Kumarakom is an important ‘must-see’ place for the millions of tourists that visit Kerala every year. It is renowned for the glittering Backwaters, Mango Grooves, Coconut Trees, Bird Sanctuary and Boat rides. The climate is moderate right through the year with a wonderful collection of Things To Do In Kumarakom.
There are a number of interesting places to visit and special activities that can be done at Kumarakom. Find below few of them that can serve you as a ready reckoner.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is also famously known by the name “Vembanad Bird Sanctuary” and is located on the banks of the eponymous Vembanad Lake. The sanctuary is one of the top 10 bird sanctuaries in India. Spread across an area of 14 acres, the protected area is a favourite among the birdwatchers who can get to see several rare species of birds. They can see the several rare bird species like the waterfowl, cormorant, owl, egret, darter, cuckoo, native kingfishers, heron, and water ducks. The other birds like Siberian cranes, flycatchers, teal, larks, parrots and wood beetle that migrate from the northern regions such as the Himalayas and Siberia. They usually migrate to this place during the end of year.
Snake Boat Races
Boat races in Kumarakom are a favourite sporting event held during Onam festival. There are elegant boats taking part in this race mainly the Iruttukutthi Vallam and the Chundan Vallam (Snake boat). The focus in the race is on the Iruttukutthi, in which 50 oarsmen row it. The winners of the Nehru Trophy Boat Race event held in 2014 were the United Boat Club, Kainakari and the boat is Champakkulam.
Majority of those who live in Kumarakom are Hindus and Christians. However there are few Muslims who live there as well. Some of the places to be visited are St Mary’s Church at Athirampuzha, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple and Juma Masjid. The St Mary’s Church has a statue of St. Sebastian with distorted figure The temple Vaikom is a Lord Shiva temple and is one of the oldest templates built in Kerala styled architecture. Juma Masjid is a mosque built over 1000 years ago is also called as “Thazhathangadi mosque”.
Sarpakavus is a land close to the dwellings with medicinal herbs and groves, and from olden days is a place where poisonous snakes exist. The locals treat the snakes with reverence and there is a temple built for worshipping the serpent god. People restrict themselves to visit the temple for occasional prayers and ritualistic feeding of milk to snakes. Sarpakavus are on the verge of extinction but can still be found in 14 locations in Kumarakom.The place signifies the harmony between humans and animals living together and maintaining the ecological balance.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum
Bay Island Driftwood Museum is a unique collection of driftwood sculptures collected from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. There are different kinds of sculptures of animals, birds, flowers that are carved so naturally that it looks very close to reality. These scriptures were drifted to the shores of Andaman from the sea waves. The then curator of the museum collected them and using the modern techniques converted to them to sculptures with high artistic value. The museum authorities manage the preservation, polishing and any such methods to maintain the unique collection intact.
Travellers must pay a visit to the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls, that is located just 2 km from Kumarakom is a beautiful picnic spot. Here small streams flows through the landscape, and waters makes a roaring noise as they descend from the mountains from a height of 100 feet.
Pathiramanal Island, which is also nicknamed as sands of midnight, can be access by boat from the waterfalls and provides an excellent picnic spot. Home to several varieties of migratory birds, the island is spread across 10 acres and can be reached via the enchanting backwaters.
The cuisine mainly in Kumarakom area consists of rice and fish. There are several marine and freshwater fishes specifically the Pearl Spotted fish “Karimeen Pollichathu”, is usually the main dish in the local menu. The tourists should taste the delicious dishes made out of these fishes. However they can also get to taste the south Indian specialities like dosa, idli, sambhar, appam and coconut water is part of their menu as well. Food is a must among the list of Things To Do In Kumarakom.
There are many interesting places to visit in Kumarakom. Being located in the tourist state of Kerala, it is one single place where bird watchers can see rare bird species in the sanctuary, savour the delicious local dishes, stay and cruise on boats, become part of the boat races, a symbol of cultural festival, stay at resorts with wonderful facilities, check out on the religious places and antique shops, visit grove of snakes and waterfalls. Also at Kumarakom there is a site seeing place Regional Agriculture Research Station (RARS) that can be visited.