Kumarakom

Kumarakom is a village on Vembanad Lake in the backwaters of Kerala, southern India. It’s laced with canals, where houseboats ply the waters. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is home to many species including cuckoos and Siberian storks. Nearby, the Bay Island Driftwood Museum displays wooden sculptures. In the lake, Pathiramanal Island is a haven for rare migratory birds. Ancient Thazhathangady Mosque is east of Kumarakom. Kumarakom was within the jurisdiction of the king of Thekkumkur while that kingdom existed, and it was usual to have fighting and competitions among local kings. Small boats called chundan vallam and veppu vallam were widely used among the local kings for their lightning attacks and fighting in central Travancore. During those days Vembanad Lake was a dangerous area; therefore the king of Thekkumcore kept soldiers in Kumarakom and constructed a fort at the entrance of Kottathodu in Kumarakom. Soldiers were kept in certain areas of Kumarakom for protection against enemy attacks; some of those places still have "pada" (meaning war) in their names, such as Padakkalam and Padanilam. The remains of the fort's wall, six feet broad, can still be seen near the village office of Kumarakom. Fishing, agriculture and tourism are the major economic activities. Kumarakom's perfectly balanced tropical climate is very conducive to cultivation. The place has expanses of mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut groves. Fruits like Banana, Mango, Jackfruit, Ambazhanga, Puli (Tamarind), Chaambenga, Peraycka (Guava), Aathaycka and Pineapple grow here. Also, cocoa and coffee, chena(yam) and chembu (colocasia), grow well and were cultivated under the coconut trees. This rich agricultural environment is mainly irrigated using interspersed waterways and canals of the Meenachil river. The smaller canals are often lined by hibiscus plants which lean partly over the canals to form a green canopy, from which hang the lovely hibiscus flowers. In the olden days, when the bund separating the backwaters from the sea was not yet built, the water in the canals moved in and out with the sea tide and it was salty. After the Thanneermukkam bund was constructed, the connection to the open sea was not free anymore, and so the tidal movement of the water in the canals stopped. It stagnated and then plenty of water hyacinths started growing densely in the canals, forming lovely green carpets with pale lilac flowers carpets.

Kerala Tourism