Puja festival holidays are around the corner in India. Schools being closed for a few days heralds exciting times for children. Setting out on a family trip for exciting activities like houseboating in Kumarakom can be relaxing for both children and adults. Much like at Alleppey Backwaters, houseboating in Kumarakom Backwaters in Kerala provides an exhilarating experience, great food, and panoramic views.
Backwater tourism is always on the upward graph in Kerala thanks to the enchanting lakes litany of rivulets and enthralling web of canals. Different types of houseboats, speed boats, fishing, and sightseeing keep you occupied. While houseboating in Kumarakom, relishing the authentic Kerala delicacies and beverages makes it a totally delightful trip.
Vembanad Lake is situated at Kumarakom in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Aqua tourism thrives here because of the enchanting location dotted with mangrove forests, coconut groves, and green hills. It's rich in marine life which provides for the sustenance of the locals while also attracting visitors. An abundance of pearl spotted fish, tiger prawns, crabs, and many more fish species make your visit worthwhile. An adjacent bird sanctuary makes it another reason to explore the fabulous village.
Kumarakom has been declared a Special Tourism Zone by the Kerala state Government, by Kerala Tourism Act, 2005. Kumarakom is made special by the Vembanad Lake as its widest point stretches across the village helping it to be a tranquil tourist hub. Thus, houseboating in Kumarakom leaves scintillating memories.
Vembanad Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala and the longest in India. A major part of Kumarakom faces the Lake, extending from Alappuzha in the south and Thrissur in the north. The lake is spread across eight kilometers and is about 4 to 26 feet deep. Meenachil, Manimala, Pampa, and Achankovil are the rivers that directly stream into the lake making its marine life rich and abundant. The total area of the Vembanad Lake is 32,700 Acres.
The major highlight of the family outing to Kumarakom revolves around boating. Depending on the number of passengers, convenient houseboats are available for booking. Houseboats are designed to accommodate ten twenty or thirty or even more passengers. There are luxury services also available. However, when you are on a family outing, you would only require an ordinary one. Besides the houseboat service, you can also avail of motor boats, speed boats, country boats, canoeing, dingy sailing, and catamaran riding. Those of you who wish to appreciate the nightlife swaying on the waters and enjoying the lullaby of the lake, do opt for an overnight cruise. Houseboating in Kumarakom through the night can be a mesmerizing experience too.
Usually, the package sail sets off at 11:00 Am and returns to the shore by evening 5:00. By extra payment and a little arrangement, you could also begin the day much earlier. When you are with family, houseboating in Kumarakom, it is not about the distance covered but the quality time spent on board that matters. As the boat sails through Chitira, Rani, Venattukadu, and across to a few places in Alleppey, you get to enjoy the picturesque Kumarakom. Long stretches of paddy fields and coconut groves soothe your senses while the daily routine of fishing and farming by the locals in and around the lake can be a fascinating sight.
Since the boats are spacious, it becomes a perfect platform for your entire family to unwind and engage in recreational activities. Before you realize it would be lunchtime a delicious treat will be set in front of you. For those of you who are fishing experts, it is the best podium to try your luck and haul in a catch. Guess what? The in-house chefs will prepare it for you and you can enjoy it with your lunch.
An essential part of houseboating in Kumarakom includes the food served on board. The enchanting sight coupled with the tranquil rhythm of the lake adds that extra bit of zing to your appetite. Unless specified, they usually serve you Kerala rice, vegetables, and coconut milk-based curries. Of course, all eyes and hands will be on the platters of crab and prawn roast, Kerala-style chicken curry, and pearl spotted fish fried. On demand, they will provide fresh fish delicacies too. Don't smirk, if you are a vegetarian. Make sure to inform the booking team in time, and you will be treated with special veg varieties.
Alcoholic beverages are permitted on board. Apart from that, you will also get a chance to taste the toddy which is a local alcoholic drink tapped and fermented from coconut tree.
Main Attractions in Kumarakom
Besides the lake and web of water channels, the hamlet is popular for Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Tourists who visit the lake make it a point to visit the Bird Sanctuary located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. If you are a bird lover, it is a paradise for you. A large collection of both migratory and resident bird species thrives here. Siberian storks, cormorants, white ibis, egrets, darters, herons, teal, and many more exotic birds feast your eyes. Between November and May is the season for migratory birds to arrive. Pin-tailed duck, garganey teal, spot-billed duck, osprey, marsh harrier, steppe eagle, and many more such special species fly in during these months.
Another popular spot in the region is Pathiramanal. The mini-island in the Vembanad Lake is a haven for hundreds of migratory birds. While on the backwater cruise, it is a beautiful spot where you can slow down and enjoy the remarkable sight of the island.
Best Season to Visit Kumarakom
May to January is the best time to visit as it coincides with the arrival of many migratory birds and the monsoon season in Kerala.
Average Expenses for a large group
Houseboat – INR 20000
Food – INR 6500
Speedboat – INR 3000
How to reach?
Kottayam is well connected by road and railway.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers