Located 16 km from Kottayam and spread across 14 acres on the banks of the Vembanad Lake is a bird watcher's paradise- the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. With a luxuriant avian life that boasts around 180 species of birds, it is the first scientifically formed and preserved bird sanctuary in India. One of the best ways to experience the sanctuary is by ferrying through the picturesque Vembanad Lake. Flocks of birds flitting about and flying across the lake, with the lush mangrove forests and coconut groves forming the backdrop is one breathtaking sight. The best time for bird watching is June to August which is also the breeding season of resident wetland birds. Pay a visit to the sanctuary between November and May and you can watch the birding destination celebrate the arrival of migratory birds.
The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little picture perfect islands on the Vembanad Lake. The ‘Village life experience’ lets the tourist get a taste of the idyllic village life and thus be privy to an authentic experience and get the pulse of the land. Tourists will get the unique opportunity to experience everyday village life unravelling on the banks as they glide through the canals in a country boat. Travellers can also take a stroll through the village and get the unique opportunity to watch the villagers engaged in traditional work such as coconut palm frond weaving, screw pine weaving, fishing, agriculture, and broomstick making, which are some of the common sights here. Tourists may also try their hand at these traditional village jobs.
One of the thrilling experiences that await travellers at Kumarakom is cruising through the vast expanse of Vembanad Lake in a houseboat. There is no better way to explore the Kumarakom backwaters than a cruise in a houseboat (modified 'kettuvallams'). And as it glides past the enticing surrounds of Kumarakom, feast your eyes on the alluring panoramic visuals unravelling before you. The lush green paddy fields, coconut trees skirting the embankments, numerous canals straddling the greenery, flocks of birds flitting across the waters, and the drama of the passing village are some of the enchanting visuals a houseboat ride promises.
Furnished with all amenities, all you need to do in a houseboat as it wades through the pristine waters is let the gentle breeze play against your cheeks, munch on the delicious native cuisine, watch the breathtaking visuals conjured up by nature, relax, and just be.