A little bit of heaven in God’s own country, Kumarakom, in the backwaters of Kerela in southern India is a village (a cluster of little islands) on Vembanad Lake.
We visited Kumarakon, over an extended weekend, more than a decade ago. The lazy backwaters settles you in for a leisurely holiday. Choose to stay in one of the many lake resorts or on a traditional houseboat. Awaken to the songs of the neighbourhood birds and let the day unfold the many treasures of this serene and pristine village.
Best time to visit
- Winter (October – February) allows you to participate in a variety of activities.
- Monsoon (June – September) is humid but the season for festivals.
How to reach
- Nearest airport in Cochin, approximately 95 kms away, is well connected with the prominent destinations in India. You can either hire a cab or use public transport (bus) to reach Kumarakom.
- Kottayam railway station is the nearest railway station to Kumarakom, at a distance of approximately 15 kms. Daily connections between this station and other important Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore are available. Once again, either hire a cab or use public transport (bus) to reach Kumarakom.
- The Kerala State Run Transport Corporation (KSRTC) connects Kumarakom to other nearby cities, towns and villages. There are private-run buses (air-conditioned / non air-conditioned) as well.
Where to stay
A wide selection of budget to luxurious accommodations are just a click away. Kumarakom also has wonderful heritage properties which, I personally recommend.
Things to do
- Bird-watching. Familiarise yourself with both local and migratory birds that fly in from the Himalayas and as far away as Siberia.
- Morning and evening backwater boat rides on the many canals connecting to Lake Vembanad.
- Houseboat cruises on the Lake. The stunning sunrises and sunsets will leave you spell-bound.
- Experience authentic village life.
- Indulge your taste buds. Enjoy traditional culinary delights like Chemmeen (seafood delicacy), the super light Appams (fermented rice and coconut milk pancakes), Fish Moilee (traditional fish curry) and much more.
- Explore the traditional wooden structured temples unique to Kerela.
- Rejuvenate your mind and body with the universally renowned Kerela massage.
- Go fishing in the canals running across the village as well as the shallow waters of the Lake.
- During the Onam Festival in August, be a part of the celebrations and exhilarating boat races.
The backwaters of Kumarakom is the perfect place to indulge yourself in a laid-back, dreamy holiday. It is a welcome alternative to the hustle and bustle of Alleppey, the more renowned ‘backwaters destination’ of Kerela. Life here floats at a slower pace and offers serenity and warmth to the ‘peaceful’ traveller.