Kumarakom is a small village near to Kottayam. It is a part of Kuttanad, which is a 'wonder land' lying below sea level, comprising of a number of islands, in the back waters.Kumarakom is one of the Faverit place of our former prime minister Mr. A.B. Vajpayee he visited here last december. Kumarakom is a paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interepersed with enchanting water ways and canals adorned with white lillies. Situated on the Vembanad lake, this small water world has plenty of traditional country boats, crafts and canoes which will take you into the heart of scenic Kerala. The resorts near by offer comfortable accomdation and exclusive leisure options like Ayurvedic massages, Yoga and meditation besides boating, fishing, angling and swimming.
In the last Century, Henry Baker, an English man, attracted by the beauty of the place, selected Kumarakom as his residence and built a bungalow, obtaining 104 acres of land from the then Maharaja of Travancore. He also made a beautiful garden. Preserving the old style, the beautiful bunglow of Baker has now been modified into the Taj Garden Retreat, a hotel with modern living facilities. The Kerala State Toursim Development Corporation is converting this place into a Tourist Complex. K.T.D.C. has constructed Cottages here and it runs a floating restaurant. Boating facilities are also provided by the Corporation. Coconut lagoon is a beautiful resort here.
Kottayam has a vast network of rivers and canals which empty into the great expanse of water called the Vembanad Lake, a fast developing back water tourism destination. Vembanad lake is having 83.72km. length and 14.48km. width. Traditional cargo boats called Kettuvallams are modified into cruise boats and house boats, with all basic facilities like kitchen, toilet, bathrooms, sitouts etc. These boats gracefully move around the back waters, providing facilities to tourist to enjoy the beauty of the Vembanad lake in a relaxed pace. The Kumarakom tourist village offers house boat cruises and holiday packages.
In the Vembanad lake there is a small beautiful island called Pathiramanal or the Midnight sands. This lonely island in the Vembanad Lake is accessible only by boat.
Another attraction of Kumarakom is the Bird Sanctuary spreading over 14 acres of land. Located on the banks of theVembanad lake, the sanctuary is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Local birds like the water fowl, cuckoo, owl and water hen other common varities like the wood pecker, sky lark, crane and parrots can also be spotted here. 91 Species of local and 50 species of migratory birds are found here. Best time to bird watch is June-August and migratory birds during November- February. A cruise along the Vemband lake is best way to experience the sanctuary. House boats and motor boats are available on hire for bird watching cruises on the lake.
Elaveezhapoonchira , a hill station near Melukavu Mattom, 60 kms. from Kottayam is gaining tourist importance. Elaveezhapoonchira means valley where leaves don't fall and is names so because the place has no trees. This is also one of the best places in Kerala to witness both the sun rise and sunset.
Located among three beautiful hillocks Mankunnu,Kudayathoormala and Thonippara, Poonchira is a place of picturesque charm. Legends say that the pool here was a bathing place for Panchali the heroine of Mahabharata. The D.T.P.C. is developing this place into a trekking spot. The beautiful valleys of Poonchira spread across thousands of acres. The verdant land scape punctuated by the gigantic hills , each rising to around 3200 sft. is an ideal place to un wind. During the monsoons when the valley fillup to form a scenic lake, this place unveils yet another beautiful slice of nature.
Three Kms. from Vazhikkadavu, this renowned Christian pilgrim centre is where hundreds of devotees from far and near converge during the holy week and after, to climb the hill in faith, carrying small wooden crosses. The peaceful Jewish monastery at the top of the hill, the cool mountain air and the lush green landscape are all soothing to the soul. On the eastern side of the hill is Murugan mala, home of a rock cut temple dedicated to Murugan ( son of Lord Siva). The road to Kurisumala offers wonderful sight-seeing opportunities in a European model house and the beautiful artificial lake both designed by the renowned architect, Laurie Baker.
Situated 64 kms. from Kottayam, this enchanting hill station at an elevation of 1100 meters above sea level is a trekkers paradise. This enchanting hill station on the Idukki -Kottayam border dotted with tea gardens and meadows, will soon be one of India's foremost eco- tourism projects. The breeding centre of the Kerala Live Stock Board is located here.