Posted by : Prajna LS March 29, 2014
Kumarakonam shines like a jewel in the crown; it is the pride of backwater tourism in India. Stretched to the eastern side of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakonam is also known to be an important destination in the emerging Responsible Tourism in India.
Kumarakonam is a part of Kottayam district in Kerala situated besides the famous Vembanad Lake. The location can be called a cluster of villages nearby the Vembanad Lake. From Kottayam (15km), it is just 15 minutes drive. Kottayam is the nearest railhead and Cochin International Airport is the nearest (95 km) airport. Ferries are available from Allepy and Kochi.
|Image courtesy: weareholidays.co.in|
The Vembanad Lake in Kerala is the backbone of Backwater Tourism in that state. It is the longest lake in Kerala stretching between Kochi and Allepy. The lake is surrounded by Kotayam, Ernakulam and Alappuzha districts. Cluster of islands formed in the lake have become tourist spots. Six major rivers of Kerala merge into this lake.
Fort Kochi lies on the north western side of the lake where as Kumarakonam is situated to the south eastern side. A salt water barrier has been built across the stream of the lake to avoid salt water flow into the lake. It is called the Thanneermukkom barrier and as a result one side of the hat barrier is a fresh water lake. Kumarakonam is a part of the fresh water lake side.
It is known for:
Kumarakonam has made news recently by bagging the prestigious UN award for Sustainable Tourism. It is a part of Kerala’s Responsible Tourism project.
The destination is known for backwater tourism, houseboats, and fishing. The place is the epitome of serene beauty by housing coconut groves on the either sides of the canals. Kumarakom Boat Race is a major event in the locality.
Tourists like the place because the place provides luxurious resorts and houseboats. Wide ranges of houseboats overlooking the lake are available here.
Visit Kumarakonam Bird sanctuary that is located near the Vembanad Lake. A Victorian Bungalow which is the present day Taj Garden Retreat, which was the home of Baker family is situated near the sanctuary. Back in time it was known as the Baker’s estate.
If you have read Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, the Aymanam village mentioned in the book resembles Kumarakonam.
Best option would be to stay in a hired houseboat. It is an experience of a unique kind. You would get plenty of other options too. Lake view resorts, Home stays, eco-resorts, Villas, and budget hotels are available. Don’t forget to relish the local delicacies like Appam, Kappa, Karimeen (Pearl Spot fish) and varieties of seafood.