Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Honeymoon - Kumarakom - part 1

Kumarakom is one of the most famous tourist destination in Kottayam district, of Kerala - truly the 'God's Own Country'. This is a cluster of islands formed by the Vembanad lake, one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. Alleppey and Kumarakom are the two major towns that fall around this lake and naturally they are very rich in vegetation and more importantly tourism. These places can even be called as the 'Venice of Kerala', since boat is one of the main means of transport and almost every household has atleast a small boat 'parked', just like we have two wheelers. These towns are very very famous for their lake side resorts and the houseboats. Most part of the lake is bordered by very nice resorts. Another high point in Kumarakom is the boat house, which you can rent from a couple of hours to days together based on your need. They come with two/three/four bedroom boats for groups, in which you can stay overnight. There are boats that have a big room ideal for family get-together and office meetings, which you can rent for some hours. There is not much activity to be done here, but for lazing in the hammock watching the water sway to the tunes of the air, or float in the boat in the middle of the ocean-like lake. A perfect place for honeymooners.

Coming to the rest of our honeymoon trip, we started from Munnar in a cab. The ride was again great along the neat, wide and winding roads of the hills with a river on one side, which accompanied us all the way and numerous waterfalls on the way with intermittent spells of rain and some good soothing music of Illayaraja for our company. The romantic journey from Munnar to Kumarakom took us close to 4 hours. Once inside Kumarakom, we could see the boats of all sizes and shapes, criss crossing in the small canals running across the town. We could understand why the roads were neglected since boats are the most sought after means of navigation. Hence, there was very less pollution in the air and with the remarkable amount of greenery and waterways to boot, this place automatically seemed romantic. We went across numerous canals and vast area of paddy fields and finally reached our resort - Illikallam.

Illikallam is the resort that is being undertaken and promoted by the Kerala Tourism department. This has 8 cottages which are just a stones throw away from the lake, set amidst cocunut trees and a small fish pond. The rooms are very well maintained and has very friendly support staff. Dont miss the 'karimeen', which is very famous in the whole of Kumarakom.

To be continued here

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