Amidst the breathtaking backwaters, picturesque houseboats and lush greenery of Kumarakom, lies this popular national park in Kerala which is particularly known for its exotic variety of migratory birds. Kumarakom National Park is predominantly a bird sanctuary which boasts of an exotic flora and fauna reserve while capturing the beauty of Kerala on the banks of Vembanad Lake.
Spread over a sizeable area of 14 acres, the park plays a host to over 500 different species of birds and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Often tourists club the backwaters with exploring the national park to get maximum exposure to all that nature offers here in its pristine form. Earlier a rubber plantation known as Baker’s Estate, the place was reestablished as a national park by an Englishman for his love of wildlife and birds.
The period of November to March stays your best bet to explore the park and houseboats and motorboats your best means to commute. Since the park is adjacent to Vembanad Lake and backwaters, it makes for an interesting sight to take a boat ride and admire the beauty of the park while spotting rare species.
Some of the most popular attractions in the wildlife here include Tigers, Wild Pigs, Civet Cats, Elephants, Deers, Malabar Giant Squirrel and Nilgiri Tahr among others. Due to its proximity to the lake and lagoons, one can also spot some rare, almost-extinct species of crocodiles and fishes apart from mudskippers and turtles.
Apart from bird watching, another popular activity here is to feed the forest birds. One can simply take a stroll and soak in the beauty of nature or have a fun boat ride while combining the pleasure of both. There is also a small island in the middle of Lake Vembanad known as Island of Pathiramanal which is a great place to spot migratory birds and is accessible via boats.
As far as reaching here is concerned, Kumarakom is a place well connected to the rest of the world via rail and flight network. The nearest railway station is at Kottayam while the closest airport is at Cochin.