Exploring the Serene Beauty of Kumarakom: A Paradise for Nature Enthusiasts

image source – kerelatourism.org

How to reach Kumarakom from Delhi?

To travel from Delhi to Kumarakom, you have multiple transportation options, including air, train, and road. Here’s a detailed guide on how to reach Kumarakom from Delhi:

By Air:
  • Book a flight from Delhi to Cochin International Airport, which is the nearest airport to Kumarakom.
  • Several airlines operate flights on this route, and the duration of the flight is approximately 3 to 4 hours.
  • Upon reaching Cochin International Airport, proceed to the next step.
By Train:
  • From Cochin International Airport, you can take a taxi or a pre-booked cab to Ernakulam Junction, which is the nearest major railway station to Kumarakom.
  • The journey from the airport to Ernakulam Junction takes around 1 to 2 hours, depending on the traffic.
  • Alternatively, you can take a taxi directly from the airport to Kumarakom, which is approximately 70 kilometers away.
  • Check the train schedules and book a train ticket from Ernakulam Junction to Kottayam, which is the nearest railway station to Kumarakom.
  • The train journey from Ernakulam Junction to Kottayam takes around 1 to 2 hours.
  • Once you reach Kottayam, proceed to the next step.
By Road:
  • From Kottayam railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to Kumarakom, which is approximately 16 kilometers away.
  • The journey by road from Kottayam to Kumarakom usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the traffic.
  • You can also consider hiring a private car for a more comfortable and convenient journey.
  • Make sure to communicate your destination as “Kumarakom” to the driver.

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Best time to visit Kumarakom.

The best time to visit Kumarakom is during the winter months, from November to February. This period offers pleasant weather with moderate temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Here are some reasons why this time is considered the best for visiting Kumarakom:

  • Weather: The winter season in Kumarakom brings cooler temperatures and lower humidity, providing a comfortable and enjoyable climate for exploring the region. Average temperatures range from 18°C to 32°C (64°F to 90°F), creating a favorable environment for outdoor excursions.
  • Festivals and Events: Kumarakom celebrates several festivals and cultural events during the winter months. The most prominent festival is the Kumarakom Boat Race, also known as the Sree Narayana Jayanthi Boat Race, which takes place in November. This event attracts a large number of visitors and offers a vibrant and festive atmosphere.
  • Bird Watching: Kumarakom is renowned for its bird sanctuary, and the winter months are the peak season for bird watching. During this time, migratory birds from different parts of the world, such as Siberia, flock to the sanctuary. You can witness a diverse range of bird species, including herons, egrets, darters, and more.
  • Houseboat Experience: Kumarakom is famous for its backwaters, and exploring them on a houseboat is a popular activity. The winter season provides pleasant weather and calm waters, making it an ideal time for a houseboat cruise. You can enjoy the serene surroundings, lush green landscapes, and the unique experience of staying overnight on a houseboat.
  • Ayurvedic Treatments: Kumarakom is known for its Ayurvedic resorts and wellness centers. Winter is an excellent time to indulge in rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments and therapies that help you relax and rejuvenate in the pleasant climate.

It’s worth noting that while the winter months are the peak tourist season in Kumarakom, the region’s natural beauty and tranquility can be enjoyed throughout the year. If you prefer fewer crowds and are open to slightly warmer weather, you can consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of October and March, which also offer favorable conditions.

Where to stay in Kumarakom?

When it comes to accommodations in Kumarakom, there are numerous options available that cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are a few suggestions on where to stay in Kumarakom:

  1. Luxury Resorts: Kumarakom is known for its luxury resorts that offer a perfect blend of comfort, elegance, and natural beauty. These resorts often feature private villas or cottages with stunning views of the backwaters or lush gardens. Some popular luxury resorts in Kumarakom include The Zuri Kumarakom, Kumarakom Lake Resort, and Coconut Lagoon.
  2. Houseboats: For a unique and immersive experience, consider staying on a houseboat. These traditional Kettuvallams have been converted into floating accommodations, providing guests with a chance to live on the backwaters. Houseboats offer comfortable bedrooms, living areas, and even personal chefs to cater to your culinary preferences. It’s an excellent way to truly experience the serenity of Kumarakom’s backwaters.
  3. Homestays: For a more authentic and personalized experience, opt for a homestay in Kumarakom. Many locals open their homes to guests, providing comfortable rooms and an opportunity to experience the warm hospitality and local culture firsthand. Homestays also offer home-cooked traditional meals, making it a great choice for those seeking a more intimate and immersive stay.
  4. Resorts and Hotels: Kumarakom boasts a range of mid-range and budget-friendly resorts and hotels that offer comfortable accommodations without compromising on quality. These properties often come with amenities such as swimming pools, restaurants, and recreational facilities. Examples include the Backwater Retreat, Abad Whispering Palms, and Lakesong Resort.
  5. Eco-friendly Retreats: If you are conscious of sustainable travel practices, Kumarakom has eco-friendly resorts and retreats that prioritize environmental conservation and responsible tourism. These accommodations often feature eco-friendly architecture, organic farms, and initiatives to minimize their ecological footprint. A popular eco-friendly resort in Kumarakom is the Coconut Creek Farm & Homestay.

When choosing where to stay in Kumarakom, consider your preferences, budget, and the kind of experience you want to have. Whether you prefer luxury resorts, immersive houseboats, or intimate homestays, Kumarakom offers a wide range of options to suit every traveler’s needs.

Places to visit in Kumarakom.

Kumarakom is blessed with natural beauty and cultural heritage, offering visitors a plethora of places to explore and experience. Here are some of the top attractions and places to visit in Kumarakom:

  1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Spread across 14 acres, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a haven for bird lovers. It is home to a wide variety of resident and migratory bird species, including herons, kingfishers, egrets, and the rare Siberian crane. Take a leisurely walk through the sanctuary’s lush greenery and witness the fascinating avian diversity.
  2. Vembanad Lake: As the largest lake in Kerala, Vembanad Lake is a major attraction in Kumarakom. Embark on a boat ride to explore the tranquil waters and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. You can also witness the famous Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race, a traditional boat race held annually on the lake.
  3. Backwater Cruise: A trip to Kumarakom is incomplete without experiencing the enchanting backwaters. Embark on a houseboat or a traditional canoe cruise and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. Drift along the calm canals, witness the rustic village life, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the palm-fringed backwaters.
  4. Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls: Located around 18 kilometers from Kumarakom, the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls is a picturesque cascade nestled amidst lush green forests. The falls offer a breathtaking sight as the water tumbles down from a height of about 100 feet. Enjoy a picnic amidst nature or take a refreshing dip in the natural pools formed by the cascading water.
  5. Pathiramanal Island: Situated on the Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island is a small, picturesque island that translates to “Midnight Sands.” It is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Explore the island’s walking trails, spot migratory birds, and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings.
  6. Bay Island Driftwood Museum: For art lovers, the Bay Island Driftwood Museum is a unique attraction in Kumarakom. It houses an impressive collection of intricately carved driftwood sculptures crafted from tree trunks and roots washed ashore. The museum showcases the creative talents of the local artist, creating a visually captivating experience.
  7. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple: Located near Kumarakom, the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is renowned for its architectural beauty, particularly its impressive mural paintings and the presence of a golden idol of Lord Shiva. The annual festival of the temple, Ettumanoor Festival, attracts devotees from far and wide.
  8. Village Life Experience: To immerse yourself in the local culture, take a village tour in Kumarakom. Visit the local homes, interact with the villagers, and gain insights into their traditional way of life. Experience activities like fishing, toddy tapping, and coconut climbing, and savor the flavors of authentic Kerala cuisine.

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Things to do Kumarakom.

Kumarakom offers a wide range of activities and experiences that cater to different interests and preferences. Here are some of the top things to do in Kumarakom:

  1. Houseboat Cruise: Explore the enchanting backwaters of Kumarakom on a houseboat cruise. Drift along the serene canals, lakes, and lagoons, enjoying the peaceful ambiance and scenic beauty of the surroundings. Experience the unique lifestyle of the local villagers and indulge in delicious Kerala cuisine prepared on board.
  2. Birdwatching at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary: Visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, home to a diverse range of resident and migratory bird species. Take a leisurely walk through the sanctuary’s lush greenery and witness the beautiful birds in their natural habitat. The best time to visit is during the migratory season from November to February.
  3. Ayurvedic Spa and Wellness: Treat yourself to a rejuvenating Ayurvedic spa experience in Kumarakom. Indulge in therapeutic massages, herbal treatments, and yoga sessions that promote holistic well-being. The tranquil surroundings of Kumarakom provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  4. Village Tour: Immerse yourself in the local culture by taking a village tour in Kumarakom. Interact with the warm and friendly villagers, visit their homes, and gain insights into their traditional way of life. Experience activities like fishing, coir-making, and coconut climbing, and savor the flavors of authentic Kerala cuisine.
  5. Sunset Cruise on Vembanad Lake: Enjoy a scenic boat ride on Vembanad Lake during sunset. Witness the sky ablaze with vibrant hues as the sun dips below the horizon. The tranquil setting and breathtaking views make for a memorable experience.
  6. Explore Pathiramanal Island: Take a boat ride to Pathiramanal Island and explore its natural beauty. Walk along the trails, spot migratory birds, and enjoy the tranquility of this picturesque island on Vembanad Lake.
  7. Visit the Bay Island Driftwood Museum: Marvel at the unique collection of intricately carved driftwood sculptures at the Bay Island Driftwood Museum. Admire the artistic creations crafted from tree trunks and roots washed ashore, showcasing the creative talents of local artists.
  8. Try Traditional Kerala Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of traditional Kerala cuisine. Sample dishes like appam (rice pancake), puttu (steamed rice cake), karimeen pollichathu (pearl spot fish), and avial (vegetable stew). Don’t miss out on the delectable seafood options available in the region.
  9. Enjoy a Kathakali Performance: Witness the vibrant and colorful art form of Kathakali, a traditional dance-drama that depicts stories from Indian epics. Attend a live performance and marvel at the intricate costumes, expressive facial makeup, and graceful movements of the performers.
  10. Take a Bicycle Ride: Rent a bicycle and explore the beautiful countryside of Kumarakom. Pedal through the scenic landscapes, pass by paddy fields, and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and enjoy the natural beauty at your own pace.

Famous street foods in Kumarakom.

Kumarakom, being a popular tourist destination in Kerala, offers a variety of delicious street food options that showcase the region’s culinary heritage. Here are some famous street foods you can savor while exploring Kumarakom:

  1. Puttu and Kadala Curry: Puttu is a traditional steamed rice cake made with rice flour and coconut, typically served with Kadala Curry, a flavorful black chickpea curry. This combination is a popular breakfast choice among locals and visitors alike. The soft and fluffy texture of puttu combined with the spiced chickpea curry is a delightful treat.
  2. Banana Fritters: Known as Pazham Pori or Ethakka Appam in Malayalam, banana fritters are a popular street snack in Kumarakom. Slices of ripe banana are dipped in a batter made with flour, turmeric, and sugar, and deep-fried to golden perfection. The crispy exterior and sweet, gooey interior make these fritters a delicious and addictive snack.
  3. Kappa and Meen Curry: Kappa (tapioca) is a staple food in Kerala, and it is often paired with Meen Curry (fish curry). Boiled or steamed tapioca is served with a tangy and spicy fish curry made with coconut milk, tamarind, and an array of aromatic spices. This hearty and flavorful combination is a must-try for seafood lovers.
  4. Vada: Vada is a popular South Indian snack made with a lentil-based batter. The batter is deep-fried to create crispy and savory fritters. Medu Vada, made with urad dal, is a common variant that is enjoyed with coconut chutney and sambar. These golden-brown delights are perfect for a quick snack or breakfast on the go.
  5. Parotta and Beef Fry: Parotta is a layered flatbread made with all-purpose flour and ghee. It is typically served with Beef Fry, a spicy and flavorful beef dish cooked with onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. The combination of flaky parotta and succulent beef fry is a favorite street food choice for meat lovers in Kumarakom.
  6. Banana Chips: Kerala is famous for its crispy and savory banana chips. Thin slices of raw banana are deep-fried until they turn golden and crispy. These chips are a popular snack that you can find in local markets and street food stalls in Kumarakom. They make for a delicious munching option while exploring the town.
  7. Appam and Stew: Appam is a soft and fluffy pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It pairs perfectly with a mild and aromatic vegetable stew. The stew typically contains vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and green peas cooked in a creamy coconut milk-based broth. The combination of appam and stew is a popular breakfast or dinner choice.

Things to buy in Kumarakom.

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Kumarakom offers a variety of unique products and souvenirs that reflect the local culture and craftsmanship. Here are some things you can consider buying while visiting Kumarakom:

  1. Handicrafts: Kumarakom is known for its exquisite handicrafts made by skilled artisans. Look for items like wooden sculptures, carved masks, bamboo products, coir products (mats, rugs, and baskets), and traditional pottery. These handicrafts are not only beautiful but also serve as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage of the region.
  2. Spices: Kerala is famous for its aromatic spices, and Kumarakom is no exception. Consider buying high-quality spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. You can find them in local spice markets or specialty shops. These spices make for excellent additions to your kitchen and are a perfect souvenir for food enthusiasts.
  3. Ayurvedic Products: Kerala is renowned for its Ayurvedic treatments and herbal remedies. Take the opportunity to buy authentic Ayurvedic products such as massage oils, herbal soaps, medicinal herbs, and skincare products. These natural and wellness-focused products are popular among visitors who seek the benefits of Ayurveda.
  4. Coir Products: Kumarakom is known for its coir industry, and you can find a variety of coir products made from coconut fiber. Look for items like coir mats, rugs, carpets, wall hangings, and other home decor accessories. These eco-friendly products not only showcase the craftsmanship of the local artisans but also add a touch of Kerala to your home.
  5. Tea and Coffee: Kerala is home to tea and coffee plantations, and you can find a range of locally produced varieties. Look for high-quality tea, including black tea, green tea, and specialty blends like masala chai. You can also find aromatic and flavorful coffee, especially Arabica and Robusta varieties. These make for great gifts for tea and coffee lovers.
  6. Handloom and Textiles: Kerala is known for its handloom fabrics and traditional sarees. Look for Kerala Kasavu sarees, which are made of fine cotton and adorned with golden borders. You can also find handwoven fabrics like Mundu (traditional dhoti) and towels. These textiles showcase the craftsmanship and weaving traditions of Kerala.
  7. Traditional Jewelry: Kerala is famous for its intricate gold jewelry designs, especially the traditional temple jewelry. Consider buying traditional earrings, necklaces, bangles, and waistbands known as “oddiyanam.” These jewelry pieces are crafted with attention to detail and are perfect for those looking for unique and culturally significant souvenirs.

Remember to shop from reliable and authorized sellers to ensure the authenticity and quality of the products. Shopping for these items not only supports the local economy but also allows you to bring home a piece of Kumarakom’s cultural heritage.

What not to do while travelling in Kumarakom?

While traveling in Kumarakom, there are a few things you should avoid to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some things not to do while traveling in Kumarakom:

  1. Disrespecting Local Culture: Kumarakom has a rich cultural heritage, and it is essential to respect the local customs, traditions, and religious beliefs of the community. Avoid any behavior or actions that may offend or disrespect the local culture, such as inappropriate clothing, insensitive behavior, or disregard for religious sites.
  2. Littering: Kumarakom is known for its pristine natural beauty, including backwaters, lakes, and wildlife sanctuaries. It is crucial to maintain the cleanliness and ecological balance of the region. Avoid littering and dispose of waste responsibly by using designated bins or taking it back with you until you find appropriate disposal facilities.
  3. Disturbing Wildlife: Kumarakom is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including numerous species of birds, fish, and other wildlife. Respect their natural habitat and do not disturb or harm them. Refrain from feeding or chasing animals, and follow any guidelines or regulations provided by the local authorities or tour guides.
  4. Overloading Houseboats: Houseboat cruises are a popular attraction in Kumarakom. If you plan to take a houseboat ride, ensure that you book a reputable and licensed operator. Avoid overloading the houseboat with excessive luggage or exceeding the maximum occupancy limit for safety reasons.
  5. Neglecting Safety Precautions: While enjoying water activities or boat rides, always prioritize your safety. Wear life jackets when required, follow the instructions of boat operators, and be aware of any safety guidelines provided. It is advisable to choose licensed and experienced operators for water-based activities.
  6. Engaging in Illegal Activities: It is essential to abide by the law and avoid any involvement in illegal activities. This includes purchasing or consuming illicit substances, engaging in wildlife trafficking, or any other unlawful actions that may harm the environment, wildlife, or local communities.
  7. Haggling or Bargaining Excessively: While negotiating prices for goods or services is common in many places, it is important to do so respectfully and fairly. Excessive haggling can be seen as disrespectful or offensive. Maintain a friendly and polite attitude during any price negotiations.

By keeping these guidelines in mind, you can have a responsible and enjoyable travel experience in Kumarakom while respecting the local culture, environment, and community.


HAPPY JOURNEY


Journey's path unfurls,
New horizons I explore,
Adventures to treasure,
Traveling, my heart soars.

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