Kumarakom: Location of Kumarakom

Kumarakom is situated in Kottayam District, in Kerala State, in India,It is on the west of Kottayam, and on the north east of Alappuzha (Alleppey ).The total area of Kumarakom is 52 Sq.Kms.(12,844 Acres) out of the above, 24 Sq.Km. is part of Lake Vembanad,16 Sq.Km. is Paddy fields, the area of the settlement of the village is only 12 Sq.Kms.The whole of western, southern and part of northern boundary of kumarakom is Lake Vembanad. Kumarakom was a very small place till 18th Century; major part of Kumarakom was reclaimed from Lake Vembanad, by using the sand from the lake. Kumarakom is comprising of reclaimed land, lot of canals, Meenachil River and lake Vembanad.

Access to Kumarakom

Access to Kumarakom, by many means.
By Road
Kumarakom is only 10Km from Kottayam Town, 22 Km from Cherthala,22 Km. from Vaikom,35 Km from Alappuzha,65 Km from Ernakulam/Kochi, 280Km from Kozhikode, and 178Km from Trivandrum.
By Rail
Kottayam Railway Station, Cherthala, Alappuzha or Ernakulam Railway Station
By Air
Nedumassery International Airport at Kochi,in Ernakulam Dist., Karippur International Airport at Kozhikode and Trivandrum International Airport at Trivandrum.
By Water
Muhamma, Allappuzha, Ernakulam/Kochi and Kollam

History of Kumarakom

Millions of years back Kumarakom and lake Vembanad was part of Arabian Sea, you can see the similarity of the sand in the sea and the same in Kumarakom & the lake Vembanad. A Tsunami like incident had taken place and a costal land formed in between Sea and Kottayam, thus Alappuzha, Kumarakom and the lake Vembanad formed. Till around 18th
Century there was no change for the shape of Kumarakom or the lake Vembanad.But since then Farmers, reclaimed thousands of acres of land from lake Vembanad to 20th century, for cultivating mainly Rice and Coconut Trees.

Kumarakom Is Famous For

Kumarakom Village is a world famous Tourist Destination, Well known for its back waters, three sides of Kumarakom, is surrounded by Lake Vembanad, and also Meenachil river is flowing through Kumarakom.Lobsters and Pearl Spot Fish ( Karimeen) from Lake Vembanad is very tasty, White Shell from lake Vembanad which is a raw material for lime and cement, For backwater cruising in House Boats, Motor Boats, Speed Boats and Country Boats, Ferry Service to Muhamma, Birds Sanctuary, Site Seeing in Kumarakom ,Kumarakom is very close to Pathiramanal,Well connected by Roads, from Kottayam,Ernakulam/Kochi and by water transportation, direct access to Alappuzha by water and road, Many Resorts and Hotels including Five Star Deluxe Hotel and Five Star Hotel, Home Stays, Budget resorts/Hotels and Lake side Cottages, Agricultural Research Centre, Two famous Boat Races in Kumarakom and two very fameous Boat Clubs, which have won many times, Nehru Trophy for the Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race held in Alappuzha.Sweet toddy from the coconut trees, Road access to Munnar and Thekkady, There is only 10 Km. to Kottayam Railway Station. There is 85 Km. to Nedumbassery International Airport at Kochi.

Main Attractions of Kumarakom

Great Lake Vembanad at Kumarakom

This is the largest Backwater of Kerala, which extends from Alappuzha in the south and Thrissur on the north and its length is 97 Km. The lake has maximum width of about 8 km. and is about 4 to 26 feet deep. Four Rivers mainly Meenachil, Manimala, Pampa and Achankovil directly drain to this lake .The total area of the Vembanad Lake is 13,224 Hector(32,700 Acres)

Sight Seeing From the Lake Side of Kumarakom

Beautiful Sun set can be experienced from the lake side of Kumarakom, Watch the house boats, motor boats, speed boats, country boat and fishermen’s boat sail past. Unique scenery, through out the day, and also the breeze and the waves of the beautiful lake. Joyous sights of the sunset, stars, moon set. Watch the beautiful sight of the lights and fire works on the western side of the lake and the stars in the sky during the night. Enjoy the rainy season by experiencing the rain coming from far away and also the breeze and the waves of the lake, natures live sound and light show of thunder and lightning at night. Vellavaley–fishermen catching the pearl spot fish by the bare hand.

Importance of the Lake Side of Kumarakom

Fascinating Lake Vembanad is the main attraction of Kumarakom, the maximum length and the breadth of the lake is visible from the lake side of Kumarakom only , as the Arabian Sea is on the west of Kumarakom, there is always very good breeze and the waves in the lake, which is more on the Kumarakom side than other places. You can experience the beautiful Sun Set from Kumarakom.The morning on the Kumarakom Lake side is very pleasant, as the trees on the lake side provides very good shade and also the breeze from the south east or the north east, and in the evening we will enjoy the sun from the west because of the breeze from the west and the fascinating waves on the Kumarakom lake side. Always the temperature on the lake side will be 2 to 5 degree lesser than most of the other places. Lake side of Kumarakom is having pollution free fresh air and there is more oxygen in the air, therefore when you stay on the lake side cottage you will be more refreshed and energetic, moreover Yoga will be more effective from the lake side cottages by concentrating at the Sun Set.We can also enjoy the Moon set, at the early morning,from the lakeside of Kumarakom.

Kumarakom Backwater Cruising

Kumarakom backwaters are one of the best backwaters for backwater cruising in a House Boat, motor Boat, and Speed Boat or in a Country boat. It is around 20 Kms. long and around 8 Kms. breadth. You can see the beautiful Resorts on the lake Side of Kumarakom, such as from north Coconut lagoon, Bird sanctuary, Fish sanctuary, Water scapes,Taj Garden Retreat, Coco Bay, Kumarakom Lake resort, MRF Guest House,St.Peters church, Beautiful Cross constructed in the Lake ,by Illikkalam Family Members and donated to St.Johns Attamangalam Church in 1965. Rama Varma Union Club, Lake Song Resort. Radisson Plaza Resort, Sailing club, Backwater Ripples, Paradise Resort, Illikkalam lake Resort, Backwater Resort, Kottayam Club, Abad whispering Palms Etc, Cruising through Kumarakom Backwaters are very good, as you can enjoy the Breeze and waves of the lake vembanad ,You can view the fishing by the fishermen and also the Vellavali.You can see the Pathiramanal island,R Block,C Block and also Alleppey Backwaters.

 

Vellavali  A Unique Type of  Fishing In Kumarakom and Alleppey Backwaters

Vellavali, a method of fishing used to catch Karimeen (Pearl Spot) is common in Kumarakom Backwaters. This method requires expertise in  fishing and swimming.

First, a piece of coir rope, about a km long, is shaped into an inverted U. Tender palm leaves are attached to the rope and then two fishermen tie the ends of the rope to their waists while standing in water in bright sunlight. The men then walk through shallow waters using poles. The palm leaves tied to their waists shine in the water. The light reflected from the leaves scares the Pearl Spot and they hide in the muddy areas.

At this time, expert swimmers, who have been following the two men in country boats, dive into the muddy water and catch the prized fish with their bare hands.

More Details

 One of the very strange way of fishing in these region is Vellavali, and only one type of fish called, Karimeen (Pearl spot) is caught by bare hand by fishermen by this way of fishing called Vellavali. Karimeen is a popular fish and is generally found in the Backwaters of Kerala. It is a very tasty fish and usually it may grow more than 200 grams and the general size will be the size of a human palm, but it is having bones also.

Small wooden country boat is used for the fishing, and in each Country Boat 5 to 7 people will be there for catching the fish in the backwaters. They will carry minimum 3 long bamboo poles; one man will use one of the poles from the backside of the Country Boat for moving the same and others will use oars to move into the pre planned fishing spot.
They will carry a long Valli (Unique fishing equipment) of around 85 Mar (475 Feet),this Valli was formerly made up of long thick coir and the tender coconut leaf. Thousands of the same leaf after removing the mid-rib will be attached to the Valli, each leaf will have average 1 inch thickness and 2 to 2.5 feet length. This leaf will be attached with the distance of up to 8 inch. Now a day’s plastic is being used for the coir and for the leaf.

Two men will tie each end of the Valli just above their hip and will take one bamboo pole each and they will jump down from the country boat to the water and they will start their forward movement by walking, swimming or jumping with the help of the pole,and they will keep the distance of around 75 feet, thus they will drag the Valli in a U shape through the down of the water. Two to three persons will be following at the back side of the U shaped Valli, they will make sounds with their hands and legs by swimming, beating and cutting into the water.

The fish (Karimeen) which is already in the U shaped valli,by seeing the peculiar glittering colour of the leaves of the valli usually get scared and move forward to the back side of the U shaped Valli ,very fast ,but when they reach at the down of the U shaped vally,they will get further scared by hearing the artificial sound of the fishermen diving in the water and immediately they will dip into the mud,to get escaped,when it goes through the mud at the bottom of the water,because of the movements of the back fin,mud will come up in the water.The fisher men at the back ,will be watching this by diving and looking at the bottom,then the fisher men will know immediately where exactly the fish is under the mud and the fisher men will dive into the bottom of the water and with their bare hand ,using only the fingers,they will catch the fish on the head,and dive back to the surface of the water and by keeping the balance in the water by floating ,they will throw the fish into the small country boat ,which may be in the distance of 5 to 25 feet away. One fisher man will be in charge of the country boat, who will try to keep close to the divers so as to enable them to throw the catched fish from the water, very soon into the Country Boat. The divers will go back soon into underground of the water as so many fish will be dipping into the mud again and again till the drawing of the Valli stops by the first two persons. They start their fishing by 8am and stops by 2pm, usually they stop the fishing which depends upon, the climatic condition (Severe breeze & waves and also underground water should be clear, then only the divers can see the movements of the fish) and also depends upon the volume of the catch of the fish. Generally they get from 5 Kg to 20 Kg fish (30 to 120 fish)
The surprising fact is that the diving fishermen even go down up to 24 feet without any diving materials, for catching the Karimeen in this unique way.

Pathiramanal Island

Pathiramanal is a beautiful island in the Vembanad Lake it lies on the boarder of Kumarakom.There is only 30 minutes journey in a Motor Boat and only 10 minutes journey by a Speed boat from Kumarakom to Pathiremanal, and from Alappuzha it will take more than 2 hours to reach Pathiramanal by motor boat and 45 minutes in a speed boat .The Island covers an area of 68 Hectares (168 Acres)
There is a legendary story regarding the creation of this island, One famous Brahmin who possessed supernatural powers was travelling through Vembanad lake in a country Boat. During the travel the Brahmin wanted to pass urine,but passing urine in the lake water was considered a sin .So with his supernatural power he created an island called pathiramanal ( Mid- night- sand) in the lake.
The undisturbed atmosphere of the island provides favoured breeding ground for various Birds.This island has its own unique flora with rare plants like crocodile apple, various climbers,mangrove,medicinal plants etc.

Birds Sanctuary

There are 180 species of birds are found in the Kumarakom bird sanctuary, the story of the bird sanctuary begins in the year 1847,when Mr Alfred George Baker started developing a vast area of Vembanad Lake shore at Kumarakom.he planted Mangrove bushes and created a green belt on the lake shore to protect his land and crops..He also kept an area of about ten acres of land with mangroves to accommodate local as well as migratory birds coming from far off regions. No one was allowed to enter the area to disturb the birds. A permanent Bird sanctuary was thus formed which may be the first of its kind in the country. Later construction works of Resorts and Hotels over these area disturbed the birds.Now thr trees infront of the Taj hotel,KTDC entrance and the forest Office are the breeding area of Darters,Little Cormorants,Indian shags and Pond Herons.

Thanneermukkham Salt Water Barrage

This is only 12 Kms. away from Kumarakom by road, and it is on the north west of Kumarakom, only 15 minutes in a Speed Boat, one and half hour in a House boat or in a Motor Boat. Its length is 1400 meters and have 62 shutters at both ends ,470 meter long reclaimed portion in the middle and the western and eastern portion with 470 meters each at both sides with 31 shutters on each side were completed in 1967.The construction of the remaining middle part was completed in 1977.These 62 shutters were fitted on the northern side of the bridge to control the entry of saline water from Arabian Sea to the southern part of the barrage to facilitate two crops of paddy in a year.
The original decision was to keep the shutters of the barrier open for the period from 31st March to 15th December (9 months) every year after the harvest of punja crop.
The major objective of this project was to prevent the intrusion of salinity to the lake vembanad during summer to enable a second paddy crop in every year.
Mr John Abraham,Illikkakam ,Kumarakom wrote in Malayalam Manorama daily an article vehemently criticising the project .He said that the project would upset the balance of nature and prevent tidal flow causing water pollution and health problems.

Fish Sanctuary

North eastern side of the lake Vembanad near to the bird sanctuary, in Kumarakom, a protected fish sanctuary for pearl spot fish ( Karimeen),(Etroplus suratensis)the first of its kind in India, was established in Open vembanad Lake,on an experimental basis.A variety of nest and reef substrates were dsposited on the floor of the lake to provide artificial nesting surfaces for karimeen.Half split coconut shells,large boulders of laterite blocks ,specially designed cement concrete tetra pods and piles of coconut trees were used as paaru and reefs simulating breeding habitats for fish in this open lake sanctuary.

Drift Wood Museum

Bay Island Driftwood Museum, is on the northern side of Kumarakom and close to Birds sanctuary, is a thrilling experience for the explorers,since 2001. It is owned, designed, established and operated by a woman artiste, a retired school teacher Smt.Raji.Punnoose. It displays beautiful blend of nature’s creativity and rarely seen objects. She painstakingly recovered these rare objects from the Andaman Seas, The artifacts created and sustained by the sea waves for millennia weighing many tons big and small collected improvised are exhibited over here. Government of Kerala awarded its prestigious most innovative tourism project award in 2004.
The museum provides a unique learning experience of immense natural heritage and scientific value. These are wonderful pieces of art of the Mother Nature, collected while floating on the shores in the Bay of Bengal near Andaman & Nicobar Islands, aged millions of years, seasoned in the ocean for centuries and moulded as sculptures through hydrodynamic process by the sea waves.

Regional Agricultural Research Station  Kumarakom

 The Coconut Research Station, Kumarakom was established in the year 1947 to cater the research needs of coconut in the reclaimed alluvial soils of Kuttanad. 24 hectares of land required for establishing the station was obtained from the R.B.A. Baker. This was upgraded the status of a Regional Agricultural Research Station in 1982.The total geographical area of the farm attached to the RARS is 45 hectares’.

Objectives of the Station

The main objective of the station was originally to conduct research on coconut and coconut based cropping systems with special reference to coconut diseases. Now the Station is conducting the problem oriented location specific research on all crops in the special Zone (5254 Sq.Kms. in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, and Thrissur) of the problem areas. The main mandate of the station is research on coconut and coconut based farming systems and integrated farming.
Lead Function
Coconut and Coconut based farming system, Rice in Kayallands, Karappadam, and crop-livestock-fish integrated system.
Crops
The bulk of the land area is planted with coconut(20 hectares.)Rice occupies an area of 3 hectares, the other important crops grown are banana,vegetables,garcinia,clove,nutmeg,cocoa,pepper and fodder grass.1.50 hectares is utilized for culture of fish and prawns.

Staff
When the Coconut Research Station was established in 1947,it had a strength of 2 scientists and a few supporting staff. Now there are 10 Scientists,11 ministerial and technical staff and 31 labourers.
Projects
The station operates a number of research projects funded by different agencies.

Agriculture Farm  Sales Centre

Lot of vegetables seeds, fruit trees, Ayurvedic plants, & spices plants, coconut trees & Palm trees are sold here.

Tourist Information In Kumarakom

Banks  ATM

State Bank of Travancore with ATM facility is in the Illikkalam Chambers, which is on the main road of Kumarakom, in between Kumarakom Govt Boat Jetty and Kumarakom Market Junction,. This only one and half Km. from Illikkalam Lake Resort.
South Indian Bank, is situated near to St.Johns Attamangalam Jacobite Syrian Church,near Kumarakom Market Junction
ATM of Catholic Syrian Bank is situated on the way to Kumarakom Birds sanctuary.

Internet Cafe
One is situated is in the Illikkalam Chambers, near State Bank of Travancore’s ATM and generally open from 8am to 9 Pm

Post Office
This is situated in the Illikkalam Chambers, behind State Bank of Travancore which is on the main road of Kumarakom, in between Kumarakom Govt Boat Jetty and Kumarakom Market Junction, This only one and half Km. from Illikkalam Lake Resort.
Working time is from 8am to 5 pm and is situated on the back side of State Bank of Travancore.

Courier Service  DTP
Situated near Kumarakom Police station

Travels 

( For all type of vehicles)
Anisha Travels, is on the opposite side of State Bank of Travancore

Hindu Temples  Deities In Kumarakom

a) Sri Muthen’s Nada Mahadeva Temple
Mahadeva is lord Siva,There are many siva shrines all over kerala.The Mahadeva temples in Vaikom,Kottayam and Ettumanoor are fameous Siva Temples.
Main Idol—Siva
Festival—April (4 days before Vishu)
Location—Konchumada, Kumarakom south
b) Thekkumkara Sri Ardhanariswara Temple
Main Idol—siva & Parvathy Sitting together in the same idol having half male and half female.
Festival–April
Location—Pandan bazaar, Kumarakom south

c) Puthiyakavu Devi Temple
There is a shrine dedicated to Bhagavati,in one form or the other,for example ,as bhadrakali,Thampuratti,Annapurnneswari,Durga,Parameswari or dev,in almost every village, and in Kumarakom there is no exception.
Main Idol— Bhadrakali
Festival—April
During festival time ,two days before the hoisting of flag, there will be an artistic performance as part of a religious rite known as THEEYATTU (A kind of ritual worship of Goddess Kali)
Location—Near Govt.High School, Kumarakom South
d) Sri Dharma shasthaTemple & Subrahmanya Temple
Both of this Temple are inside the same wall, This is the first temple in Kumarakom.
Subrahmanyan(Kumaran)/ Sastha (Ayyappan)
Festival-january—february.
Location—Near Govt.High School, Kumarakom South
e)Sri Kumara Mangalam Temple
This famous Temple was consecrated in 1903 by Sri Narayana Guru who has greatly contributed tothe upliftment of the oppressed classes.
Main Idol-subrahmanyan (Kumaran)
Festival—February –March
Location—Near Kumarakom Location

Kumarakom Churches

a) St.Johns Vadakkumkara Church
Established in 1760
Festival–May
b)St. Peters Church
Established in 1770
Location—Near Pallichira,Kumarakom
c) St.Johns Vallara Puthen Church
Established in 1841
Festival—May
Location—Opposite of Kumarakom Panchayat Office
d)St.Johns Attamangalam Jacobite Syrian Church
Established in 1853
Festival—January
Location—Near Petrol Pump,Kumarakom
e) All Saints C S I Church
Established in 1894
Established by RG A Baker
f)St.Mark C S I Church
g)C S I Church
h) The Navanazreth Holy Family Church