The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is situated at Kumarakom in Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Set in Kerala Backwaters, the bird sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favorite haunt of migratory birds. Due to its exotic flora and fauna collections it is a pearl of India's ecological crown.
Tourists from across the globe visit this multicultural avian metropolis so that they can get a glimpse of some beautiful bird species. This bird sanctuary is spread over 14 acres in which one can find more than 500 species of birds with their cackling sounds, high pitched calls and melodious songs.
The Kumarakom was originally a rubber plantation which was later turned into a bird sanctuary by an Englishman. This place was earlier known as Baker's Estate. The best way to enjoy bird viewing at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is by houseboats or motorboats.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a home to hundreds of native birds like Waterfowl, Cuckoo, Owls, Parrots, Teal, Egrets, Herons, Cormorant, Moorhen, Darter, Brahminy Kite, Water Ducks, Flycatchers, Larks and Wood Beetle. Apart from this it is also known for more than 60 species of migratory birds which come here from the Himalayas and Siberia during the migratory season. The most famous and most awaited migratory birds are endangered Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. You can also see a large number of parrots, flycatchers, wood beetle and larks during their respective migratory seasons in this bird sanctuary. Hornbills, woodpeckers and kingfishers also increase the splendor of this place.
The Sanctuary is also popular for several species of animals like bears, elephants, civet cats, lion-tailed macaque, deer, monkeys, tigers, nilgiri tahr, wild pigs, leopards, squirrels and malabar giant squirrel.
Near the shoreline, you can find a variety of mudskippers, crabs and turtles. Kumarakom is also known for a few endangered species of fishes and crocodiles.
There are many kinds of snakes like Python, Cobra, Ciper, Rat Snake, Iguana and a few varieties of wild lizards too.
Bird watching is certainly the most enjoyable activity here. Apart from this, feeding the forest birds is also great fun. If you are on a long trip, you can enjoy exploring the forest on foot. Enjoy Houseboat and motorboat Cruise to witness the romantic panorama of this sanctuary teeming with birds. While sailing through the serene waters of the Vembanad Lake one can feel the tranquil nature at its best. The Island of Pathiramanal (meaning Sands of night) attracts a large number of migratory birds which is easily accessible by boats.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time for bird watching at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala is during the months of November to March. If you are lucky you might be able to spot the Siberian cranes that migrate to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary during the winter months every year.
How to reach Kumarakom
Air: The nearest airport from Kumarakom is the Cochin International Airport, which is 70 km from Kumarakom. The Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum) International Airport is 171 km from Kumarakom.
Rail: Kottayam is the nearest railway station. There are regular local and express trains, which connect Kumarakom with the major cities in India.
Road: Kottayam, the main road junction is just 14 km from Kumarakom. Kumarakom is also well linked with all the major cities in India through the State and National Highways.
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