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DESTINATIONS » SOUTH » KERALA » KUMARAKOM
 
 
 
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuar is situated at Kumarakom in Kottayam district in Kerala, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. A birdwatcher's paradise can be found at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. This bird sanctuary covers an inspiring spread of 14 acres. A wonderful variety of thousands of different birds can be found at the sanctuary at any given time. Numerous migratory birds even from places like Siberia end up at the sanctuary. The entire area was established by the government of India in an effort to preserve the natural habitat of both native plants like mandrakes and coconut trees and of the various birds. Local people can be hired to canoe you through the entire sanctuary.

The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy kite and the duck, as well as the migratory Siberian crane. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from the Himalayas, and a few 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.

 
     
 
Kumarakom Backwaters
 
 
Kumarakom is a small village situated on the banks of Lake Vembanad. The lake with an excess of waterways makes it one of the popular backwater destination in the state of Kerala. The backwaters are famous as Kuttanad backwaters and are spread in the area and around. The palm fringes, placid water and the clear blue sky dominate the scene at Kumarakom. Add to this rare avian population and the entire place seems like Utopian lands. Numerous types of flora and fauna can be seen in breathtaking panoramas as you with on the deck. Larger houseboat companies will even let you tether several houseboats together to house a larger tourist group.

The resorts at Kumarakom are debatably the best. The 'Kettuvalloms', popular houseboats, lurching in the backwaters is a common feature at Kumarakom. The houseboat features include living rooms, bedrooms, modern toilets, kitchen and in some a balcony. The boats are either motorized or driven by small engines or by local oarsmen. The banks of beautiful Vembanad Lake are marked with mangrove and coconut plantation. The bird sanctuary spread over 14 acres on the eastern banks of the lake further adds to the charm of the lake. The land at many places is occupied by the paddy fields. At Kumarakom it is all but the nature.

 
     
 
Backwater Cruise
 
 
The backwaters of Kerala - an infinite stretch of twisty waterways flanked on either side by tall and swaying palm trees, is one of the most interesting Tourist Attractions in Kumarakom. Embark on an enthralling and peaceful cruise on these backwaters, and you will definitely enjoy an experience of a lifetime. A boat ride at Kumarakom is filled with the amusement and slow paced country life. A stay at any of the wonderful houseboats is also a must while holidaying at Kumarakom. The backwater experience is quite exclusive at Kumarakom. The countryside offers a great backdrop of the nature and its supporting wildlife. At many places one finds the local fishing community occupied with their daily hunt, men and women searching for the fish in the shallows. The vegetation on the banks and nearby pastures is some great natural purifiers and further beautifies the environment. The amazing bird life is the prize at Kumarakom. Exotic birds swimming in the backwaters and in the shallows are indeed charming. With on board food services the backwater experience is one sure thing that is not to be missed at Kumarakom.
 
     
 
The Vembanad Lake
 
 
The gorgeous Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom is famous for its outstanding picturesque beauty, lush green surroundings and thrilling boat cruises. The Vembanad wetland system covers an area of over 1512 km and is bordered by 3 districts. Several rivers flow into the lake and Canals link the lake to other coastal lakes of the region. A unique characteristic of the lake is the location of the Thannermukkom salt water barrier which was constructed as a part of the Kuttanad Development Scheme to prevent tidal action and intrusion of salt water into the Kuttanad low-lands. It is the largest mud regulator in India.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary on the eastern banks of the Vembanad Lake is a preferred haunt of migratory birds and shelters a wide diversity of exotic birds. The beautiful serene Vembanad Lake comes alive during the festive occasion of Onam when fabulous snake boat races and colorful cultural programs are held. If you truly desire a feel of heaven on earth, take a Back Water Cruise on the superbly still waters of the Vembanand Lake. Most of the luxury houseboat cruises start from the Vembanad Lake jetty and travel down the delightful Kerala backwaters. The wooden houseboats are equipped with modern facilities like air conditioned and well appointed bedrooms and a well equipped kitchen, complete with qualified staff.

The people living on the banks of Vembanad are directly or indirectly dependent upon the lake for their livelihoods which include agriculture, fishing, tourism, inland navigation, coir retting, lime shell collection, shrimp/ crab farming and sand mining. The spectacular sunrise brings with it fresh promise of further excitement. The houseboat sails by the famous Kuttanad region, one of the few areas in the world where farming is done below the sea level.  As you pass small islands, you get a glimpse of village life on the islands dotting the backwaters. A cruise down this sometimes water hyacinth ridden lake is definite to be a most unforgettable and esteemed one.

 
     
 
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