Itinerary for Kumarakom and Alleppey Package

Itinerary for Kumarakom and Alleppey Package

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Overview

Itinerary for Kumarakom and Alleppey Package:
 
Day 1:                         Arrive Cochin – Kumarakom Backwaters (80 km)
Arrival at Cochin and proceed to Kumarakom. Check in at the backwater resort and rest of the day at leisure. Try some boating and sunset cruise in Kumarakom backwaters. Or visit Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. Overnight at Kumarakom.   

Day 2:                         Kumarakom – Alleppey Houseboat
By noon check in to the house boat in Kumarakom for cruising through legendary backwaters of Kerala to Alleppey. On the way you will witness a full range of lives and activities and some mind boggling sceneries. Overnight in the house boat. House boat is a private boat with fully furnished spacious bath attached bed rooms, hygiene kitchen, dining area and private front deck to capture the beauty of the back waters.   

Day 3:                         Alleppey – Cochin (80 km)
After breakfast check out from the houseboat and straight to Cochin for a bit of shopping and drop at Cochin for onwards journey. 

Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom is a tiny settlement comprising of several islets that lie on the banks of the lake. Today, the place is one of the major travel destinations in Kerala.
 
Kumarakom and It’s Colonial Legacy
In the 19th Century, a British Missionary, George Baker, cleared some of the marshland on the banks of the Vembanad Lake and settled there. Today, his house is a five star hotel in this small paradise.

Kumarakom is now an endless vista of blue waters, verdant meadows, paddy fields, coconut groves and mangrove forests. The Vembanad Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala and Kumarakom is a small cluster of islands on the banks of this large lake which borders Allepey, Kottayam and Ernakulam.

Its economy relies mainly on fishing, agriculture and tourism. The crisscrossing waterways and canals which irrigate the farms and the backwaters that are covered with hyacinths provide an enchanting spectacle, ideal for tourists to experience.


    


The bird sanctuary in Kumarakom attracts a lot of migratory avian species and the backwaters, teeming with fish like shrimps and prawns, is a paradise for birds. The sanctuary provides a haven for birds like the Siberian Crane, waterfowl, egret, cormorant and moor hen.

A Stay in the Houseboats and Resorts

Kumarakom is an ideal place for a vacation spent on a houseboat. In fact, houseboat vacations are a specialty here and there are many kinds of houseboats exclusively for tourists. Traditional boats like rice barges are converted into luxury floating hotels, and tourists can enjoy the enchanting beauty of Kumarakom and the Vembanad Lake, cruising down the backwaters on one of these.

There are also several resorts in Kumarakom, on the banks of the lake which also offer activities like boating, yachting and fishing. A canoe ride from one of these resorts can take you to the bird sanctuary, and this will be an amazing experience.

The Very Popular Boat Races
Kumarakom, like Allepey, also plays host to boat races during the Onam celebrations. The biggest canal here that hosts these boat races becomes a vibrant setting for the regatta of the snake boats or Chundan Vallams that take part in these races. Tourists often throng to visit these races, and even locals turn up in huge numbers to witness the spectacle.


Getting to Kumarakom
Kumarakom is now a Special Tourism Zone and so, it is well connected by trains to Cochin, Kottayam and other major cities. Cochin is the nearest airport. Kumarakom is also well connected through waterways to Cochin, Allepey, Kottayam and other backwater destinations.

The best time to visit this place would be during the Onam celebrations. The boat races held in various parts of Kerala during this time attract a lot of tourists. The main boat races are held in nearby Allepey and Kumarakom also plays host to its own boat race. If you plan your trip to Kumarakom well, you’ll have a chance to catch a glimpse of everything that matters.

The just concluded Responsible Tourism (RT) seminar at Kumarakom, one of the state’s most frequented spots, witnessed a huge gathering with experts from home and abroad interacting with each other and sharing views on the changing concepts of tourism. The Kumarakom initiative has come to be associated with the steps taken in promoting Responsible Tourism.

But the delegates, even those from abroad, raised issues on how tourism could be given a ‘responsible’ tag. The three cardinal principles that drive this genre of tourism are … being responsible environmentally, socially and economically.

The initiative began at Kumarakom in 2008 and was based on these three principles. But it threw up issues on the efficacy of the project when viewed against the concept of being responsible. According to a section of the delegates, environmental responsibility means that resources of a specific destination should be used judiciously. This will also mean handling waste from the resorts, hotels and houseboats in the area.


                           


The second principle which is social responsibility means that tourism should not demean the local culture. Tourists coming to the destination have the responsibility of preserving and respecting local values and traditions.

Economic responsibility is all about helping the local community as a whole and not just the entrepreneurs who are into the tourism projects.

Thousands of tourists visiting a destination use local resources, including water and electricity. Though revenue is generated and the local people are engaged in this, the question remains as to whether these factors can compensate for the depletion of resources.

Waste, including plastic, which accumulates at the destination, will inevitably contaminate the water bodies. State Tourism Secretary Suman Billa refuted the charge that tourism would inevitably produce negative results. "If we go by this pessimistic attitude there is little scope for development. Tourism helps the exchequer get good revenue. What we have to think about is its sustainability”, he said.

"Since water is a renewable resource, we should think of implementing a proper water plan where we can calculate the total resource of the destination and use it proportionately for tourism purposes”, he said.

According to data from the state Tourism Department, 1,200 families in Kumarakom have benefited from the RT initiatives so far.A total 567 women found employment and almost 600 homesteads are reportedly engaged in farming.

They are growing vegetables and fruits for use in the tourism sector.“About 45 families are involved in the ‘village life experience’ package where they help tourists get a glimpse of indigenous livelihood like coir-making and toddy-tapping”, said RT state coordinator Roopesh Kumar. 'Samridhi', the restaurant run by women, generated around Rs 38 lakh in the last two months.

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