Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Indians: INR 50,
Foreign Nationals: INR 100,
Parking Fee: INR 25

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Overview

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, also popularly known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, is a breathtaking and beautiful bird sanctuary that is located at Kumarakom in the Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala. Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake in the Kerala Backwaters, this bird sanctuary is a favourite destination for many native as well as migratory birds, which makes the place a dreamland full of ecstasy and delight for bird watchers and nature lovers. The houseboats and motor boats that are available on rent to watch birds further enhance this enrichening experience. A trip to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is thus a must while in Kerala, to explore and unravel the hidden treasures and gifts of the Earth.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is spread over a total area of over 14 acres on the southern bank of the Kavanar River and is managed by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. The sanctuary initially developed in a rubber plantation, and was looked after by an Englishman and known as the Baker's Estate. While neighbouring areas such as Poothanpandi Kayal and Pathirmanal are also excellent locations for spotting some rare and exquisite birds, this paradise on Earth is home to local birds like owls, cuckoos, waterfowls and herons; as well as migratory birds like the Siberian Crane. Other birds are also spotted here during their respective migratory seasons, some of which come from the Himalayas, while others flock from Siberia.

The walk through the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, jumping over the puddles and walking through the muddy paths is a unique experience in itself. The view of such a vast variety of birds pleases the heart, and tourists do not even realise how hours pass by as they just stand and watch the birds and capture them in their cameras.

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Bird Watching at the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is the favourite haunt of many rare and beautiful birds. A visit to this sanctuary acquaints you to the variety of migratory birds that dwell here in bliss and peace. Some of these birds migrate here from the Himalayas to escape the chilly weather there during the winter season, while some travel from as far as Siberia.

The main attractions here are the local birds such as waterfowls, cuckoos, owls, egrets, herons, moorhens, darters, Brahminy kites, cormorants and the water duck. The Indian Cormorants are the most commonly found birds here and in fact around all the backwaters in Kerala. These birds are also known as 'Indian Shag'. The major part of the migratory birds is constituted by the Siberian Crane, while birds like parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher and wood beetle are found here during particular migratory seasons. Tourists can also spot kingfishers, golden-backed woodpeckers and night herons.

Walking Trails and Butterfly Garden at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Visitors have to walk for about 2 kilometres to reach the end of the trail, and then all the way back again since there is no exit gate at the end. The trail begins at the interpretation centre/ticket office near the entrance. The Butterfly Garden lies in the way. This garden is a small garden, clearly marked by a board, and is home to a few butterflies.

A lot of people tend to get disappointed and return after travelling the first kilometre or so, but do not be tempted to make the same mistake. When you climb the last watchtower, hundreds of white and black birds would be waiting to greet you. The place has hundreds of nest and birds flying everywhere. Surprisingly, all of these birds prefer to remain in the 500-metre radius and do not move out of it. Bird watchers are of course able to identify and spot more birds than a layman can, but the entire experience is worth it for all visitors.

Other Things To Do at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

You can take a boat ride in the Vembanad Lake or along the Kavanar River. The neighbouring areas such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathirmanal, Narakathara, Thollairam Kayal, and Poothanpandi Kayal are also good locations for spotting birds.

The interpretation centre near the entrance offers videos and photo galleries of various birds that visit the sanctuary each month, all throughout the year. It is located in the building at the entrance, alongside a small coffee shop and ticket counter.

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Best Time To Visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Undoubtedly, the best time to visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is in the months of November to February, when migratory birds from all across the globe come here for mating. The ideal time to visit the place for those who wish to spot local birds is from June to August.

Stay Near Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Waterscapes, the backwater resort that is maintained by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) is situated inside the sanctuary and is an excellent place to stay at. This exotic backwater resort, on the shores of the Vembanad Lake, is the only resort in the destination that is located inside the sanctuary and has independent cottages standing on stilts. It offers guests with a unique and uninterrupted access to the backwater life of Kumarakom and is especially popular amongst honeymooners.

How To Reach Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The nearest railway station to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is Kottayam, which is about 13 kilometres away from your final destination, while the nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport, 94 kilometres away from the sanctuary. From both these places, you can easily hire a taxi to take you to the sanctuary.

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