The famed backwaters of Kerala stretch from Kollam and extend all the way to Alappuzha through the Kottayam district where a vast network of canals and rivers drain into Kerala’s largest lake, the Vembanad Lake.
This magnificent lake is located at Kumarakom, 16km away from Kottayam district where fishing, water-skiing and boating are some of the activities available at this charming place that tends to exhilarate as well as bring calm and peace to the mind. The beautiful surroundings of verdant green hills, swaying coconut grooves and mangrove clumps interspersed with the deep blue of the meandering waterways makes for a very enchanting and unforgettable experience.
Kumarakom became popular around the world when the famous author Arundhati Roy mentioned it in her bestseller book ‘God of Small Things’. The tranquility, peace and scenic imagery of the Ayemenem village nestled by the lake contributes immensely to the otherwise quiet and sleepy Kumarakom. The houseboat cruises of Kumarakom have placed this town on the worlds map for exotic cruises that leave an ecstatic memory for a lifetime.
The power of natural healing is best understood by taking the time out for a trip to this invigorating and fascinating place to unwind from vagaries of daily life. The never-ending peacefulness of rustic rural life set in blissfully natural surroundings of emerald greenery and sapphire waters is enough to inspire the most hardened hearts! You can experience it all by hiring a houseboat and just sitting back and watching the beautiful scenery slide by.
Various types of houseboats are available for hire, ranging from one bedroom and more at varying tariffs and can be classified into budget, deluxe, premium or five star depending upon the quality of the facilities provided; however they all come equipped with bedroom, attached bathroom, a small sit-out, kitchen as well as 2-3 staff to take care of your needs. You can choose between a day’s trip or an overnight or twos’ trip; meals, beverages and snacks are provided on all the houseboats. There is also an option for AC or non-AC houseboats; however do opt for the air-conditioning for a good night’s sleep.
The boats take you through rustic sceneries of farmers at work in their lush fields, laughing village children waving at you through the cover of the greenery, the beauty of numerous islands or the fishermen at work with their intricate nets! After sunset, the boats head inland and are stationed on the sides of the waterways or the lake shores as per regulations; the generators work throughout the night for your comfort as you drift off to sleep to the gentle lullaby of the swaying waters and silence of nature. The next morning you are woken up by a myriad of bird calls as you witness the sun arising over the waters in its full majesty of colors ranging from the hazy soft pinks and purples and progressing to the brighter oranges as the sun climbs higher. You replenish yourself with ambrosia-like fresh coconut water and the freshest of fruits along with your breakfast. And once you are done, you carry on with your scenic journey that will remain in your mind for a very, very long time to come!
Getting there is easy, you can land in Cochin, Calicut or Trivandrum international airports and catch a cab or train to Kottayam. After that it's fun all the way!