Kumarakom set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala, is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. Fishing, agriculture and tourism are the major economic activities. Kumarakom's perfectly balanced tropical climate is very conductive to cultivation. Several fruits are grown here like Banana, Mango, Jackfruit, Ambazhanga, Puli, Chaambenga, Peraycka, Aathaycka and Pineapple. Apart from these fruits, cocoa, coffee, Yam and Colocasia also grow well and are cultivated under the coconut trees.
Kumarakom has numerous houseboats and is famous across the globe for its houseboat experience. Unfortunately, not all of them are well maintained and one need to be very careful while booking the houseboat. Another type of boat called‘Kettuvallam’ is used by the local people to go fishing or to transport goods. Apart from these, there are special boats meant to participate in the boat races during the festival of Onam. More than thousand oarsmen in boats of different sizes and shapes participate in this event. Even though Snake Boats participate in this race, the most significant one is the ‘Iruttukuthi’, in which about 50 oarsmen row together. The famous booker prize winning book ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy has been set in the Aymanam village adjoining Kumarakom. The success of this novel gave some popularity to Kumarakom area as well. The Baker family's house portrayed in ruins in the novel, as it was in reality before, was developed into a hotel and restored by the Taj group. The house where Arundhati spent part of her childhood can be visited in the villageby a boat along the Meenachilriver that appears prominently in the story.
What to See
Backwaters and Kumarakom are synonymous! When one thinks of the backwaters of Kerala, one can not ignore the village of Kumarakom. It is also famous for its bird sanctuary but is only worth the visit if one gets to visit in the right season between July and August. If lucky enough, one can even spot a Siberian Crane. The bird sanctuary spread across 14 acres, is an ornithologist's paradise. Egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork can be seen in the right season. Kumarakom has mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut groves adorning the shorelines of the backwaters often covered in white lilies and red hibiscus flowers.
Best Time to visit
The best time to visit Kumarakom is during winters in India i.e. from November to February. March onwards, the temperatures start rising and it gets pretty hot and humid. Summers are not advisable at all to travel to Kumarakom. During monsoons, one can not get a good houseboat experience so it is best to avoid visiting Kumarakom during heavy rainfall period between June to early September.