About Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
There are umpteen holiday destinations to go to, but Kumarakom bird sanctuary in Kerala is one of those rare places where you can go bird-spotting throughout your holiday. It is one of such unprecedented places in India that appeals to a specific type of tourist – the bird watchers.Set across 14 hectares of lush, sprawling green lands, the large sanctuary houses some of the rarest and most amazing seasonal birds.
Siberian Crane, Night Herons, Pelicans, Parrots, Larks, Flycatchers, Wood Beetle, Golden-backed Woodpeckers are some of the birds that migrate to India all the way from Siberia and Himalayas, They travel to elude subzero temperatures and ensuing lack of nutrition.
Along with uncountable migratory birds, you can also spot some indigenous cormorants and Kingfishers standing apart with their vivacious colors.The sanctuary is well conserved by the Government of India which welcomes the birds with open arms. The government also takes care of the beautiful towering coconut trees and overall natural haunts of the birds as per a stringent routine.
The magnificent beauty of the bird sanctuary befriends you and makes you feel like you belonged there all your life.During the migratory season, thousands of birds arrive and loaf in the ostentatious nature of this sanctuary. It is absolutely astonishing to see them stay close to each other in a small radius. It is almost like they're interconnecting with each other and have opted to stay in a clique.
Though it’s not easy to spot these birds, people who are true bird enthusiasts or have been birdwatching since a long time can easily spot a rare species even at a single glance. The tourism department of the Kerala state government also manages a beautiful age-old mansion in the sanctuary called the 'Baker's Mansion.' The mansion is more than 70 years old and is a part of the sanctuary since the time it was known as 'Baker's Estate’. The estate was created by an Englishman named George Alfred Baker.
The sanctuary is pretty clean and well maintained. As you visit the reserve, you will find a circuit of paths that will take you along the entire sanctuary. There is about 2 km of road that will help you witness every neck of the woods in the sanctuary. You can also go to the interpretation center in the sanctuary built by the government, should you like to know about the birds that visit during the migratory season.
The sanctuary is positioned on the beautiful banks of Kavanar River. After you are done exploring, you can take a boat ride in the Kavanar River or Vembanad Lake just to spectate the charm of the place.
Not only the place is at par with heaven for bird aficionados, but it is also a delight for the people who’d love to spend some time in tranquility away from their homes and the ever-bustling cities. It is one of those places in India that you must unquestionably include on your bucket list.
Best time to visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary:
People flock to Kumarakom bird sanctuary all year round. It really depends upon what you are expecting out of this place.If your purpose is to just come to the sanctuary, chill out and spend some quality time with your loved ones amidst nature, the sanctuary is yours to visit any time of the year. The temperatures range from 18°C to 38°C all year round, and it is safe to visit at all times.
But if you looking to spot the migratory birds, it is advised to visit during the migratory season starting from November and lasting all the way to May.Birders also visit this place in June and August as it is the breeding season for native birds like Kingfishers, Indian Darter, Little Cormorant, White Ibis and a few more.
Timings and Entry Fee:
It is true that all the good things in life aren’t free, and the entrance to the beautiful Kumarakom bird sanctuary is no exception. To enter the sanctuary, you have to pay a small fee of Rs. 50 per person.To keep the sanctuary up and running and to ensure the habitat doesn’t perish due to lack of maintenance, the fee levied is used to keep the sanctuary working flawlessly.
The fee of Rs. 50 per person is for Indian citizens only and that it might vary for international tourist.The timings of the sanctuary are from 6.30AM to 6.30PM. It is highly recommended, by the birdwatchers who have been here before, to visit the sanctuary in the early hours.
There are better odds of you spotting the birds in the cold mornings, than in the sweltering afternoons. Birds usually rest in the deeper shades of the trees during the noon where it is difficult to spot them.
Main attractions of kumarakom bird sanctuary:
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is filled to the brim with species of numerous migratory birds that act as attractions for tourists.
The beautiful and slender Siberian Crane is among many such appeals. They are one of the major attraction of the bird sanctuary, and people travel from across the world to see the Siberian Cranes.
The most astonishing fact about the Siberian Crane is that it travels an unbelievable distance of approximately 3000 miles (4,760 km) to reach the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India.
It is the most dangerous period of their life. During the long, weary flight, they face the loss of habitat, shootings, strong gusts of wind often mixed with dust, haze, accidents with power lines and so much more. It is a natural phenomenon, and they must do this twice a year to survive!
So, whenever you visit, make sure you don’t miss seeing one.Waterfowl, another family of birds that comprises of swans,
geese, and ducks, travel to the bird sanctuary to seek refuge and to survive
the unforgiving climate in their native lands.
The sanctuary lives in the lap of nature protected from the hot sun by the towering coconut trees. The charisma of the place is even furthered by the mellifluous twitter of thousands of birds. The splendor of the place makes for an infallible place to live for some cute tortoises and super-zippy lizards too.
You can also revel at the photo vantage point which is a belvedere at the top of the lookout tower of the sanctuary commanding a spectacular view. Who knows, you might even spot one of them Siberian Cranes from here!
You can also watch beautiful many other beautiful birds that visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. The incoming of birds also proves as a picture perfect spot for all the tourists. You can even make it a destination to chill out with your family and friends by having some delicious munchies amidst nature.
The lake and the river on the banks of which the sanctuary is located also stands as one of the best attractions. People hang out here all the time.
The banks of the Kavanar River is primarily used to hop on a boat and check out the sanctuary from the outer side. You can also go on a bird safari and enjoy spotting various birds in the sanctuary from the boat.
And if not the birds, just get on a boat for a hypnotic ride and have some fun! There are endless attractions you can enjoy in the sanctuary. This place never ceases to amaze. No matter when you visit, you are sure to get a flash of something unique and rare.
Located in the ‘God’s own country,’ Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is indeed an Elysium for anyone visiting it. It is a place of eternal bliss, and one must visit this sanctuary at least once in their lifetime!
How to reach the Kumrakom bird sanctuary:
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located just 15km away from the Kottayam city in Kerala. You can drive from the Kottayam city easilyThe nearest airport to the sanctuary is the Cochin International Airport in Cochin city of Kerala.
If you are visiting by rail, you can board a train from your home station to the Kottayam railway station in Kerala. Once you alight at the Kottayam railway station, you can either choose to travel 15kms to the sanctuary in a taxi, or you can select any other mode of road transport as per the availability and economy.
Places to visit in & around the Kumarakom bird sanctuary:
In the sanctuary, you can visit tons of awesome places. Moreover, the area around the sanctuary also holds myriads of other places worth visiting.The photo vantage point right above the lookout tower gives a spellbinding view of the sanctuary.You can also chill out by the Vembanad Lake in the sanctuary.
Visit the marvelous Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall which is a treat to your eyes. There is also a church at the top of the waterfall you could trek up to.Right in Kumarakom, there is a beautiful beach where you can chill out with your friends or family.
Kumarakom backwaters are also one of the top destinations to visit. Its blue waters and absolute tranquility have cast a spell on many a soul!Bay Island Driftwood Museum is right there at your behest. If you love art and would love to see some fabulous woodwork, the museum is unique and holds some mind-blowing intricate woodwork on the woods recovered from the water. Art enthusiasts flock to this museum from across the world all year round.
Situated amidst the Vembanad Lake is the Pathiramanal Island. It too embraces migratory birds every year and holds in it, an enigmatic temple and an exquisite bio-park which are totally worth seeing.
There are a lot of ancient spiritual places worth seeing in the proximity of the sanctuary such as Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, St Mary’s Church, Juma Masjid, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, Thirunakkara Mahadeva Temple and many more!