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Kumarakom Backwaters

The gorgeous green of the fringed palms rippling in the blue waters and blending into wavelets – are the most fascinating feature of the Kerala Backwaters. These panoramic backwater stretches surrounded by lush green paddy fields, highlands and beaches are included among the 1001 most wonderful attractions of the world. Kumarakom in Kottayam district is known for a major backwater stretch, where a network of rivers and canals meet the great expanse of the Vembanad lake. This huge lake is not only an enchanting picnic spot but also a fast developing backwater tourism destination.

The backwaters at Kumarakom provide you with superb facilities for boating, fishing and sight seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. The Vembanad Lake has majestic canals, streams and tributaries along its banks weaves an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web.

Boat Races
Long narrow boats manned by 4 helmsmen, 25 singers and 100 – 125 oarsmen perform races in the backwaters here, and draw countless tourists from all over the world. These boats row in unison to the fast rhythm of the Vanchipattu (song of the boatman). These races are held in connection with Onam, the harvest festival celebrated in August/September.

Boat race of Kerala is called the largest team sport in the world. These are preceded by colourful water parades. People can be seen gathered at the water's edge to cheer the huge black crafts as they slice through the waters to a spectacular finish. Nehru Trophy Boat Race is another popular one, which is named after the late Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. It is organized on the second Saturday of August.

Kumarakom backwaters are not only renowned for their water carnivals but also for Sunset & Sunrise Cruise on a Kettuvallom (houseboat). While travelling through these backwaters, one can experience the joy of living on waters and can explore the typical lifestyle of the locals.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
If you are a bird lover or wish to spot some of the rarest migratory birds, a houseboat tour on Kumarakom backwaters can also take you to the exotic Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Covering over 14 acres of land, the sanctuary is home to exotic migratory birds like egrets, darters, herons, teal, waterfowl, cuckoo, wild duck and migratory birds like the Siberian stork.

Other Activities
Kumarakom backwater cruise is perfect for those nature lovers who wish to spend vacations amidst swaying coconut palms. These offer wonderful opportunities for angling and fishing also.

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