In 1878, the marshy mangrove on the bank of the Vembanad
Lake was cleared and replaced by coconut plantations. The person in the wake
of this maneuver was one George Alfred Baker of Essex who had arrived in
India sixty years earlier to take up missionary work in Kottayam. The
Englishman was so awestruck by the splendor of Kumarakom that he settled
here and made Kumarakom his abode.
14 kms from Kottyam and around Kuttanad region lies Kumarakom popularly
known as the rice bowl of Kerala. A huddle of tiny islets on the Vembanad
Lake, Kumarakom is a pictorial, unsoiled village. An incredibly stunning
ecstasy of mangrove forests, pea green paddy meadows and coconut coppices
intermingled with enthralling waterways and canals. Kumarakom, located on
the Southern coast of India enjoys a proportionate tropical weather. Nature
has poised its magic to perfection here. Copious luxuriant coconut palms
lining the rivers bow to look at its likeness on the shimmering rivers.
Ubiquitously, nature is unsurpassed.
The flourishing pastures and
the countryside life are interspersed with the beautiful Kumarakom Bird
Sanctuary. Stretched across 14 acres, the bird sanctuary is a desired haven
of migratory birds and a bird lovers paradise. Teals, egrets, darters,
herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the
Siberian stork that live there in teems are an enthrallment for guests. The
finest way to watch the birds of the Kumarakom sanctuary is a boat trip
round the islets 16 km west of Kottayam on the Vembanad lake. The Sanctuary
teems with local waterfowls and over wintering migratory birds such as the
Siberian storks. Boats are available for backwater cruises in the lake.
The Kerala Backwaters are a chain
of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known
as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. Local people call
it Kayals The backwaters of Kerala- twisty inland lakes networked by canals
- extend to over 1900km.. Vembanad lake is the largest of the lakes,
covering an area of 200 sq km, and bordered by Alappuzha (Alleppey),
Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts.
Just 12 km from Kottayam, this
exclusive backwater destination sited on the banks of the Vembanad lake is
considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. The port of Kochi
(Cochin) is located at the lake's outlet to the Arabian Sea. Alleppey,
populariy known as " Venice of the East" has a network of canals
that meander through the town.
Boating across these soothing
stretches is an experience exclusive to Kerala. Large Kettuvalloms
(traditional country crafts over 60ft. in length) have been renewed into
luxury houseboats for these cruises The Vallam Kali (the Snake Boat Race)
held every year in August is a major attraction. 12km from Kottayam, this
unique backwater destination situated on the banks of the Vembanad lake is
considered the gateway to the backwaters of Kuttanad. Bird
Inhabiting an islet on the Vembanad Lake at a distance of
12 kilometers from Kottayam in Kerala, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is an
enjoyment for the bird lover. Showcasing a mystifying collection of unique
birds among the pantheon of general bird population it is an ideal place for
tourists to enjoy the serene loveliness of the environs.
solitary tones that can be heard at this point are that of placid flow of
water and smooth calls of the birds. Tourists can chill out here for a while
if they are worn out of leading a swift existence. A visit to this sanctuary
will endow with them a peep into the astounding work of the natural world.
The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret,
heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. Boat
The yearly Snake boat races are a exhilarating fiesta held
in Alappuzha, Kerala, India, just before the festival of Onam in August or
September every year. These annual races characterize many classes of boats,
but the most magnificent event is the race involving the colossal Snake
Boats or Chundanvallams at the annual races or Vallamkalis held on the
Punnamada Backwaters at Alappuzha. The Snake Boats or Chundanvallams, can
seat up to 100 people. The rowers pull with all their strength, sitting two
in row along the length of the Snake Boat. The boats drift low in the water
and have an elongated curvature. The prow is pointed in shape or may have an
ornamental knob at the end. The prow rides low in the water with the length
of the Snake Boat expanding behind it.