Kumarakom: Not just Houseboats and Backwaters

Kumarakom: Not just Houseboats and Backwaters

Hello Friends,

Whoever coined the term that Kerala is – God’s own country – has hit the nail on the head. They could not have come up with a better slogan as Kerala is a tourist delight and there is beauty all round and your camera cries with over usage. Lakes, backwaters, greenery, houseboats, boats, fishermen, catamarans, flowers and so much more characterized this breathtaking state. And I am glad I opted India, more particularly south india for my holiday. We admire the gondolas of Venice, but here in our own backyard lies an amazing boating experience across the largest lake in India.

And Kumarakom is one of the most popular tourist beauties of Keral. Water everywhere, rich abundant greenery all around and a quiet, laid back style of living is what Kumarakom all about. Kumarakom is close to Kottayam city and just about 15 kms away. The Kumarakom village is situated on the Vembanad lake and you wonder how the village got developed, an interesting update is that – most of it is reclaimed land, which means the land was developed from the lake by adding and clay and soil. The Baker family, Henry and Amelia Baker from Essex settled down in Kottayam to perform missionary work. In their long stint of nearly fifty years in Kottayam, they cultivated not only land but also literacy. Most of what we enjoy as Kumarakom today is the painstaking work of the Bakers who have converted land from water.

In terms of what you can see at Kumarakom, most of the action lies around the Vembanad lake and there are several premium resorts on the banks of the lake affording access to boating, fishing and brilliant views with the sunrise and sunset adding to an heavenly ambience. That apart, there is a 14 acre Bird Sanctuary with an entrance fee of just Rs.50. It is a two kilometer walk inside and finally you get to a tower to get a good view of the birds, these are migratory birds and it depends largely on the time of the year you visit the place.

The thick forest like trail inside the bird sanctuary
Inside the bird sanctuary as you walk deeper into the place

 

The tower that leads you to the top for an amazing view
The view from the top, not too many birds, but still was a great sight to behold

Was thrilled to visit a 1000 year old Shiva Temple at Vaikom another 15 kms from Kumarakom proper. The beauty of the temple is amazing and we gathered that the Shiva Lingam worshipped here is really ancient and no one can even remember how old Vaikathappan is, as he is fondly called.

The colourful mural paintings on the walls at the Vaikom temple
The spectacular and unique 1000 year old architecture of the temple
The inner view of the temple
The entrance to the inner sanctum sanctorum

Another very powerful temple that you can visit is the Chottanikara Bhagavathy temple. Sree Mahamaya Bhagawati (Aadiparashakthi) is the ruling deity here. People afflicted with mental illness are treated here as the Mahakali is known to cure such chronic cases. This temple is about 40 kms from Kumarakom.

Inside the Chottanikara Bhagavathy temple

Useful Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumarakom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumarakom_Bird_Sanctuary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaikom_Temple

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chottanikkara_Temple

 

Cheers

Bhuvana Rajaram

bhuvanarajaram9@gmail.com

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