Top Things to do at Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, is a famous wildlife reserve in Kerala, India. Situated in the picturesque village of Kumarakom, the sanctuary is spread across 14 acres and is a haven for various avian species. The rich ecosystem of the lake and its surrounding mangrove forests, wetlands, and paddy fields make it an ideal habitat for resident and migratory birds. Are you ready to take a deep dive into this bird watching haven? We recommend that you book a safe and reliable cab with Savaari to Kumarakom for a comfortable journey.  


Table of Contents

  1. Things to do
  2. How to Plan a trip
  3. About Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  4. Resorts & Hotels to stay

Things to do at Kumarakom National Park

  1. The Bird Sanctuary is spread across a large area that can be explored on foot while listening to the chirping of birds.
  2. You can take a boat ride on Vembanad Lake and observe birds that prefer to live near water.
  3. Kumarakom is famous for its houseboats. You can live on one of them on the Vembanad Lake.
  4. Visit Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls.
  5. Learn more about birds and click some memorable pictures.
  6. If you are not a bird expert, hire a local guide to help you spot different birds while in the sanctuary.

Hire a Savaari car rental in Kumarakom to easily travel around the place and experience all these exciting adventures.

Places to visit in Kumarakom Sanctuary

Vembanad Lake
Vembanad Lake

Interpretation Center

Right at the entrance of the sanctuary you can visit the Interpretation Center and look at hundreds of pictures and videos of birds at the sanctuary throughout the year.


The sanctuary has two watchtowers to allow visitors to reach a vantage point and see birds as they perch atop the trees. You might have to walk around two kilometers to reach the second watchtower that offers the best vantage point for bird watching.

Vembanad Lake

The Vembanad Lake is the destination of several canals and rivers that flow across Kerala. It is the longest lake in India and offers picturesque views of God’s Own Country – Kerala. There is a narrow reef that separates the Lake from the Arabian Sea.

Aruvikkuzhi Waterfall

Located at a distance of around 35 km from the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, the Aruvikkuzhi Waterfalls are a treat for the eyes with water falling from around 100 feet in five steps. Further, you can trek up the waterfall and visit an old church located there. An ideal place for trekkers and picnickers alike, Aruvikkuzhi is a must-visit place nearby.

Pathiramanal Island

This island is right in the middle of Vembanad Lake. It is home to numerous migratory birds and has a bio-park and an old temple worth a visit. 

Ancient Spiritual places

Around the sanctuary, you can visit many ancient spiritual places like St Mary’s Church, Ettumanoor Mahadeva Temple, Vaikom Mahadeva Temple, and Juma Masjid, etc.

Kumarakom Backwaters

Kerala is famous for its backwaters. Drifting through the calm waters while enjoying the views of amazing paddy fields, coconut trees, and picture-perfect villages, can soothe your mind in no time. A boat ride is a must to enjoy the beauty of the mesmerizing backwaters of this gorgeous retreat.

[Must Read: The Ancient Festival of Boat Racing in Kerala]

Bay Island Driftwood Fossil Museum

The Bay Island Driftwood Museum was created to display some stunning pieces of art created by using driftwood. These are twisted tree roots, trunks, stumps, etc. that have been shaped by the turbulent water of high seas and oceans and can be transformed into art pieces with minimal effort. The Bay Island Driftwood Museum is a must-visit place for art enthusiasts.

Book a cab to visit all these major tourist places and enjoy a great trip with your family and friends.

things to do at kumarakom bird sanctuary

How to Plan a trip to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

How to Reach

By Train

The Kottayam Railway Station is the closest railway station to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. It is at a distance of around 17 km from the sanctuary. You can reach Kottayam from most major railway stations in India. You can book a cab from Kottayam to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and reach within 30 minutes. 

By Flight

The Kochi Airport or the Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. It is located at a distance of around 75-85 km from the sanctuary. From the airport, you can hire a Cochin airport to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary taxi and reach within 1.5-2.5 hours.

By Road

To reach the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary by road, you can either take a flight to Cochin or a train to Kottayam from most parts of India. You can then take a cab service directly from Cochin to Kumarakom.

Best time to visit Kumarakom Park


When visiting a bird sanctuary, it is important to pay attention to the time of the year you intend to travel as birds have fixed routines. If you want to spot migratory birds, then the months of November to May should be preferred. On the other hand, most local birds can be easily spotted from June to August. To make the most of your visit, it is advisable to read up about the kind of birds that can be spotted during different times of the year and plan your trip accordingly.

Travel tips for visiting Kumarakom Wildlife Sanctuary

  1. While some birds can be seen at sunrise, many others can be spotted easily during lazy afternoons or early evenings. Hence, it is important to read up about the habits of different types of birds to make the most of your trip.
  2. Kerala usually has a hot and humid climate. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
  3. The Bird Sanctuary is a large area with no restaurants or places to eat. Ensure that you have eaten well before entering the park.

Kumarakom National Park safari timings

The Park opens for tourists from 6.30 am to 5 pm on all days of the week. It is advisable to visit the National Park during the early morning hours to avoid the rush and get a better opportunity to spot birds.

Kumarakom National Park Entry Fee

The entry fee to visit the Bird Sanctuary is Rs. 50 per adult. The sanctuary charges extra to allow people to carry cameras and video recorders.

About Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular spots for bird-watching in India. Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, it is also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary by locals. It is spread across 14 hectares and is a perfect place to catch a glimpse of some rare birds.



The Kumarakom Sanctuary attracts different types of birds and is a preferred resting place for migratory birds too. Local birds like heron, darter, waterfowl, egret, owl, Brahminy kite, koel, etc. are a common sight in the sanctuary. Based on the season, one can also catch a glimpse of migratory birds like flycatcher, gull, tern, teal, etc.

Kumarakom Sanctuary Facts

Here are some interesting facts about the Bird Sanctuary:

  • The sanctuary is believed to have been started by a British national and was earlier known as Baker’s Estate.
  • There is a backwater resort called Waterscapes.
  •  This sanctuary is a popular destination for birdwatchers as it is home to a diverse range of resident and migratory birds. In particular, the pristine Pathiramanal island in the lake is an ideal location for migratory birds from Siberia and Russia. Click here to know all about the best birdwatching spots in India.
  • One can spot more than 100 different species of birds at the National Park.
  • The Siberian Crane is known as one of the most beautiful birds to ever exist. They migrate to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary every year after flying for around 3000 miles from home. 
  • The sanctuary is also home to various reptiles like tortoises, lizards, etc.  

Resorts & Hotels to stay in Kumarakom National Park

Here is a list of resorts and hotels to stay in and around the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary:

  • Pearl Spot Resort and Spa
  • Coconut Lagoon
  • Manor Backwater Resort
  • Saro Lake County
  • Coco Bay Resort
  • Green Fields Kumarakom
  • Capital O 1079 Ashirwad Heritage Resort
  • Kumarakom Lake Resort
  • Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters And Beyond
  • Tharavadu Heritage Home
  • Lakesong Kumarakom

Best Road-Trips to Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Route Name Distance Time
Ooty to Kumarakom 315 km 7 hours and 42 minutes
Coimbatore to Kumarakom 230 km 5 hours and 17 minutes
Kodaikanal to Kumarakom 270 km 6 hours and 38 minutes
Madurai to Kumarakom 262 km 6 hours and 20 minutes
Munnar to Kumarakom 150 km 4 hours
Kannur to Kumarakom 316 km 7 hours and 45 minutes

Share this with your wildlife enthusiast friend and make a plan to visit the sanctuary soon. Download Savaari car rental app for a smooth and pleasant journey.

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Discovering the beauty of Backwaters - Things to do in Kumarakom
Article Name
Discovering the beauty of Backwaters - Things to do in Kumarakom
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is one of the most popular spots for bird-watching in India. Located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, it is also known as the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary by locals.
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About the author

Roaming less trodden paths, Hritika, a true mountain enthusiast, unveils the stories and secrets of uncharted territories. Her spontaneous spirit thrives on making unplanned adventures and immersing herself in the tales of the people she encounters. Her writing is a window into these hidden places, capturing their essence and sharing unique perspectives that resonate deeply with the adventurous soul. With every word, she invites her readers to join her on impromptu journeys, as she unveils the world beyond the well-known map, where every twist in the road holds a new story waiting to be discovered.

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