We paddled on the backwaters of Kumarakom in the country side for 2 hours on a recent weekend trip with our 2.5 year old daughter. Raju, our boatman took us from our place of stay at Taj Vivantaand showed us his village Aymanam that adjoins Kumarakom, and the one on which the Nobel prize winning novel ‘God of small things‘ is based. Raju is a 60+ old man whose son works at Taj. Aymanam is his native where everybody knows each other. People have very simple and close to the nature lifestyle here as their livelihood (fishing) and routine majorly depends on the backwaters. We all were speechless while soaking in the natural surroundings around us. It was during this time that I wondered if there is any other place better than Kumarakom in Kerala where a family can relax! For I have been to other places as well – Munnar, Kochi, Allepey to name some and they are beautiful as well but the tranquility and peace that we found here apart from the leisure activities made our holiday with our daughter so much enjoyable that I concluded that only staying at Kumarakom for days give will you ample experience of Kerala and you would be left asking for more.
Here are the reasons why:
Kerala is God’s own country and Kumarakom is God’s hometown
Away from the hustle bustle of modern world, this part looks still untouched by invasion of modern architecture and complex lifestyle. Green is prominent everywhere and the only sound that make noise is that of the birds or the boats plying on the water. What else does a family with kids and elderly needs than a perfect break to relax in such surroundings from their busy, chaotic lives?
Water, water everywhere
The streams started following us as soon as we started from Kottayam railway station towards Kumarakom. As we reached our place of stay as Taj Vivanta resort, it became apparent that water bodies were our constant companion everywhere. With lagoons, ponds, streams, back waters, you will feel enticed by water everywhere. And the backdrop of Vembanad lake adds to the beauty!
A stream just around our Taj villa where we stayed!
A pond with water lillies in the back 🙂
The lagoon at Baker’s house
In the backdrop of largest fresh water lake of Kerala
Vembanad (Vembanad Kayal or Vembanad Kol) is the longest lake in India, and the largest lake in Kerala spanning several districts in the state. There are several resorts on the banks of Vembanad Lake at Kumarakom. About 400 houseboats operate in the area. Houseboats idling in the lake or small boats hitching a ride is a common sight here. Many resorts offer houseboats ride as part of the package and hence, families find that very convenient. A ride of two hours is more than enough here to soak the beauty but a night stay is also common on the lake.
A houseboat cruising on the Vembanad lake
Simple lifestyle make city people envious!!
I’ll let the photos do all the talking here..
Many locals have houseboats
A lady duck farmer. Did you hear that before? Not me!!
People commute on the backwaters and uses this water for household chores as well. Wow and we have to buy water from tankers. Not fair:(
I love this locality. Do the kids here play boating-boating! Huh for us it’s kagaz ki kashti and baarish ka paani 🙁
Several Luxury and Budget resorts
There are several lake resorts here to suit your budget and desire. Taj Garden Retreat the first modern tourist resort in Kumarakom is established in the Victorian two storied bungalow built by Alfred George Baker in the year 1881. Kumarakom is the first destination in India to Implement Responsible Tourism practices. Kerala Tourism was awarded for its path-breaking ‘Responsible Tourism’ project in Kumarakom, which has successfully linked the local community with the hospitality industry and government departments, thereby creating a model for empowerment and development of the people in the area while sustaining eco-friendly tourism.
Several luxury and budget resorts on the banks of the lake
Wide variety of flora and fauna
Kumarakom boasts of pristine green environment with rich variety of flora and fauna. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary) is situated here, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Set in the Kerala Backwaters the bird sanctuary is a favorite haunt of migratory birds. The main attractions are local birds like waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, and brahminy kite, as well as the migratory Siberian crane. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from as far the Himalayas, and a few even from Siberia.
Moderate climate throughout the year perfect for families
Although we went in off-season in summer (as mentioned everywhere) yet we were delighted to find rains almost every second day. Days are humid here but that is bearable. In fact, for families especially with kids and elders, this place is ideal as far as weather is concerned. You can keep light clothes that will give you enough space to carry other essential stuffs like for us we needed to carry lot of baby care products for our toddler!
Leisure activities and cultural programs
Kumarakom is a place to lay back, relax and enjoy with your people. Since, water is everywhere there are leisure activities like boating, yachting, kayaking and fishing. Apart from these resorts like Taj offer cultural programs and lot of other to engage like pottery classes, local cuisine cooking classes etc that will make you feel spiritually satisfied!
Bharatnatyam performance at Taj Vivanta
Pottery done by tourists!!
In the lap of nature, ek game ho jaaye?? 😉
If you are still not convinced then watch this video
Easy to access
By air: via Cochin International Airport approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi).
By rail: via Kottayam
By boat: From Muhamma (near Alappuzha) to Kumarakom Jetty.
By road:KSRTC(16 kilometres) Buses and taxis are easily available at all times of the day from Kottayam.
Click here for the fact-file for Kumarakom if you are planning a visit. For our stay experience at Vivanta by Taj, in Kumarakom click here
Click here for the Flickr gallery of all our pics of Taj Kumarakom.