Kumarakom – an entrancing backwater destination – offers unworldly natural beauty and charm. Comprising of island clusters surrounding the Vembanad Lake, this picturesque tourist spot is a perfect paradise for nature enthusiasts and a treat to the eyes for ornithologists. In addition to the numerous places to visit in Kumarakom, the city also has some absolutely pleasant activities including boating, angling, strolling, and quick & short treks.
These super cool activities for families, couples, and friends are some of the best ways to chill out. Besides the unparalleled beauty of Kumarakom, these activities make it one of the most visited destinations in the God’s own country. How much one can indulge in depends on the duration of stay. But even during a short and crisp vacation, one can plan and extract the maximum fun of this pristine backwater scene.
How to reach Kumarakom?
Cochin International Airport, located 85 km from Kumarakom, is the nearest airport that is well connected to the other cities of the country as well as the world.
Kottayam Railway Station, located 16 km from Kumarakom, is the nearest railway station.
There are regular buses of KSRTC (Kerala State Run Transport Corporation) plying between Kumarakom and Kottayam. Located 16 km from Kumarakom, Kottayam is further well connected to the cities of South India by bus.
State-run boats and private ferries across the Vembanad Lake are available from Muhamma, a small town located near Alleppey.
Must Read: 20 Best Resorts In Kumarakom
Best time to visit Kumarakom
November – February is the best time to visit the popular places to visit in Kumarakom. The temperatures are moderate and the climate is perfect for sightseeing, houseboat rides, and to enjoy the scenic beauty of the region.
Coming to the actual itinerary of your trip, here is a detailed list of top things to do in Kumarakom that must be a part of your plan.
Things to do in Kumarakom
1. Take a houseboat ride in the backwaters
Residing in a houseboat and sailing through the quaint and charming backwaters is one of the best things to do in Kumarakom. The jaw-dropping backdrop, lush green plantations along the banks, and gorgeous Vembanad Lake (formed by convergence of 10 Malabar Rivers) pulls plenty of tourists to rent a houseboat and voyage in it.
The houseboats are endowed with all essential and luxury amenities and run by professional agencies whose expertise lie in offering utmost delight while exploring the in-depth exquisite Malabar prettiness.
Operating hours: Depending on the holiday duration, one can float in the traditional houseboats for some hours or spend the entire night. The journey starts at noon with lunch and ends the next day with breakfast at 10 am. The boats are anchored in the Lake Vembanad near the mainland from 6 pm – 7 am.
Charges: Approximately INR 9000 is charged for a 22 hours voyage, including the stay and food. The prices, however, may vary from agent to agent.
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2. Go bird watching at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a small piece of heaven for nature lovers and bird watchers. Located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, this preservation ground is a habitat to plenty of common as well as endangered species of residential and migratory birds. These include Siberian Cranes, Parrots, Herons, Owls, Egrets, Darters, and Waterfowls. Exploring the sprawling 14 acres in a canoe is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating things to do in Kumarakom.
Also visit: Pathiramanal, the fascinating island called the Sands of Midnight on the Vembanad Lake, can be reached by boat from here.
Opening hours: 6:30 am – 5 pm; all days of the week
Entry charges: INR 50 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners; camera charges extra
3. Invigorate with aromas of Ayurveda at Maya Spa
The peaceful glory of Kumarakom is enjoyed best by soothening of senses and relaxation of mind, body, and soul. And when we talk about the same, Maya Spa of Zuri Resort occupies the top most rank in the list. With a plethora of Ayurvedic massages, Maya Spa Kumarakom in Kerala is conceivably the idyllic rejuvenation destination.
As a prestigious winner of Green Leaf certification for authenticity and excellence of spa, it offers expertise and professional service excellence in Shirodhara, Ksheeradhara, Padabhyanga, face massage, Njavarakizhi, Patra Potala Swedam, and Udwarthanam.
Tip: Maya Spa is quite popular amongst tourists and hotel residents, so a prior reservation is a must.
Opening hours: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; all days of the week
Charges: Depending on the service(s) the charges vary. For details click here.
4. Watch a Kathakali performance
Kerala is a land of colorful culture and vibrant traditions. Kathakali – the traditional dance form – is an integral part of the Kerala culture and is practiced across the state. The bold dance form, its dynamic mudras, diverse facial expressions, and the charismatic accompanying rhythm make the ambiance magical and mythical. Watching and enjoying the beauty of these dance performances is one of the mesmerizing things to do in Kumarakom.
Some of the resorts also arrange for performances of Kalaripayattu – a traditional martial art form of Kerala, performed by local artists.
Opening hours: Evening shows are common. One needs to check with the respective hotel helpdesk for show times.
5. Trek till Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall and behold the best of nature
Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall is a scenic and gorgeous tourist attraction near Kumarakom, surrounded by rubber plantations and sedimentary rocky outcrops. The fascinating place is a favorite among wanderers, nature lovers, and trekking enthusiasts. One can take a 2 km muddy trail and trek up to the cascading waterfall to enjoy the jaw-dropping charm of luxuriant green foliage and sparkling meandering streams plunging over the rocks. The waterfall is also a popular picnic spot and must not be missed while sightseeing in Kumarakom.
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6. Stroll along the lakeside and let the backwaters charm you
Nature walking and leisure strolls along the lakeside while enjoying the mesmerizing backwater landscape is a perfect treat for the mind and soul; and one of the best things to do in Kumarakom. The lush green plantations, blue lake water, picture-perfect rural landscape and chirping of birds intoxicates the mind completely.
Kumarakom is a dreamland for nature enthusiasts. One can spend the entire stay peacefully with pleasure and delight simply by taking nature strolls through the small piece of heaven.
7. Watch the famous Nehru Snake Boat Race
If you happen to be in Kumarakom between August and September, you can be a spectator to the world famous boat races, such as the Nehru Trophy snake boat race, Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali, and Payippad Jalolsavam. The thrilling boat races change the serenity of backwaters and make the ambiance fiery and sizzling during this fun-filled competition. Viewing this super cool boat competition is one of the most fun things to do in Kumarakom.
Opening hours: Every year timing for each of these races vary. So for the current year, check out the festival calendar.
Entry charges: Check the official website of KTDC for details about the dates and tickets.
8. Shop to your heart’s content at the street markets
One must try and explore the local street markets of this Kumarakom. Gorgeous Kerala silk sarees, antique handicrafts like bronze & metal statues, camel-bone carvings, wood carvings, embroidered screw pine mats, and Kathakali masks are the best things to pick while shopping in Kumarakom.
Opening hours: 10 am – 8 pm; time may vary from shop to shop
9. Delight the taste buds at Grannery, Cocobay, and Baker’s Gourmet
If you are a foodie at heart, Kumarakom will not disappoint you. Tempting Kerala cuisine will certainly entice the soul and would spoil your taste buds for good.
Grannery Restaurant: The popular restaurant in Abad hotel serves palatable appam, Karimeen Pollichathu, and Grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf.
Cocobay Resort: The resort houses a charming restaurant that specializes in Meen Molee and Chemmeen Ularthu.
Baker’s Gourmet: This restaurant in Vivanta-by-Taj is also a favorite among tourists. Must tries here include uttapam and avial!
One can also try authentic Kerala cuisine in Lakshmi Restaurant and Lakesong Restaurant.
10. Chill out at the Trunk Call Bar
Trunk Call Bar in the Zuri Resort & Spa is the star attraction of the nightlife scene in Kumarakom. The luxury lounge boasts of its posh ambiance, perfect crowd, myriad of cocktails, sumptuous food, jaw-dropping lake views, and landscaped garden. The place is comforting and pleasing. The bar serves a great assortment of liquor ranging from imported scotch to outlandish cocktails.
Opening hours: 11 am – 11 pm; make sure you are not visiting on a dry day
There is a lot to see, do, and discover while one is sightseeing in Kumarakom. Try the traditional foods, engage into shopping in Kumarakom, and feel the extravagant beauty of the backwater landscape.
Pick your choice and plan your trip to the enchanting backwater destination accordingly.
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