Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom known as “the backwaters capital” is located in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Apart from the backwaters and houseboats that Kumarakom is famous for, it is also well known for its Bird Sanctuary. The Kumarakom Bird sanctuary is spread across 14 acres of lush green area on the south side of River Kavanar.
More than hundred varieties of native birds and numerous migratory birds are the main attraction at this sanctuary. Fly-catchers, Golden-Backed Woodpeckers, Kingfishers, Owls, Cuckoo, Pintail Ducks, Common Teal, Night Heron, Cormorant, Darter, Indian Shag, Purple Heron, Gulls, Terns, Large Egrets, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron and Little Egret etc are some of the birds commonly found here. About sixty species of migratory birds like Siberian Cranes, Parrots, Flycatchers, Wood Beetle and Larks etc can be seen during the season.
You can have a good view of the birds in the dawn or during the early morning hours. Bird watching can also be done from adjoining places like Narakathara, Thollairam Kayal, Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathirmanal, and Poothanpandi Kayal.
You can enjoy a Houseboat or motorboat ride simultaneously watching the birds on the lake. Ornithologists, students, Tourists and Bird lovers flock to this Sanctuary to have a life fulfilling experience and to be on this side of god’s own country where nature is at its best. The Pathiramanal Island is an island of 10 acres on the Vembanad Lake and is home to numerous migratory and native birds. It can only be accessed by boat and takes around 40 minutes from Kumarakom to reach Pathiramanal. It is famous for its wide variety of flora and fauna which includes rare plants that have medicinal values. Many resorts have sprung up which offer comfortable accommodation and body rejuvenation therapies like Ayurvedic massaging, yoga, meditation etc. Other things that can be tried out for a difference are Boating, Swimming, Fishing, Windsailing and Waterskiing. Tourists throng to this sanctuary during the peak season between June and August. However, November to February is the ideal time to visit if you do not want to miss the Migratory birds.
Kumarakom receives monsoon rains between the months of June and September and the annual average rainfall here is 1100 mm. In the summer between March and May, maximum temperature averages at 38°C and the minimum at 25°C and in the winter the temperature maintains between 20 to 25°C.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Kumarakom is the Cochin International Airport which is 85 kms from Kumarakom. The Trivandrum International is a distance of 175 Kms and Calicut International at 180 kms. All these Airports are well connected to the Kottayam City by road. By rail, Ernakulam and Kottayam Junctions are at a distance of 16 kms and Chertala at 14 kms. If you plan to reach by water, ferry services are available from Quilon or Kochi.
Other Places of Interest
- Kottayam is famous for its numerous churches of different Christian sects some as old as 700 years.
- Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls is a tourist spot at a distance of 18 kms from Kottayam town.
- Sree Dharmasastha Temple at Erumely is an ancient temple of Lord Ayyappa, which is thronged by the Sabarimala pilgrims.
- Vagamon located 65 kms from Kottayam is located at a height of 1100 meters above mean sea level. It’s a renowned trekking destination in Kerala. Thangal Para, Indo-Swiss project, Kurisumala Ashram are other places of tourist attraction in Vagamon.
- Vaikom is famous for its Shiva Temple and located at a distance of 40 kms from Kottayam.