Kumarakom (Kerala)

Things to do - general


When nature is all you need to recuperate,Kumarakom is undoubtedly the most invigorating,fascinating paradise in Kerala, God's own country. The slender coconut palms standing here, there and everywhere, its never ending paddy fields, meandering lagoons and backwaters, mangroves nesting birds of a hundred varieties can peacefully calm and invigorate your mind with renewed inspiration for your vocation and life. That is the pristine beauty of Kumarakom. Kumarakom is a popular tourism destination located near the city of Kottayam (16 kilometres (10 mi)), in Kerala, India, famous for its backwater tourism. It is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Boats and Kumarakom Boat Race 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

Tourism in Kumarakom largely revolves around thebackwaters 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 theBird Sanctuary which can be visited by canoes arranged by local fishermen at the entrance to the sanctuary. A two-hour rowing canoe trip is quite cheap, and is best undertaken in the evening or early morning to avoid the afternoon sun

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.

A boatman propels a traditional kettuvallam on Vembanad Lake

Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things is set in Ayemenem or Aymanam village, which adjoins Kumarakom. The explosive success of this novel has given some added tourism impetus to this area. The Taj Garden Retreat hotel complex is centered around a building that is called "History House" in the novel; it was built by British missionary Alfred George Baker, whom the locals called "Kari Saipu" (possibly an elided form of "Baker Sahib"), as in the novel. Four generations of Bakers lived in the house until 1962, speaking Malayalam, and even wearing the mundu. The Baker Memorial School, Kottayam, was started by a daughter of this family in 1925. The Baker family's house is in ruins in the novel, as it was in reality before was developed into a hotel and has been restored by the Taj group. The Ayemenem house, where Arundhati Roy spent part of her childhood (like the twins in the story), can also be visited in the village, which can be reached by boat along the Meenachil river that figures prominently in the story.

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