Setting for Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things, This place is also the prized jewel in Kerala Tourism’s crown. The backwaters cruises at kumarakom that catapulted the small-town-by-the-banks-of-Vembnad to international fame are an absolute must. If spending a night in a boathouse on the peaceful waters of Kerala’s most famous lake isn’t on your bucket list yet, add it right away.
And scratch it off as quickly as you can. Situated 14 km from Kottayam in Kerala, Kumarakom has become synonymous with backwater cruises across the world. A scenic bunch of islands clustered around the Vembanad Lake, This place is about 70 km from Kochi (Cochin).
Kumarakom is a part of the Kuttanad region, the rice bowl of Kerala and is surrounded by lush paddy fields crisscrossed by canals and the lake. The Vembanad lake has its maximum length and breadth near Kumarakom. One school of thought believes this place is derived from the words kuminja and akam; meaning the land formed by accumulation of sediments.
According to another, it is a combination of words Kumara and aham (home); referring to the Lord Kartikeya’s temple. Alfred George Baker is believed to have laid the foundations of Kumarakom by reclaiming 500 acres of wetlands from the Vembanad lake during the 1840s.
Arundhati Roy’s Booker Prize-winning novel The God of Small Things set in Ayemenem or Aymanam village near Kumarakom. The novel has an British character Kari Saipu, who is modeled on Baker.
History House, where Baker lived, still stands on the banks of Vembanad. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall and Bay Island Driftwood Museum are some of the places to visit when you’re in this place.
BEST PLACES TO EAT
Situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, this place is a non-vegetarian’s paradise. Prawns, crabs and oysters caught fresh and scooped down with appams or Porottas is a delight.
Don’t forget to try Karimeen (Pearls pot) curry. From fancy restaurants to shacks selling fresh catch of the day, Kumarakom abounds with eateries that suit every budget.
PLACES TO VISIT:
Known for its serene and spectacular backwaters, this place is one of the most visited tourist destination in Kerala. It has some great places to see like the Kumarakom bird sanctuary and the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls.
One can also check out the Bay island driftwood museum known for its collection of driftwood sculptures.
THINGS TO DO
Kumarakom known for its beautiful backwaters and the best thing to do in this place take a houseboat ride in the backwaters.
This place also hosts amazing boat races that are a delight to witness. Shopping in this place is another favorite activity tourists like to indulge in.