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Things To Do In Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a scenic little collection of islands, just a few kilometres away from the city of Kottayam in Kerala. The place is a paradise for nature and bird lovers, as it offers great sights, waterfalls, bird gazing, boating down backwaters and eco-tourism in all its glory. You will find yourself spoilt for choice with the number of things to do that Kumarakom offers; from fishing to massages, meditation to pilgrimage, and the odd water sports of course!
Kumarakom, being a secluded, scenic island, has no dearth of great sights. From watching birds like Darters, Teals and Cuckoos at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, to a relaxing houseboat ride across Vembanad Lake, it brings the best that nature has to offer.
You can go hiking up the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls or sit by the natural pool, with its gushing water and cool breeze, to feel one with the green woods.
Bay Island Driftwood Museum should be explored for exquisite, ancient as well as modern driftwood sculptures while if you want a zoo visit then head to Pathiramanal island.
Kumarakom is a village of fishers. Even the womenfolk here have mastered the art of fishing by wading into muddy waters and trapping little fishes within their toes. Learn some of this art and go down the backwaters with your fishing rods and nets. You can also hire a motor boat or houseboat on Vembanad Lake and sip a cool drink while you bait. One of the specials of this area is Karimeen fish.
Go canoeing down the Vembanad lake or the backwaters, try swimming or sailing. If you happen to be around in September (during Onam festival), don’t miss the boat race. It is quite unlikely they will allow you to participate, but watching is no less a thrill.
Ayurvedic Massage and Meditation
Kerala is the land of Ayurveda. With the rich techniques dating back centuries to the heady concoction of oils for the health of your body, it is heaven for relaxing. Most resorts in Kumarakom offer Ayurvedic massages, yoga sessions and guided meditation. You can avail these in packages as well.
Be a Pilgrim for a Day
18 km away from Kumarakom is Vaikom, the Kashi of south. The central attraction of this pilgrim place is the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. Pay your respects at this pinnacle of Dakshin Kashi.
You can also visit the Juma Masjid, which is the highlight of history of Islam in Kerala. It is believed to be constructed by Habib Dinar, the son of Malik Dinar. Malik Dinar brought Islam to Kerala more than a 1000 years ago and his legacy is reflected beautifully in the intricate wood carvings and the stunning architecture of this Mosque.
Relax in a Houseboat
When fried from all the water sports and sightseeing, the best place to relax in Kumarakom is the houseboat in the backwaters. Let yourself lie back and witness the passage of your boat through canals, hidden lakes and streams; all a mesh of veins on the body that is Kerala. The setting sun is bound to rejuvenate you for your busy life back. Many hotels and resorts offer special sunset cruise packages.
The food in Kumarakom is simple fare, with exquisite flavours. The usual vegetarian South Indian fare consists of dosas, idlis and appams with coconut chutney. The paradise that the island is for non vegetarian food reflects in its rich seafood and fish, especially Karimeen fish and rice.