Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

Stroll through lush woodland on the banks of the Kerala backwaters to spot a fascinating variety of colorful and migratory birds.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a welcoming site for nature and bird lovers. Follow trails through thick woodland and spot multicolored birdlife and butterflies. Enjoy boat rides along placid lakes and tree-shaded canals or visit secluded islands. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary spreads across 14 acres (5.6 hectares) and sits on the eastern shores of Vembanad Lake. The lake is one of India’s biggest lakes and an integral part of the glorious Kerala backwaters.

A well-maintained trail weaves around the sanctuary in the shade of towering trees. Listen to the sweet sound of birdsong as leaves rustle in the gentle breeze. Watch butterflies flutter overhead. Look for native and exotic birds, some of which migrate from as far as the Himalayas and Siberia. See cuckoo, cormorant, heron, kingfisher and woodpecker, among others. Spot birds of prey such as kites, ospreys and owls. As you explore the sanctuary’s shoreline, you might also get the chance to see tortoises and energetic lizards.

Be sure to climb to the top of the sanctuary’s lookout tower, which is also an excellent photo vantage point. Marvel at the sweeping views over the treetops, across Vembanad Lake and to Pathiramanal Island.

Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is less than a 10-minute drive from the town center of easy-going Kumarakom. Reach the sanctuary via low-cost auto-rickshaws. Combine your visit to the bird sanctuary with a tour of the enchanting Kerala backwater. Tours depart from Kumarakom’s lakeshore and explore Vembanad Lake, Pathiramanal Island and lazy waterways. Cruise past rice paddies, mangrove forests, coconut groves and floating villages.

The sanctuary is open daily and has an admission fee. Visit at sunrise, when the birds are most active and the temperatures most bearable. June to August are good months to see breeding wetland birds while migratory birds arrive from November to May. Knowledgeable guides are available to hire at the sanctuary’s entrance. They can help to point out birds and provide invaluable information about the flora and fauna.

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