If you have always wanted to take a trip to the backwaters of Kerala and soak in its tranquillity, Kumarakom can be the ideal destination for you during your next holiday trip. The placid backwaters in the foreground of a serene landscape, covered with a green canopy, are a sight to behold and enjoy. The whole ambience in Kumarakom exudes a unique natural charm. Kumarakom is a cluster of islands surrounding the Vembanad Lake, a picturesque tourist destination and a paradise for bird watchers. There are several places in Kumarakom you can visit for sightseeing. This small Kerala town offers ample opportunities for you to enjoy some fun-filled activities with your family.
There are so many things to do in Kumarakom; you can engage in angling, boating, trekking or simply strolling around. These are some of the best ways to enjoy the gifts of the abundant natural beauty here. The activities mentioned above are best enjoyed with families and friends. The unmatched beauty of Kumarakom adds to the fun quotient in everything you do. This is why visiting Kumarakom is one of the top things to do in Kerala, known as God’s Own Country. To enjoy Kumarakom to the maximum, plan a holiday with enough days to spend here; a short stay may not help you explore this pristine backwaters landscape fully.
We have put together a list of 11 things to in Kumarakom, below:
• Taking a Houseboat Ride in the Backwaters
• Watching Birds Against the Backdrop of Serene Landscape
• Enjoy an Ayurvedic Spa
• Enjoy the Beauty of Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall
• Take a Stroll Along the Lakeside
• Enjoy Watching a Boat Race
• Marvel at the Natural Beauty of Vagamon
• Catch as Many Sunsets as Possible
• Enjoy the Famous Kathakali Dance
• Stroll Through Local Streets
• Enjoy Fishing
1. Taking a Houseboat Ride in the Backwaters
One of the best things to do in Kumarakom is sitting by the window of your room on a houseboat, sailing through the picturesque backwaters and enjoying the pristine landscape, which can transport your thoughts to a surreal world. The backwaters and its surrounding ambience are jaw-dropping. Plush green plantations surround the backwaters and as you continue to sail, the plantations seem to move along with you. The beautiful Vembanad Lake is the result of the union of 10 rivers, and that makes it one of the largest lakes you will ever see.
The houseboats are not just equipped with basic amenities but also with luxury items and are run by professional agencies. You can hire a room in a houseboat for a few hours or book it for the whole night. However, the journey usually starts during lunchtime– around 12 PM– and you can sail about on the backwaters till about 6 PM. After that, the boats are anchored till around 7 AM, after which they set sail again. You can end your voyage after breakfast the next day at 10 AM. This experience will approximately cost you INR 9000 for a 22 hours hire. What is comforting is that it includes some lip-smacking local food as well.
2. Watching Birds Against the Backdrop of Serene Landscape
Bird watchers and nature lovers can savour the sight and sounds of the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary which is situated on the banks of the vast expanse of Vembanad Lake. This is an effort at preserving the habitat of birds which include several endangered species of birds, both migratory and domestic. You can see Siberian cranes, herons, egrets, owls, waterfowls and darters here, among several others. The sanctuary is spread across a sprawling 14-acre area, and visitors often use a canoe to get around. Another one of the most fascinating things to do in Kumarakom is to visit Pathiramanal, an island on the Vembanad Lake, which is also known as the ‘Sands of Midnight’. The sanctuary is open from 6:30 AM to 5 PM daily. For Indians, the entry fee is INR 50 per adult and for foreigners, INR 100.
3. Enjoy an Ayurvedic Spa
Signing up for Kerala’s famous Ayurvedic spa treatment can rejuvenate your body and mind. There are some excellent Ayurvedic spa centres in Kumarakom, too, and visiting one is one of the most popular things to do in Kumarakom. The bliss of nature, coupled with some relaxing spa time can rejuvenate your body, mind and soul while preparing you for the next big leap in your professional or academic world.
You will find Ayurvedic spas almost everywhere in Kumarakom. Many of these offer expert massage therapies like Ksheeradhara, Shirodhara, Padabhyanga, Njavarakizhi, face massage, Udwarthanam and Patra Potala Sweda among others. However, a trip to the spa can cause a bit of a dent in your pocket, so do factor in the expense before you make an appointment. Most of these spas are open from 8 AM to 8 PM throughout the week.
4. Enjoy the Beauty of Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall
Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall in Kumarakom is a must-visit place for people coming to the town and is a scenic beauty. This natural wonder cascades from a height of 100 feet onto rocky terrain below. The shimmering beauty of the waterfall is accentuated by the reflecting sunlight and the chattering sound of the water falling onto the rocks below. It is indeed a treat to the eyes and the soul and is also a paradise for birdwatchers. The surrounding rubber plantations and rocky terrains offer an exciting view. It is a place which trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers should not miss. You can go for a two-kilometre long trail along with your family or trek up to a distance till the waterfall. The view of the green canopy interspersed with sparkling streams plunging onto the rocks is astounding. You can also enjoy a picnic here with your family.
5. Take a Stroll Along the Lakeside
A leisurely stroll with your loved ones along the banks of the expansive Vembanad Lake can be enjoyable and charming. The mesmerising landscape of the backwaters and the shimmering blue waters of the lake can be the perfect treat for your mind and body. One of the best things to do in Kumarakom, the chirping of birds along the lakes is intoxicating and calming. In fact, the evening lakeside strolls are very popular in Kumarakom. Walking along the paddy fields and by the shore of the vast lake can help you look at Kumarakom and Vembanad Lake in a completely new light.
6. Enjoy Watching a Boat Race
In August and September, you can witness the famous boat races that occur here. Several boat racing competitions– Champakulam Moolam Boat Race, Nehru Trophy snake boat race, Aranmula Uthrattadi Vallamkali–are held every year. It is thrilling to see the 30-odd boatmen lashing their ores on the tranquil waters of the lake in a way very similar to playing the notes of a symphony and indulging in an intense competition in the midst of the serenity of nature. Go through the KTDC website to know more about timings and entry charges.
7. Marvel at the Natural Beauty of Vagamon
Don’t miss out on Vagamon while at Kumarakom. It is approximately a 2 hours and 15-minute journey from Kumarakom. A piece of secluded beauty that hasn’t yet witnessed the onslaught of modernity, you can witness natural beauty unfolding in all its magnificence. You can pay a visit to the Vagamon Hill Station, one of the most treasured spots in Kerala. Everything here is so natural and picturesque that you can capture it in your camera to cherish the memories long after. The views of the hill, the green valleys and the remarkable waterfalls, among others, are sure to keep you clicking some wonderful photos constantly. The best time to visit this place is between 6 AM to 6 PM.
Have a look at this Kerala tourism guide to know more about other places to visit in Kumarakom during family vacation.
8. Catch as Many Sunsets as Possible
The sun setting beyond this beautiful landscape is a sight that nobody should miss. It is a sight that does not get old, no matter how many times you see them. Watching a sunset is one of the most enchanting things to do in Kumarakom, and a thought-provoking experience to see the sun setting in this naturally endowed landscape. It is not just beautiful, but it is also alluring to see the red ball of fire dipping into the vast expanse of the Vembanad Lake. It is during this time that the sky appears to be a mix of yellow, red and orange in the backdrop of a blue canvas. While in Kumarakom, you need to take time off to enjoy this flitting beauty; it is marvellous and no visitor to Kumarakom voluntarily misses this great sight. It is a treat for the eyes and soul and you can enjoy and take ample pictures of this moment along with your family. Lasting just a few fleeting minutes, it will give you memories that last a lifetime.
9. Enjoy the Famous Kathakali Dance
Kerala is known not only for its vibrant natural landscape but also for its varied cultural attractions and traditions. The Kathakali dance form is native to Kerala and is one of the most attractive in India. It is popular across the country, but in Kerala, Kathakali is practised with reverence. The unique mudras, the incredible costume and the remarkable facial expressions of the performers are what make watching Kathakali such a wonderful experience. It demands talent and practice worth decades to learn the nuances of Kathakali. The dancers depict stories through their movement so do not miss a good Kathakali performance. The dance shows are usually held during the evenings and you can learn a lot about the heritage and culture of Kerala from these performances. You can check out the timings and venues from your hotel or resort at Kumarakom.
10. Stroll Through Local Streets
If you are a shopaholic and want to buy some good souvenirs to remember your Kerala trip, simply take a stroll along the markets. It is undeniably one of the top things to do in Kumarakom for families and couples. Even if you are not buying anything, you can wander the local streets and alleys to soak in the flavour of Kumarakom. You must include this in the list of things to do in Kerala. Take a lot of pictures of the market, local streets, alleys, forest, houses, houseboats and the people to cherish the memories forever. A vacation in Kumarakom is bound to fill up your camera and your heart, and we all know that pictures tell a thousand stories.
11. Enjoy Fishing
This land of beautiful beaches and lakes abounds with fishing opportunities. Fishing should be one of your top to-do activities in Kerala. Take your fishing gear and go to Vembanad Lake along with your family. They will thoroughly enjoy fishing as an experience. This is also among the most popular activities of the local folk.
Enjoying the lake, the locale and the landscape is incomplete without an enjoyable stay. Your accommodation has to be comfortable and bang in the middle of this serene, natural beauty. The Club Mahindra Kumarakom resort in Kerala is one of the best and most popular places to stay on your holiday. You can take rest in the comfortable and spacious rooms that come equipped with modern amenities. Relax after a tiring day where you ticked off places in the “Things to do in Kumarakom” list. You can indulge your taste buds in the lip-smacking flavour of the local Kerala cuisine at the in-house restaurant at the property. The staff is courteous and will go out of the way to fulfil your needs. Club Mahindra Resorts offer you a stay right in the lap of nature so that you can have a relaxing vacation in Kerala. You can go through the Club Mahindra reviews online to know more about the hotel, its location and services, and how so many other happy travellers make the most of their memberships to have unique, memorable holidays.