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Alappuzha - Kumarakam

Kumarakom,situated 13 Kms away from Kottayam is a sleepy little village on VembanadLake in Kerala. It offers wide variety of flora, exotic sightseeing, boating and fishing experience. The bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres is safe home for many migratory birds like Siberian stork, wild duck etc. They live with other birds in flocks such as darters, herons, egret, waterfowls and cuckoos are fascinating sight for the visitors.

Kumarakom has a wide variety of houseboats and is well known throughout the world for houseboat experience. They are used only for tourists these days. A separate boat known as Kettuvallam is used by the people to go fishing or to transport goods. Apart from these, there are elegant special boats like Kochu-odi Vallam, Odi-Vallam, Iruttukutthi Vallam, Churulan Vallam and Chundan Vallam(Snake Boat), which take part in the boat races around Onam time. More than 1000 oarsmen in boats of different sizes and shapes will participate in this event. Even though Snake Boats participate in this race, the importance is given here is for iruttukuthi, in which about 50 oarsmen row. The Kumarakom boat-race is conducted in the big canal in the centre near the market. The Sree Narayana Ever Rolling Trophy will be given to the winner at the end of the day.[4] There is a private sailing club in Kumarakom, located on the shore of the Vembanad lake. KUMARAKOM BIRD SANCTUARY Spread across fourteen acres of the lush green jungle nearby, Kumarakom bird sanctuary houses thousands of water birds and migratory birds coming as far away from the Himalayas and even Siberia

Visiting time : Kumarakom has a moderate climate throughout the year. It is a balanced tropical climate, which has two monsoons south west and north east. The average rainfall is 1100 mm.

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By air: via Cochin International Airport approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi). By rail: via Kottayam By boat: From Muhamma (near Alappuzha) to Kumarakom Jetty. By road:KSRTC(16 kilometres) Buses and taxis are easily available at all times of the day from Kottayam.

More Details : Tourism in Kumarakom largely revolves -around the backwaters of the Vembanad Lake. Several luxury and budget resorts lined up on the shores of the lake provide tourists with facilities for boating, yachting and fishing, with panoramic views of the lake. The other major attraction is the Bird Sanctuary which can be visited by canoes arranged by local fishermen at the entrance to the sanctuary.Best time to visit sanctuary is morning and evening. A two-hour rowing canoe trip is quite cheap, and is best undertaken in the evening or early morning to avoid the afternoon sun. Bird sanctuary open time is from 6AM to 6PM Taj Garden Retreat the first modern tourist resort in Kumarakom is established in the Victorian two storied bungalow built by Alfred George Baker in the year 1881, on huge pieces of Teak wood rafters packed in mud as a base. This house on the lake at Kumarakom was the house of four generations of the Baker family, for over a hundred years. The bird Sanctuary and the two storied Bungalow built by Mr.A G Baker on the muddy land are places of interest for tourists from all over the world. The bungalow still remains grand but silent reminder of an age and people whose hard work cannot be erased by time.[6]

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