Kumarakom is best described as a cluster of islands in the backdrop of Vembanad Lake housing varied wild life, which makes it an ornithologist’s dreamland. A labyrinth of canals, lakes and rivulets, it is a place you would want to visit, time and again.
Reckoned to a masterpiece of nature, it leaves no stone unturned to fascinate the visitors. A perfect blend of Kerala’s natural beauty, rich culture and warm denizens, Kumarakom would spoil you for good.
Based on your taste and preferences pick from our quick list of places to visit in Kumarakom. There is a lot to see, do and explore while you wander around the tranquil lanes, taste the traditional cuisines, get a feel of the laidback village life and relax in the serene backdrops.
1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary – A major crowd puller in the land of feathery beings
As the name suggests, the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a birdwatcher’s paradise, placed in close proximity to the scenic backwaters. Situated in the Kottayam district, it is in sync with the Vembanad Lake, another of top places to see in Kumarakom. Visit the lush green Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary to get acquainted with various migratory birds including Siberian Stork and Kingfisher. The Pathiramanal Island aka Sand of Midnight is also accessible from this sanctuary via a 10-minute boat ride.
Entry: INR 50 to 100 per head
Opening days: Open on all days of the week from 6.30 am to 5 pm
Tip: Best time to visit is from June to August; however to spot migratory birds visit during the months of November and February.
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2. Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall – A photographer’s haven
Surrounded by rubber plantation, this invigorating waterfall will surely rejuvenate and relax you exhausted soul. A feast for the eyes, the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is an ideal picnic and trekking spot. Picture a roaring waterfall hidden among the serene environment and lush green rubber plantation – no photographer would want to miss the experience. Not just photographers, it is also popular among youngsters who seek a refuge from the hustles of daily life.
If you like trekking, trek to the the top of the waterfall to reach the St Mary’s Church, one of the top religious places in Kumarakom.
Opening days: All days of the week from 6 am to 10 pm
3. Vembanad Lake – The luscious glory of Kumarakom
The convergence point of ten rivers, Vembanad Lake is the glory of the city. The never ending mesmerizing backwaters and picturesque backdrop of the lake compel you to stay in this city forever. Vembanad Lake is ideal for a romantic getaway – just rent a houseboat, explore the horizon of the lake, and spend blissful romantic time with your partner. The moment you are here, you’ll know that this is one of the best tourist places in Kumarakom.
Also, the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place in the flowing water of Vembanad Lake in the month of August, every year.
Tip: If you have stayed in a houseboat before, this time take your pick from various lodging options near the Vembanad Lake.
4. Kumarakom Beach – The smidgen of everything adventurous in Kumarakom
Considered to be a happening spot, the famous Kumarakom Beach is an adventurer’s paradise. There are various water and air adventure sports such as water skiing, wind surfing, boating and parasailing that you can try. Besides, it is too tempting to take some time off, sit back and soak in tranquility of the place. One of the top places to visit in Kumarakom, the beach also offers a rich bouquet of luxurious resorts like Kumarakom Lake Resort, right on the shore line. Get a room in any one of them to enjoy the grace of nature.
Tip: The museum near the beach is something you must try.
5. Kumarakom Backwaters – The backbone of Kumarakom tourism
Kumarakom backwaters is one of the major and most significant places to visit in Kumarakom. It singlehandedly boosts 60 per cent of the city’s tourism. An ideal getaway from the usual orthodox vacation, Kumarakom backwaters cast a spell with their tranquil beauty, blue water and a heritage boathouse. To have a memorable time, rent a boathouse and head towards the horizon with your beloved, while the sun sets in the west.
Suggested Read: 10 Most Offbeat Kerala Backwaters You Should Explore
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6. Bay Island Driftwood Museum – A little different, significant nonetheless
One of its kind museum in India, Bay Island Driftwood Museum is propelled by a unique idea. It showcases the carvings and intricate woodwork on driftwood or any other wood recovered from water. Originally initiated by a school teacher, Raji Punnose, this form of art attracts admirers from all over the world. The authentic woodwork is awe-worthy to even those who don’t understand the intricacies behind the art.
Opening days: 10 am to 5 pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and from 11.30 am to 5 pm on Sundays.
If you are ready to travel an hour or two, these places near Kumarakom will make you fall in love with this beautiful city.
7. Vagamon – A mystical hill station, right in the lap of nature
Cool enchanting hills, velvet green grass and a soothing vibe – Vagamon lures you in more than one ways. It is not just another green spot in Kerala; in fact, it’s a perfect blend of mysticism and bliss. Once you reach here, you have various recreational options available – be it trekking in the Vagamon Pines or paragliding through the refreshing breeze. The ideal combination of breathtaking beauty and modern amenities makes it a must-visit spot in Kumarakom.
Distance from Kumarakom: 55 km
Suggested Read: 7 Tranquil Hill Stations in Kerala For A Refreshing Summer
8. Kottayam – A beautiful heaven in the country of God
The lush green fields, never ending stretches of backwaters, humble hills, rubber plantation and friendly surroundings make Kottayam a must visit in Kumarakom. A visit to Kottayam will ensure that you experience a blend of modern amenities and warm Keralite welcome. There many places to visit in Kottayam as well, pick according to the time at hand.
Distance from Kumarakom: 13 km
9. Pathiramanal Island – A labyrinth of forest trails, explored and unexplored
A haven for thousands of migratory birds as well as travelers looking for a blissful stay, Pathiramanal Island is known for its luxurious stay amidst nature. Despite being a small island, Pathiramanal ensures an experience unmatched by any. We mean picture this – a floating hut, calm sound of waves and thousands of birds flying around the Vembanad Lake. Now what could be more inviting than that!
Places to see: Pathiramanal Biopark, and a mysterious temple hidden in the dense bushes.
10. Popular pilgrimage spots in Kumarakom
a. Juma Masjid – The 1,000 year old mosque
This 1,000 years old mosque stands tall and proud amidst the Thazhathangady, alongside Meenachil river. It boasts of its intricate woodwork, stunning interiors and an inspiring architectural design. Not one of the typical tourist places in Kumarakom, Juma Masjid still is famous for its mystical history and calm surrounding.
Timings: 12 pm to 12 am, opens all days of the week
b. St Mary’s Church in Cheriapally – One of the oldest churches in Kerala
One of the oldest church in Kerala, St Mary’s Church is one of the major tourist places in Kumarakom. Built with European architectural design, the interiors of this Church are beyond words. The pillars and walls, covered with Biblical as well as non-Biblical graffiti and murals, lend a sense charm to this holy place. The surrounding beauty is an added perk. Set amidst lush greenery and cliffs, St Mary’s Church is definitely one of the must-visit places in Kumarakom.
Timings: 8 am to 6 pm, opens all days of the week
Note: The midnight mass on Christmas Eve is spectacular here. Exquisite lightings and cheerful fanfare make it a memorable experience.
c. Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple – A temple dedicated to Lord Nataraja
Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple is the kind of pilgrimage place that really makes you feel calm inside. An always-lit lamp in the centre, earthy murals on the wall, a famous painting of Nataraja and a long queue of devotees waiting to pour oil into the lamp – this is the scene of the temple on any given regular day. Located in the small village of Ettumanoor near Vaikom, it is one of the best places to visit in Kumarakom.
Timings: 4 am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 8.30 pm, opens all days of the week
Tip: Visit during February to be a part of ‘Celebration of Light’ which lasts for 10 days.
d. Vaikom Mahadeva Temple – An architectural masterpiece
The second significant temple in Kumarakom, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple is in close proximity to the Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is believed to attract lakhs of Shiva devotees every year. Besides the grand Vaikom Ashtami celebrations, the temple is known for it remarkable architecture.
Timings: 5 am to 12 noon and 4 pm to 9 pm, opens all days of the week
e. Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple – Walls that tell tales
Right in the centre of the city, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple is an amazing pilgrimage to visit. The major attraction of this temple is the walls expressing epic battles of the past. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is popular for its celebrations and festivities.
Timings: 4 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 8 pm, opens all days of the week
So, does the list excite you? If yes, then pack your bags and explore this natural masterpiece. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us.
Further Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Kerala
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