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Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
Location of Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
in Kerala and India
Coordinates 9°30′N 76°31′E / 9.5°N 76.52°E / 9.5; 76.52
Country  India
State Kerala
District(s)   Kottayam
Nearest city Kottayam
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

0 m (0 ft)
• Summer
• Winter

     34 °C (93 °F)
     22 °C (72 °F)

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary) is situated at Kumarakom in Kottayam district in the Indian state of Kerala, on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Set in the Kerala Backwaters the bird sanctuary is an ornithologist's paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds.[1]



Developed in a rubber plantation as a bird sanctuary by an Englishman, the sanctuary was formerly known as Baker’s Estate.[2]


The sanctuary is spread over 14 acres (57,000 m2)[2] on the southern bank of the Kavanar River.[3] It has well laid out paths for moving around within the sanctuary. Beyond the sanctuary one can take a boat ride in Vembanad Lake or along the Kavanar River.

Kumarakom is 14 km (8.7 mi) from Kottayam. State Highway No. 1 leads to Kochi and Thiruvanthapuram in opposite directions. Kochi International Airport at Nedumbassery is 106 km (66 mi) from Kumarakom.[4]

Neighbouring areas such as Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathirmanal, Narakathara, Thollairam Kayal, and Poothanpandi Kayal are also good locations for spotting birds.[2]

Kerala has a tropical climate.


The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron, cormorant, moorhen, darter, Brahminy kite and the duck, as well as the migratory Siberian crane. Parrot, teal, lark, flycatcher, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Some of the migratory birds come from the Himalayas, and a few from far away Siberia.[2][5]

Dawn is the ideal time for bird watching when the birds prepare to leave their forest homes and fly over the lake. An early morning trek, well before sunrise, is recommended for avid bird watchers.[2]

The sanctuary from Kavanar River

Bird watching

The WWF-India organised a two-day bird watching programme in 2008 at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary in connection with World Wetlands Day.[6]Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which owns the largest chain of hotels in Kerala, including a resort at Kumarakom, has plans to introduce guided bird watching trails and to open an interpretation centre.[1]


There is a driftwood museum at Chakranpadi, Pathiramanal approachable by boat,[2] and imaginary Ayemenem of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is set in the area.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b Radhakrishnan, S. Anil. "KTDC to construct hotel in Chennai". The Hindu, 16 November 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ayub, Akber (ed), Kerala: Maps & More, Kumarakom, 2006 edition 2007 reprint, p. 53, Stark World Publishing, Bangalore, ISBN 81-902505-2-3
  3. ^ Ayub, Akber. "Seductive symphony". The Hindu, 7 January 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  4. ^ "Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary". Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  5. ^ "Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary". Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  6. ^ "Two camps for bird watchers". The Hindu, 13 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  7. ^ "Arundhati Roy, a life full of beginnings and no ends". Chitram. Retrieved 2008-02-13.  
  8. ^ "Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things Study Guide". Retrieved 2008-02-13.  


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