Thursday, November 12, 2015

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Attractions of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons..


Monday, January 27, 2014

Kumarakom Boat Race

Boat Races
Backwaters host many special events during August to September. The electrifying races by carved wooden boats set the backwaters on fire. traditional fishing kumarakomBoat races are held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival in August/September. Scores of long snake boats and other smaller crafts participate in these events. The largest team sport in the world, the snake boat races are preceded by colourful water parades. Usually a snake boat is manned by four helmsmen, 25 singers and 100 - 125 oarsmen who row in unison to the fast rhythm of thevanchipattu (song of the boatman). Thousands of people crowd the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish.The oldest of these events have curious legends and myths attached to their origin. Myths closely linked to the rustic people and their beliefs.

A calendar of the snake boat races of Kerala from July to September.

 Champakulam Moolam Boat Race

 Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali

 Payippad Jalotsavam,

 Nehru Trophy Boat Race.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

In and around Kumarakom

When nature is all you need to recuperate, Kumarakom is undoubtedly the most invigorating, fascinating paradise in Kerala, God's own country. The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. That is the pristine beauty of Kumarakom.

Kumarakom the charming emerald peninsula jutting into the ever-effervescent Vembanad Lake takes you into the heart of the scenic lake where you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes. The fresh water of the lake runs into the mainland making a labyrinth of lagoons, brooks, canals and waterways. The backwater houses a variety of species of both fauna and flora. They are rich with marine life namely the exclusive 'Kumarakom Karimeen' (pearl spotted fish), Konju (tiger prawns), Njandu (crabs), Chemeen (prawns) and many more.

As the monsoon winds bring rain to the shores of Vembanad Lake, the Kumarakom is transformed into a rich fertile land. The streams, lagoons, brooks break their banks and provide nourishment to springs and shrubs that sprout from every available space.

Water birds, migratory birds, mangrove shores and the renowned bird sanctuary form their niche. The resorts nearby offer comfortable accommodation and exclusive leisure options like an Ayurvedic massage, yoga, meditation, boating, fishing and swimming. The adventurous could indulge in water sports such as windsailing and waterskiing. You could even take a canoe out into the quite lakes and armed with a fishing rod, catch your own supper. Make sure you do not miss out on Karimeen and fresh toddy, the favourite fresh water food and the local wine.

The local spring season emerges from August and coincides with the harvest festival of Onam, blooms the tourist and the local people.

And so,
..Come & Ride
-through the backwater country that offers a glance of the rustic Kumarakom life.
..Come & Watch
- the swaying paddy fields with the herds of ducks and other water birds.
..Come & Roam
-the lofty coconut palms standing upright above the evergreen foliages of the mangroves and other wetland vegetation,
..Come & sail
-on the canoes, houseboat, country boats silently through the zigzagging waterways
..Come & listen
the occasional call of the migratory bird.
All liven up an image of that eternal beauty for which Kumarakom is much famous.

Climate: Kumarakom enjoys a well-balanced tropical climate. The lowest and highest temperatures recorded are 16.10 C and 37.80 C. There is always a cool, fresh breeze, which makes even the warmest weather readily agreeable. The South West monsoon is from early June to early August. However, slight drizzles persist till early November. Average rainfall is 1100 mm per year. The peak tourist season is from November to March.

Places of Interest: Around Kumarakom

Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls
Pay a visit to the picturesque Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls Located 18km from Kottayam town, 2 km down a mud lane from Kumarakom is this beautiful picnic spot where streams tinkle as they make their way through the landscape and waters roar as they cascade down the mountains from a height of 100 ft. Pathiramanal (sands of midnight), an enchanting island on the lake, can be accessed by boat fromhere. This 10 acre island on the backwaters is home to many rare varieties of migratory birds from different parts of the world. According to mythology a young Brahmin dived into the Vembanad Lake to perform his evening ablutions and the water madeway for the land to rise from below. The island can be accessed only by boat. A cruise along the Vembanad Lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary.

Kottayam is an ancient town famous for its churches, especially the 700 years-old churches, the Cheria palli ('small church') with exceptionally lovely paintings over the altar and the Valia palli('Big Church') perched on a picturesque hillock over a small cluster of houses. In the St.Mary's Church Kuravilangad built in 355 AD there is an old bell which bears a hitherto undeciphered inscription. The mortal remains of the blessed Alphonsa and the Blessed Father Chavara are entombed at the St.Mary's Church at Bharananganam and the St.Joseph's Monastery Church at Mannanam respectively. Thousands gather at these holy shrines during festive occasions. Pala town and Kanjirappally, nourished by the Meenachil and Manimala rivers respectively are centers of rubber plantations. The Ettumanoor Shiva Temple 12 km north of town, has exceptionally beautiful wall paintings and sculptures inside the temple. In the heart of Kottayam town is the much venerated Thirunakkara Mahadeva temple.

This is an important pilgrim centre for the Hindus and Muslims. Sree Dharmasastha Temple here is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa. Pilgrims going to Sabarimala alight here.

Aranmula - Pathanamthitta
50km from Kottayam, Aranmula is the site of the splendid Onam festival boat races, usually in early September. These races unlike the more sporting Nehru Trophy race at Alappuzha in August are essentially religious, based on a temple festival. Caparisoned elephants with beaded umbrellas, processions of decorated floats, and highly ornate boats make this a lovely event to witness. Aranmula is also the centre of bell metal mirror crafts.

Vagamon, 64 km from Kottayam and 34 km from Pala, situated at an elevation of 1100 meters above sea level is a trekker's paradise. It is an ideal tourist spot surrounded by the greenery of tea gardens, beautiful meadows and valleys. Other attractions: Thangal Para, Indo-Swiss project, Kurisumala Ashram.

Elaveezha Poonchira
Elaveezha Poonchira is yet another picnic spot accessible from Pala and located in the midst of beautiful hills.

40km from Kottayam, famous for the Shiva Temple. The festival in November-December, last for 12 days and the 'Panchavadyam' is an important musical performance

How to Get Kumarakom

Kumarakom in Kerala, South India is just a few miles (16 km) from the nearest city, Kottayam. As entry point to India; you can fly to Mumbai (Bombay) or Chennai (Madras). There are daily flights to Kerala where, as entry points, you have a choice of three international airports - Kochi (Cochin), Kozhikode (Calicut) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum).

..By Road
-From the Cochin International Airport it is an 85 Km delightful ride by road to the Muhamma boat Jetty. From the Trivandrum International Airport it is a 175 Km (approximately 3.30 hours ride by road) to the Muhamma boat jetty. From the Calicut International Airport it is 180 Km ride to Muhamma..

..By Rail

- From Bombay, Madras or Bangalore, you can take a train to Kerala. The best place to alight is either Cochin or Kottayam (the nearest railhead, just 16 Km away by road). Kottayam links you to all major cities in Kerala and India with numerous trains plying this route daily. From Cochin, you could also take a south bound train via the Alleppey route (enjoy picturesque scenery as the route flanks the backwaters and the sea on its way). Alight at Chertala for a short 14 Km ride to Kumarakom.

..By Water
-If you have arrived at Trivandrum International Airport, come to Quilon by road or rail (takes just about one hour). From there, you can take the regular ferry service to Alleppey - a long and delightful ride on Kerala's backwaters. From Alleppey, it's just a short ride to Kumarakom.If you have arrived at Cochin International Airport, perhaps you might prefer a ride through the backwaters to Alleppey. There are many boat services offered at Kochi.

About Kumarakom

Kumarakom,situated 13 Kms away from Kottayam is a sleepy little village on VembanadLake in Kerala. It offers wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating and fishing experience. The bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres is safe home for many migratory birds like Siberian stork, wild duck etc. They live with other birds in flocks such as darters, herons, egret, waterfowls and cuckoos are fascinating sight for the visitors.

The beautiful paradise stocked with mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut trees comprises with water ways and canals adorned with white lilies enchants the tourist from world over. The land is famous for it's painstakingly hand craft each exquisite piece still made in a traditional way. VemanadLake is home to several types of marine life exclusively the Chemeen (Prawns), the Konju (Tiger Prawns) and Karimeen.

How to reach

By Air :85 Km from Cochin International Airport and the 250 Km from Trivandrum International Airport.
By Rail: 16 Km from Kottayam.
By Boat: From Muhamma (near Alappuzha) to Kumarakom Jetty.
By Road: Buses and Taxis are easily available at all time of the day from Kottayam.