hours. A half an hour trek on the well laid out pathways leads to the watch towers which give an excellent view of the birds in their natural surroundings.

My trip to Kumarakom has given me some really marvelous and unforgettable experiences, be it the backwater cruise or the spectacular view of the lake from the hammock tied to the coconut trees on the shore, the birds and the lush greenery and the most special one being spotting two rainbows at the same time. This place is really a jewel in God’s own country.

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