Human beings have always been baffled by the amazing flying skill of the winged creatures known as birds. We love birds and that is why many of us pursue bird watching as our pastime. Lots and lots of birds- white or colorful and big or small can be watched in bird sanctuaries. India is a place that is replete with wildlife attractions. It has many national parks and bird sanctuaries. Kumarakom bird sanctuary located in Kottayam District in Kerala provides you an enriched experience.
This sanctuary is also known as Vembanad bird sanctuary. If you want to satiate your avian appetite, then this is the right place for you.
The sanctuary is located in Kumarakom; hence it derived its name from this place. Earlier it was called Vembanad bird sanctuary after the Vembanad Lake. It is situated on the banks of this lake which lends a majestic beauty to the sanctuary.
The sanctuary area was originally a site for rubber plantation that was later turned into a bird sanctuary by an Englishman. At that time it was known as Baker's Estate.
Vembanad bird sanctuary spreads over 14 acres of lush green forests besides the south of the Kavanar River. It is situated in Kumarakom that is just 14 km away from Kottayam.
Kumarakom bird sanctuary is a treat for the birdwatchers. The sanctuary houses a number of residential and migratory birds. The sights and sounds of the birds, their sweet melodies and movements will really amaze you. Brahmin kite, Waterfowl, Cuckoo, Owls, Egrets, Herons Water Ducks, Wood Beetle, etc. are the main bird species found here.
Many migratory birds also find refuge here. Some birds come from the Himalayas and others from the distant land of Siberia. Such birds are Parrots, Teal, Larks, Flycatchers and Siberian Crane.
An enriched experience in Kumarakom:
The bird sanctuary will offer you a complete entertainment package. Kumarakom is a mixed bag of fun, amusement and excitement. As people come here to pursue bird watching, this sanctuary provides them everything that will make their trip enjoyable.
Dawn is considered to be the ideal time for the birdwatchers when they can view many migratory birds that are ready to leave their forest homes. You can also take an early morning walk to experience the best birdlife view.
Besides bird watching, you can also opt for boating in the Vembanad Lake. There are houseboat and motorboat cruises. You can opt for a boat cruise on the Emerald Green backwaters of the lake.
Try the delicious Kottanad cuisines in the restaurants at Vembanad. There are many seafood restaurants and bar.
When to visit/ Climate:
The area experiences a tropical climate. Temperature ranges from 34 °C in Summer to 22° C in Winter. The climate is pleasant almost throughout the year because of its location along the coast.
The best time to visit is from June to August. But if you want to watch different types of migratory birds, then November to February is the best time.
Where to stay?
There are a number of resorts and hotels near the sanctuary. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Backwater Ripples, Illikkalam Lake Resort, Coconut Lagoon, Golden Waters, etc. are the best.
How to travel:
If you are planning to catch some rare moments of photography in the sanctuary, then travelling will not be a problem. The nearest airport is the Kochi Airport at Nedumbassery that is located at a distance of 106 km away from the sanctuary.
Kottayam Railway Junction is the nearest rail head.
The sanctuary is well connected by roadways from Kottayam that is only 15 km away from the park. Kottayam is well connected with all the major cities in Kerala. State Highway-1 links Kumarakom to Cochin and Trivendrum.
Some other places to visit:
Thirunakkara Mahadev Temple, Mannanam and Kanjirappally in Kottayam, the backwaters in Alleppey, Cradomom Hills, Boat Cruises, temples in Madurai, lush green landscapes of Kochi, mountain meadows in Munnar are the other attractions where you can spend some quality time.
Although Kumarakom bird sanctuary is one of the smallest parks in the country, yet it has a lot to offer to its visitors. Thus to have a memorable time with the avian acrobats, you must visit the sanctuary.