Kumarakom, the tourism destination of Kerala and an ideal place to experience the backwaters of Kerala, is actually a cluster of islands close to the city of Kottayam. It is situated near the Vembanad Lake, which is Kerala’s largest freshwater lake.
The name Kumarakom was derived from the deity of the oldest temple Kumaran. Kumaran's Akam or place became Kumarakom. In 1878, the marshy mangrove on the bank of the Vembanad Lake was cleared and replaced by coconut plantations.
George Alfred Baker, an English farmer who arrived in India in 1857, reclaimed 500 acres of Vembanad Lake to gardens and paddy fields. He built Baker’s house, in which four generations of Bakers lived until 1962.
Apart from the efforts of the government to promote tourism in the area, what has also contributed to the growth of tourism here is the mention of Kumarakom in one of the bestsellers of the modern century- God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Following the success of the book, the Ayemenem House, where Arundhati Roy spent her early childhood has been turned into a tourist attraction.
The tropical climate of Kumarakom makes it conducive to a lot of varied cultivation. The place abounds in tropical fruits like banana, mango and pineapple. There are also plenty of mangroves, coconut palms and paddy fields, along with plantations of coffee and cocoa. It is this diversity of flora coupled with the diversity of fauna which makes Kumarakom a preferred tourist destination of Kerala.
Kumarakom is perhaps the only place in India other than Kashmir, which is known for its houseboat experience
The best time to visit the destination is from November to March.
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Featuring ancient architecture from 250 years back, Soma Kerala Palace is situated in Vembanad Backwaters, Chempu. It offers a traditional Indian spa, with yoga and meditation sessions. Free parking is provided.select
Located on the banks of one of Vembanadu Lake’s tributaries, Royal Riviera is spread over 7 acres offering views of paddy fields and canals. Featuring modern rooms with free Wi-Fi, it also has its own restaurant and outdoor pool.select
Abad Whispering Palms is located on the banks of Vembanad Lake, offering sweeping views of the lake’s calm waters. The hotel features a restaurant, a fitness centre and free parking.select
Located on the banks Vembanad Lake, Leisure Vacations Gold Field Lake Resort, Kumarakom operates a 24-hour front desk to assist guests at all hours.select