Kumarakom is a charming village located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in the Kottayam district of Kerala, India. Its main attraction is the stunning backwaters that consist of a complex network of canals, lagoons, and lakes, spreading over 900 km. Visitors can enjoy the diverse wildlife, including migratory birds such as Siberian storks, egrets, and darters that flock to the bird sanctuary in Kumarakom during the winter months.
Tourists can also explore the picturesque backwaters by traditional houseboats, which are a unique and comfortable way to experience the region. Kumarakom is rich in cultural heritage, with ancient temples and churches, and local cuisine that features delicious seafood and vegetarian dishes.
Overall, Kumarakom is a peaceful and beautiful getaway destination that provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Kerala.
Places To Visit
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary : This sanctuary is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake and is a must-visit destination for birdwatchers. It is home to several migratory birds that flock to the region during the winter months, including Siberian storks, egrets, and darters. The sanctuary also has a rich variety of other bird species, making it a bird lover's paradise. Visitors can take a boat ride or a walk through the sanctuary to enjoy the stunning views and observe the birds up close.
- Vembanad Lake : Known as the largest lake in Kerala, Vembanad Lake is a breathtaking expanse of water that stretches over several districts. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake to enjoy the scenic views and explore the backwaters. The lake is also an excellent spot for fishing, and visitors can catch a variety of fish, including pearl spots, catfish, and tilapia.
- Kumarakom Beach : The beach is a popular spot for tourists looking to relax and unwind. With its sandy shores overlooking the Arabian Sea, it provides a picturesque view, making it an ideal spot for activities like swimming and beach volleyball. Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely walk on the beach and enjoy the stunning views.
- Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall : Located just a few kilometers from Kumarakom, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is a beautiful natural attraction. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and offers visitors a chance to enjoy the refreshingly cool water. The waterfall is also an ideal spot for picnics and photography.
- Bay Island Driftwood Museum : This museum is a unique attraction that showcases an impressive collection of driftwood sculptures. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and learn about the history and culture behind each piece. The museum is an ideal destination for art lovers and history enthusiasts.
- Pathiramanal Island : Located in the middle of the Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island is a beautiful and serene spot that offers visitors a chance to enjoy nature. The island is home to several species of birds and offers stunning views of the surrounding backwaters. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island and enjoy a leisurely walk around the island.
- Ayurvedic Spa : Kumarakom is famous for its Ayurvedic treatments and spas, which offer visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate. These traditional treatments use natural herbs and oils to heal and nourish the body and mind. Visitors can indulge in a variety of Ayurvedic treatments like massages, herbal baths, and yoga to rejuvenate their body and soul.
- Houseboat Cruise : One of the most sought-after experiences in Kumarakom is the houseboat cruise that takes visitors on a scenic journey through the backwaters. The serene atmosphere and breathtaking views make for a relaxing and enjoyable trip.
- Bird Watching : Kumarakom is a popular birdwatching destination due to its diverse range of bird species. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an ideal place for visitors to observe local and migratory birds in their natural habitat.
- Ayurvedic Treatments : Ayurveda, an ancient healing practice that originated in India, is widely practiced in Kumarakom. Visitors can indulge in traditional Ayurvedic massages and treatments to unwind and rejuvenate.
- Village Walks : As a traditional village with a rich cultural heritage, Kumarakom offers visitors a chance to explore the local way of life by taking a walk through the village. Visitors can interact with locals, try local food, and learn about their traditions.
- Backwater Canoeing : Backwater canoeing provides a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the beauty of the backwaters up close and at a leisurely pace. It is an excellent way to appreciate the stunning scenery and peaceful surroundings.
- Fishing : Visitors can also join local fishermen on their boats to learn about traditional fishing methods and try their hand at fishing in the backwaters. It is a one-of-a-kind experience that allows visitors to learn about the local culture and way of life.
Gardens And Parks
- Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary : Located on the eastern banks of Vembanad Lake, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a 14-acre sanctuary that is home to a variety of local and migratory bird species. Visitors can explore the sanctuary on foot and observe birds such as egrets, herons, cuckoos, and owls.
- Bay Island Driftwood Museum : A one-of-a-kind museum, the Bay Island Driftwood Museum is home to a collection of sculptures made from driftwood. With over 150 exhibits, the museum showcases intricate carvings of animals, birds, and human figures.
- Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall : The Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is a scenic waterfall located just 2 km away from Kumarakom. A popular picnic spot, visitors can relax and enjoy the views of the waterfall and the lush greenery around.
- Pathiramanal Island : A small island in Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island is known for its scenic beauty and diverse bird species. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and observe local and migratory birds in their natural habitat.
- Vembanad Lake : The largest lake in Kerala, Vembanad Lake is a popular destination for boating and fishing. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake and admire the picturesque views of the surrounding coconut groves and hills.
- Kottayam Cheriapally : A historic church located in Kottayam town, the Kottayam Cheriapally was constructed in 1579 by the Portuguese. It is renowned for its striking architecture and stunning paintings.
- Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple : The Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple is a well-known Hindu temple situated in Kottayam town. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is famous for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
Kumarakom is a small village that can be found in the Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala. Its customs and traditions are deeply rooted in the local culture of Kerala. The cuisine is a delightful mix of coconut and seafood, with local specialties like grilled fish, fish curry, tapioca, and rice pancakes. Kumarakom celebrates a range of festivals including Onam, Vishu, and the snake boat race, which are occasions where people can come together to enjoy traditional music, dance, and food. The village is also recognized for its traditional art and craft, such as coir and bamboo handicrafts, and the Kathakali dance form. While the majority of Kumarakom's residents are Hindu, there are also significant populations of Christians and Muslims who follow their own customs and traditions. The backwaters of Kumarakom are a unique part of its culture, with an intricate network of lagoons, canals, and lakes that offer diverse flora and fauna. The locals have adapted to this way of life, depending on the backwaters for fishing, transportation, and irrigation. Kumarakom's culture is a beautiful combination of traditional and modern elements, with locals maintaining their traditions while also embracing new ideas and technologies.
- Kumarakom Backwaters : The backwaters of Kumarakom are a popular tourist attraction in Kerala. They are a vast network of lagoons, canals, and lakes, home to various flora and fauna. Exploring these backwaters is best done by taking a houseboat ride, which provides all the necessary amenities to enjoy the beauty of the area. Visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The backwaters are abundant in coconut groves and paddy fields, adding to the natural beauty of the region.
- Traditional Art and Craft of Kumarakom : Kumarakom is known for its traditional art and craft, including coir and bamboo handicrafts and the performance of Kathakali. The people of Kumarakom have been creating handicrafts using coir and bamboo for centuries, such as mats, baskets, and furniture, which visitors can purchase as souvenirs. Kathakali, a classical dance-drama telling stories from Indian mythology, originated in Kerala and is performed in Kumarakom. The intricate costumes and makeup make it a beautiful art form to witness, and visitors can attend a Kathakali performance in Kumarakom.
- Onam : Onam is the most important festival celebrated in Kumarakom, and it usually falls in August or September. The festival celebrates the homecoming of King Mahabali and is marked by feasting, music, and dance. The traditional Onam meal, known as Onam Sadhya, is a grand feast served on banana leaves and comprises a variety of vegetarian dishes.
- Vishu : Vishu is another significant festival celebrated in Kumarakom and usually falls in April. The Malayalam New Year officially begins on this day, which is marked by a festive celebration. The day begins with the Vishukkani, which is a ritual arrangement of fruits, vegetables, and other items that are viewed as auspicious. The festival is also marked by feasting, music, and fireworks.
- Snake Boat Race : The Snake Boat Race is a popular festival celebrated in Kumarakom, usually in August or September. The festival involves a boat race where several teams compete against each other in traditional longboats known as snake boats. The boats are ornately decorated, and the festival is marked by traditional music, dance, and food.
- Christmas : Christmas is a significant festival celebrated by the Christian community in Kumarakom, and the festivities last for several days. The village is beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments, and there are several midnight masses held at local churches. The festival is also marked by feasting, music, and dance.
- Eid : Eid is a significant festival celebrated by the Muslim community in Kumarakom. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is marked by feasting, prayers, and social gatherings. The festival is an excellent opportunity to experience the culture and traditions of the Muslim community in Kumarakom.
- Fish Fry : The most iconic street food in Kumarakom is undoubtedly the Fish Fry. Freshly caught fish is marinated with a blend of local spices and shallow-fried to perfection. The result is a crispy and flavorful snack that is a must-try for all seafood lovers. The dish is typically served with a side of tangy and spicy coconut chutney, adding to its already mouth-watering flavor.
- Fried Prawns : Another popular seafood street food in Kumarakom is Fried Prawns. Prawns are marinated with a blend of spices and then deep-fried until crispy. The dish is known for its tender and juicy prawns, perfectly seasoned with a mix of aromatic spices. It is a popular snack to enjoy while strolling through the town's bustling streets.
- Tapioca and Fish Curry : Tapioca is a starchy root vegetable that is boiled and served with a spicy fish curry made with coconut. It is a staple dish in Kerala's cuisine and a popular street food in Kumarakom. The dish is usually served on a banana leaf, adding a traditional touch to the meal. The fish curry is made with a blend of local spices, giving it a distinct flavor that pairs perfectly with the blandness of tapioca.
- Banana Chips : Crispy and crunchy banana chips are a popular snack in Kerala, and Kumarakom is no exception. You can find them in most local stores and markets.
- Vada : Vada is a popular South Indian snack made with a mixture of lentils and spices. It is deep-fried to a crispy texture and is often served with coconut chutney or sambar.
- Pazhampori : Pazhampori is a popular snack in Kerala made with ripe plantains that are coated with a batter of flour, sugar, and cardamom powder and then deep-fried to a golden brown. Tea or coffee is frequently served with it.
- Parippu Vada : Parippu Vada is a type of vada that is made with a mixture of lentils, onions, ginger, and green chilies. It is deep-fried to a crispy texture and is often served as a snack or with meals.
- Kozhukatta : Kozhukatta is a steamed rice dumpling that is stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery. It is a popular snack in Kerala and can be found in most local eateries.
- Achappam : Achappam is a crunchy, deep-fried snack made with a mixture of rice flour, coconut milk, and cumin seeds. It is frequently served on holidays and other special events.
- Kumarakom Lake Resort : This five-star resort is situated on the banks of Lake Vembanad and offers a range of luxurious amenities such as an infinity pool, an Ayurvedic spa, and an open-air restaurant. The rooms are designed in the traditional Kerala style and offer a breathtaking view of the lake.
- Coconut Lagoon : Located in the heart of Kumarakom, this resort is set in a heritage property and offers a range of traditional activities such as bird watching, fishing, and boating. The rooms are decorated in traditional style and offer a view of the lake or the backwaters.
- Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom : This luxury resort is situated on the banks of the backwaters and offers a range of amenities such as a spa, a swimming pool, and a fitness center. The rooms are spacious and offer a view of the backwaters or the lush greenery surrounding the resort.
- Aveda Kumarakom : This eco-friendly resort is located in a serene and peaceful location and offers a range of wellness and spa treatments. The rooms are designed in a contemporary style and offer a view of the backwaters.
- Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort : This four-star resort is located on the banks of Lake Vembanad and offers a range of amenities such as a spa, a fitness center, and an infinity pool. The rooms are spacious and offer a view of the lake or the lush greenery surrounding the resort.
- Backwater Ripples : This resort is situated on the banks of the backwaters and offers a range of activities such as bird watching, fishing, and boating. The rooms are spacious and offer a view of the backwaters or the lush greenery surrounding the resort.
- The Vembanad Restaurant : Located at the Kumarakom Lake Resort, The Vembanad Restaurant offers an exquisite fine dining experience with a focus on traditional Kerala cuisine. This restaurant provides a beautiful view of the backwaters while serving delicacies such as seafood curry, grilled fish, and traditional Kerala thali.
- Ettukettu Restaurant : Ettukettu Restaurant is situated at the Taj Kumarakom Resort and Spa and is known for its unique dining experience in a traditional Kerala-style house. This restaurant serves a variety of Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine, and is known for its seafood.
- Tharavadu Restaurant : The Tharavadu Restaurant is situated at the Cocobay Resort and provides a relaxed dining experience with a focus on traditional Kerala cuisine. This restaurant is known for its seafood dishes such as crab roast, fish curry, and prawn fry.
- Waterside Restaurant : The Waterside Restaurant is located at the Zuri Kumarakom and offers a stunning view of the backwaters. The restaurant serves a variety of Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine and is also known for its seafood.
- Currymeen : Currymeen is a seafood restaurant located at the Coconut Lagoon resort, and is known for its traditional Kerala cuisine. The restaurant offers a range of seafood dishes such as fish curry, prawn roast, and crab masala.
- The Lake Restaurant : The Lake Restaurant is located at the Lake Palace Resort and offers a unique dining experience with a focus on traditional Kerala cuisine. The restaurant provides a beautiful view of the backwaters while serving delicious seafood dishes such as prawn fry, fish curry, and crab roast.
- Kairali Handicrafts is a well-known store that offers a range of traditional handicrafts from Kerala such as coconut shell products, carved wooden items, and coir mats. The store is famous for providing high-quality products at fair prices.
- Abad Retail Outlet is another popular store that sells a wide range of souvenirs, clothing, and accessories including traditional Kerala sarees, handmade jewelry, and spices. The store is well-known for its diverse collection of products and reasonale prices.
- The Government Handicraft Emporium is a shop that is managed by the Kerala government and provides a variety of traditional handicrafts such as bronze statues, wooden carvings, and handwoven sarees. The store is famous for its authentic products and reasonable prices.
- Coconut Bay is a famous shop that offers various products made from coconuts such as skin care products, coconut oil, and even coconut-based snacks. The shop is known for its high-quality products and unique offerings.
- Lemongrass is a popular shop that provides a range of natural and organic products such as spices, tea, and skincare products. The store is famous for its commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices and provides high-quality products.
- Kumarakom Village Mart : Located in the center of Kumarakom village, this mart is a popular shopping destination for tourists looking for souvenirs, handicrafts, and traditional clothing. You can find a variety of products like saris, dresses, spices, and handicrafts made of coconut shells, coir, and bamboo. The prices of the items are reasonable, and you can also bargain for a better deal. The mart also has a small cafeteria where you can try some local delicacies.
- Kumarakom Spice Market : This market is located near the Kumarakom Jetty and is a must-visit for spice lovers. The market offers a variety of locally sourced spices like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. The spices are of high quality and have a distinct aroma and flavor. You can also find Ayurvedic medicines and herbal products in the market.
- Kumarakom Antique Market : This market is located near the Kumarakom Backwaters and is a treasure trove of antique items like coins, jewelry, brassware, and sculptures. The market is a great place to explore if you are interested in history and heritage. The prices of the items are negotiable, and you can get some good deals if you bargain well. However, it is important to note that some of the items may not be authentic, so it's best to have some knowledge about antiques before buying.
Best Time To Visit
The ideal time to visit Kumarakom is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is pleasant with low humidity and comfortable temperatures. This is also the peak tourist season when the backwaters and other attractions are at their best. However, if you want to avoid crowds and get good deals on accommodation, you can consider visiting during the monsoon season from June to September, which is also a good time to witness the lush greenery of the region.
How to Reach
- By Air - Cochin International Airport, located around 85 km from Kumarakom, is the closest airport. From the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kumarakom.
- By Train - The nearest railway station to Kumarakom is the Kottayam Railway Station, which is located about 16 kilometers away. From the railway station, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kumarakom.
- By Road - Kumarakom is well-connected to nearby cities and towns by road. Visitors can take a bus or hire a taxi from major cities like Kochi, Kottayam, and Alleppey to reach Kumarakom. The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates regular bus services to and from Kumarakom.