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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kumarakom

14 March'07 :
Left Kottayam for Kumarakom around noon time a distance of around 20 Kms. The village of Kumarakom is a cluster of little islands in the Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Kumarokom is truly one of the most beautiful places in Kerala nay the whole world. Kumarakom is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is a noted bird sanctuary where many migratory birds visit. The Vembanad Lake is habitat for many marine species and it teems with 'Karimeen' (Pearl Spotted Fish ), shrimp (chemmeen in local language) and prawns. The bird sanctuary which spans 14 acres (57,000 m²), came into existence following preservation efforts from the government. It is a major tourist attraction now.
Kumarakom is not entirely a tourist dependent town but also derives a reasonable income from agriculture. The area is populated by mangrove forests, paddy fields and coconut groves. This rich agricultural environment is mainly irrigated using interspersed waterways and canals. Kumarakom's perfectly balanced tropical climate is conducive to the growth of plants and trees.
There are several tourist resorts to suit every pocket. Some of these also include Ayurvedic massages and treatments. There are several antique shops enroute to attract foreign visitors with a mesmerising range of artefacts.
Kumarakom is better described through a series of photographs rather than through written accounts.
After Kumarakom we crossed a long sea bridge taking us across the still back waters of the Arabian sea and reached Chertalai from where we hit the National Highway - a wide multi lane highway built to international standards. The car suddenly picked up speed after the slow leisurely pace at Kumarakom. We motored along at a fast 90 Kmph crossed Vayalar & Aroor before reaching Vytilla located on the Ernakulam bye pass. We stopped over for a sumptuous meal at "The Sarovaram" a vegetarian Hotel on the highway. After this we drove almost non stop to Coimbatore. We halted briefly at Vadakancherry(mid-way between Trichur & Palakkad) where our driver Ramesh had orders ( from Shobha !) to buy a couple of sharp knives (for the kitchen of course !) for which this town is famous for.

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