If your vacation is long pending and if you are craving to stretch and relax on your much awaited holiday, you need to be in Kumarakom. The competitive world takes its toll and everyone loves a breather. While some may still seek action oriented holiday, some may love to be in the company of nature and feel one with nature. If you are looking for a break to be on a spot that has everything about it beautiful and naturally so, you cannot overlook Kumarakom. Kumarakom is a cluster of scenic islands around the picturesque Vembanad Lake. The town is nature rich with everything in it enjoying the gift of nature in its abundance. With the soil so fertile, the land is full of paddy fields, coconut groves and mango groves. The lush greenery and the backwaters in a picturesque setting have made Kumarakom one among world’s 25 remote and exotic destinations declared by the Cande Nast Travellers, a travel magazine in the year 1998. While every inch of Kumarakom is beautiful, here are top 8 places to visit in Kumarakom which you cannot miss.
1. Vembanad Lake
Vembanad Lake is the largest lake in Kerala. It is India’s longest lake too as the vast expanse of water runs from Kochi in north to Alleppey in south. It is otherwise known as Vembanad Kayal. It invites migratory birds from all parts of the world. It is a confluence of three rivers. To explore Kumarakom, you could hire a houseboat and sail the stretch of water. The small islands around and the serene atmosphere will be heavenly. The lake is rich in marine creatures with over 150 different kinds of fish in the waters.
2. Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls
Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls is located 18 km from Kottayam. The over 100 feet high water falls is a famous picnic spot. It falls in five steps and it is an ideal location to be photographed. Located amidst rubber plantations, the wooden landscape and the streams flowing down make the place one of the most picturesque waterfalls. If you love to trek, you can have a still greater time here. Yet another attraction here is the St. Mary’s Church, which is located at the top of Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls.
3. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
The 14 acre bird sanctuary is the favorite spot for migratory birds from all parts of the world. It is situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake. The bird sanctuary houses a wide range of birds including cuckoo, water duck, owl, kingfishers, woodpeckers and egret. The migratory birds that attract attention include Siberian cranes, teal, wood beetle and many more. It is a birdwatchers’ paradise and you could make best use of your visit to this place by hiring houseboats and motorboats.
4. Kumarakom Beach
Your choice of destination to relax on your holiday is completely justified here. The sandy shores and the serene coastal lines make the place a perfect spot for a leisure walk. You could unwind and observe the beauty of the place that brings calm to your mind or go all out to enjoy the various sporting activities available here. You could go swimming, boating, wind surfing, skiing and parasailing. You could go on a houseboat cruise to explore the beach to enjoy its enthralling beauty. The resorts around here offer Ayurvedic massages and spa treatments.
5. Kumarakom Backwaters
Kumarakom backwaters is a scenic place where you can enjoy the bliss of nature. It is home to a wide range of plants and animals. The best way to enjoy the beauty of Kumarakom backwaters is to go on a houseboat that takes you through various canals, lakes and river around here. The houseboats offer you the best possible facilities you need for a comfortable journey on water. Be a passive admirer by sailing along or indulge in various water sports such as skiing and wind sailing. You could get lucky if you attempt at fishing.
6. Bay Island Driftwood Museum
Bay Island Driftwood Museum houses unique collections of articles made of driftwood. The driftwood articles are highly valued as modern art techniques have been used in their making. The sculptures found here are made of driftwood that were deposited on the shores of Andaman and Nicobar. The twisted trunks of the trees, roots and stumps were transformed into sculptures. Some sculptures resemble animals, fish and birds. Some driftwood articles could be centuries old as some of the trees that were washed away to the seashore owing to cyclones are ancient.
7. Pathiramanal Island
Pathiramanal is one of the islands in Vembanad Lake. Pathiramanal means the ‘sand of night’. The 10 acre island houses an aquarium and a zoo. Some of the exotic types of migratory birds can be seen here. Since this island can be accessed only by boat, you could stop on your cruise on the backwaters to stretch yourself on the green island.
8. Juma Masjid
Juma Masjid is an ancient mosque that is over 1000 years old. It is also called Thazhathangadi Mosque. It is said that the mosque was constructed by Malik Dinar’s son Habib Dinar. Malik Dinar was behind the introduction of Islam in Kerala. This is considered one of the oldest mosques in the country. The magnificent architecture and the exquisite wood carvings are stunning. The inner courtyard, windows and the bathing area are excellently built that they look royal.