Kumarakom is located at a distance of 14 km from Kottayam in Kerala. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of islands that is situated on the Lake Vembanad.
The beautiful village of Kumarakom is set amidst the lush green environs of the backwaters of Kerala. Kumarakom can be a chosen destination for a quiet vacation getaway. Apart from the scenic beauty, Kumarakom also offers a variety of flora and fauna. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a place to see various species of birds especially those that migrate from different parts of the world. Lake Vembanad which is the largest of the backwater lakes offers an equal variety of underwater species of wildlife.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise, set amidst the picturesque locales of Vembanad Lake and spread over fourteen acres on the southern bank of the Kavanar River.
This favorite haunt of migratory birds was developed from land which was formerly cultivated for rubber plantation by an Englishman named Baker, and hence named Baker's Estate.
The sanctuary has well laid-out paths for moving around and enjoying the greenery of the surrounding jungle. Beyond the sanctuary, one can take a boat ride at Vembanad Lake or along the Kavanar River.
In addition, neighboring tourist spots such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal and Poothanpandi Kayal are also good locations for spotting birds.
The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy kite and the duck, native kingfishers, paradise fly-catchers as well as the migratory Siberian crane, sandpipers, and plovers. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher and other birds are also seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from the Himalayas, and a few even from far away Siberia.
Dawn is the ideal time for bird watching when the birds prepare to leave their forest homes and fly over the lake. An early morning trek, well before sunrise, is recommended for avid bird watchers.
Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which owns the largest chain of hotels in Kerala including a resort at Kumarakom, has plans to introduce guided bird watching trails and to open an interpretation center at Kumarakom.
The WWF-India has been organizing bird watching cum trekking camps since 2008 at Kumarakom and Tattekkad Bird Sanctuaries in connection with World Wetlands Day. The activities include bird watching trips, discussion, and interactive sessions. Hundreds of bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, both young and old, have found pleasure in attending the camp.
Tourists and bird watchers can hire houseboats or motorboats to experience the exotic world of magnificent birds. These are the best means for bird watching on the lake. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a rare haven that offers picturesque landscapes and is a nature lover's paradise set within the lush acres of wooded land nearby, acquainting you to the variety of migratory birds that flock in thousands from far-away lands.
You can also visit Pathiramanal, an enchanting island on the lake, which can be accessed by boat. This 10-acre island the name of which means 'midnight sands'on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world.
The salubrious climate, lush greenery, serene locales and the all-pervading presence of water everywhere has a mesmerizing effect on the visitor. Kumarakom is a part of Kuttanad, the 'granary of Kerala' in Alleppey, which is described as the 'Venice of the East'. Kumarakom offers excellent facilities like boating, fishing, and sightseeing for the adventure seeker. If you want to experience the everyday life in an Indian backwater town, then you should take a boat cruise down the Kumarakom lake or a boat trip to the nearby town of Alleppey. You will see people going about their jobs like paddy farming, fishing, prawn farming, coir manufacture and get a peep into the homes on the banks where women are mostly engaged in their daily chores.
The presence of the water beside the land makes way for a moderate climate at Kumarakom. Summers are marked by a high temperature of 37 degrees centigrade. However, there is a presence of a cool breeze throughout during summer. The winter is marked by a temperature level of 16 degrees centigrade. There are heavy showers during the monsoon months of June to September.
The best time to visit the place is between the months of November and April.