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Tourist Places To Visit In Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a collection of tiny islands near the town of Kottayam in Kerala. It is a sleepy village, set by the Vembanad Lake. With its untouched beaches, beautiful swaying palm trees, boathouses and backwaters, this place is a traveller’s delight. The place has come up as a lesser-known but enchanting tourist destination and offers a spread of delights like bird-gazing in the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, picnics at Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, strolls down the Kumarakom Beach and boating in the Kumarakom Backwaters. Read on for some exciting tourist places to visit in Kumarakom.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
This is the haven of migratory birds, coming in from all parts of the world. Spread across a 14 acre stretch of land on the bank of Vembanad Lake, the sanctuary offers a bright variety of birds for you to see, from cuckoo to water duck, owl to kingfisher. The noises of woodpeckers and egrets are sure to keep you at peace through your exploration here. The Siberian crane, teal and wood beatie visit this sanctuary periodically.
It is a beautiful lake, the longest in India. You can spot migratory birds along the curve of this lake while enjoying a quiet picnic on its bank. Or hire a houseboat to experience pin-drop silence in the middle of the water body. See the sun set and hear birds going back home, as nature embraces you.
Aruvikkuzhi waterfalls is a scenic spot with its gushing sounds and cool breezes, situated 18 km away from the town of Kottayam. Th waterfall is over a 100 feet high and doubles up as an ideal picnic spot. You can explore the areas around as well, which include rubber plantations, streams gushing down woods and a breathtaking landscape.
For trekkers, the hike up to the top of the waterfall is one great walk. And the incentive to reach up is St. Mary’s Church, another beautiful attraction.
Kumarakom backwaters make for a scene out of the movies, with crystal cobalt water, migratory birds and fishermen casting fine nets. You must hire a houseboat for this experience, let it take you through canals, lakes and rivers that weave intricately together.
There are a few sports like swimming and wind sailing to take part in. Or you can fish for yourself. Or just sit back and relax.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum
Bay Island Driftwood Museum is home to sculptures, articles and modern art made from driftwood. Some of them have been made out of driftwood that was deposited on the shore of Andaman-Nicobar.
You will see sculptures of animals, fishes, birds; a few as old as a century or two.
Pathiramanal is an island in Vembanad Lake. It literally means the sand of night. This small island has an aquarium and a zoo, and it is also home to exotic migratory birds. You can only access this island by boat.
This is an ancient mosque, dating back over a 1000 years. Believed to be constructed by Habib Dinar, Malik Dinar’s son (the person who introduced Islam to Kerala), it is a marvel of architecture and wood carving.
This town has been in news for the protest against untouchability here. It is located 18 km from Kumarakom and is home to the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, also popularly referred to as Dakshin Kashi. Take a tour of the city centre and the temple, and bask in the spirituality of this southern counterpart of Kashi.
If you visit this place in November-December, do not miss the temple festival lasting 12 days, with grand musical performances (Panchavadyam).
If you are in Kumarakom and wish for some beach galore, then no need to search for nearby islands and villages. The Kumarakom Beach here is more than beautiful to welcome you in its quaint charming arms. With cooling aquamarine seas and almost yellow sands, this beach is a unique gift from nature to mankind. The colours are vivid and so bright, you won’t even need a filter on your photographs! Sunsets and sunrises here draw great crowd, as do meditation and yoga workshops. You can also go snorkelling, water skiing and parasailing in the waters here.
Thazhathangadi Valiapalli, about 500 years old, is a church that was patronised by the king of Thekkumkoor — Godavarma Raja in 1550 CE by lending the land for its construction. Today it is owned by the Knanaya Orthodox Syrian Community, and is popular for its Persian cross, which is believed to be one of the crosses borne by the apostle who came to south Kerala in 52 CE — St. Thomas. The markings and inscriptions in Pahlavi (a Persian dialect of Sassanian Empire) can easily be deciphered on the cross. Do visit for the paintings that adorn its ceilings and the altar, the unique Pahlavi writings and mysterious aura.
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple
An old temple in the divine landscape of Kumarakom, Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is built in reverence to Lord Shiva. It is as old as the time of Mahabharata, when Rishi Vyas and the pandavas worshipped here. There is also a Natraj murti in the sanctum sanctorum of this temple that was given by one Maharaja of Travancore. Visit for all of these unique aspects of the temple, as well as for the eternal diya that burns bright through the year. If you are around in the month of February, then don’t miss the Celebration of Light festival here.
Kumarakom Craft Museum
Visit Kumarakom Craft Museum to explore all the ancient treasures of this region. From paintings made of hay on black cloth to kathakali masks and ancient costumes, rare sculptures to beautiful figurines made by hands hundreds of years back — there is a lot to see here. And buy. The souvenir shop displays a range of antiques that you can pick up from — masks, houseboat miniatures, elephant figurines… you name it, they have it.
Thanneermukkom Bund, a beautiful water body built to prevent the intrusion of salt water and tidal action, is a great tourist spot as well. On one side where Thanneermukkom Bund divides a lake into fresh and brackish water parts, on the other, it connects Alapuzzha and Kottayam districts. Visit this unique spot for a little picnic, amazing photography (the bund is a mix of green and blue waters), boating or a quaint drive parallel to the bund.