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Kumarakom is a quaint town that has Kerala's largest lake, the Vembanad lake for a generous dose of backwaters. Draped with towering coconut trees in all directions, the lush backdrop of Kumarakom attracts travelers from around the world as well as a colourful plethora of birds.
The temperatures in Kumarakom are rather moderate throughout the year, it is however worth noting that the town has two monsoon visiting it: the south west and the north east monsoon. While some travelers also enjoy the feel of the town under refreshing rains, for most part of the year, Kumarakom’s weather is very hammock-friendly, especially in the evenings.
Nestled on the banks of Kerala's largest lake, Kumarakom is known for it’s freshwater fish, shrimps and crabs. Cooked in delicious curries with coconut milk, the fish and shrimp delicacies satisfy every traveler’s cravings. The shallow-fried Pearl spot, what we call Karimeen, is a must-try when in Kumarakom. Doused in a delicately made batter with spices, and fried is coconut oil, the Karimeen fry is as close as you can get to the authentic local cuisine.
Boat ride in Vembanad lake
With traditional Kettuvallams, the boat houses, that cruise through the backwaters, Kerala’s largest lake is a feast for the eyes. What's even better is, going on a boat ride on one of these country crafts and ending the evening at sunset, watching the ripples of the lake slowly turn into still waters.
A visit to Midnight Sands
The 40-minute boat ride to Pathiramanal (Midnight Sands) from Kumarakom is one the most scenic route on the Vembanad lake. Once on the Island, you won’t miss the exquisite species of migratory birds that bring the lush and wild island to life.
Visit the birds at the Kumarakom Sanctuary
Spread over 14-acres of land, the bird sanctuary is a favourite among bird lovers. Every year, it invites a huge number of migratory birds. Everything from the Siberian stork, egret, darter to a large number of water birds can be easily spotted at Kumarakom's treasure.
Vaikathashtami, one of the most important temple festivals of Kerala, is celebrated in all grandeur at the Vaikom Mahadeva Temple. Legend says that Lord Shiva and his wife Parvathi Devi appeared to the saint, Vyaghrapada after long days of prayers. In the month of November or December (depending on the Malayalam calendar), the town is flooded with processions carrying grand statues of Lord Shiva flanked by elephants in their festive attire.
The boat race in Kumarakom is a must-watch. The true spirit of the village comes alive during this boat festival rooted in tradition. Conducted during the Onam season, the boat race begins with a religious ritual followed by an exhilarating race. The participants in massive boats take over the backwaters with vanchippattu (rhythmic songs of the oarsmen) while the villagers root for their favourite boats.
Held in January, Erumeli Petta Thullal is a rather grand festival organized by Sri Dharma Sashtha Temple. While devotees perform various rituals to the Gods, temple elephants are prepared for the festival, right outside the temple. The Erumeli Petta Thullal festival is also a good time to spot musical and cultural performances.
Celebrated in August and September, Onam is a grand affair in Kumarakom and all over Kerala. Onam is quite a unique festival, everyone in Kerala celebrates Onam as it not a religious festival but a celebration of the land. Every part of the state is taken over by exhilarating boat races, musical performances and the festive spirit. The 'Onasadya', the traditional Onam meal is not to be missed
The Cochin International Airport is approximately 80 kilometers from Kumarakom, that’s about 50 miles. Cochin and Kumarakom are very well connected by both road and rail.
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