Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is among the most popular bird watching spots in the country. Spread out over 14 hectares, one comes across numerous rare avian species in these parts. A visit to the bird sanctuary, set within the lush acres of wooded land nearby, acquaints you to the variety of migratory birds that flock in thousands, some from the Himalayas, some even from as far as Siberia. In addition, you can get thrilled of the native kingfishers ablaze in psychedelic colors, experience a walk under rookeries of egrets and night herons or lone golden-backed woodpeckers and even delight in the acrobatics of the paradise fly-catchers..
Birds Sanctuary is located on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the bird sanctuary is spread across 14 acres. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, an ornithologist’s paradise is a favorite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal.
We can see pelicans, different types of cranes and hundreds of Indian cormorant. The Indian cormorants are the most commonly found birds around all backwaters in Kerala. These birds are also known as “Indian shag” and is a member of cormorant family of birds. The best time to bird watch is between June and August. To watch Migratory birds, November to February is the best time.
People who visit in June and August are treated to many rare sights. This is the breeding season of the resident wetland birds such as Indian Darter, Little Cormorant, different species of egrets and herons, White Ibis and several species of kingfishers. People also get to see the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, water duck, Siberian Cranes, parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers and wood beetles. Boating trips around the sanctuary is extremely relaxing and this is among the most visited places in Kottayam district.
The main attractions are local birds like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, heron and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian cranes. Parrots, teal, larks, flycatchers, wood beetle, and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory season.
The entrance of the bird sanctuary is covered with the boards for the hotel and we were confused for a moment whether we are in the right place. The board for the bird sanctuary is sort of hidden behind the boards of the hotel. It seems they want to promote only the hotel! The security officer at the gate confirmed we are in the right place.
However, everywhere people were asking if we want a boat ride, which were private services outside the sanctuary. I believe these staff get commission from the private boat operators for arranging guests. On your Houseboat cruise you can see the birds.
Once you enter through the main gate, you will see the parking space and then the buildings that include a small coffee shop, offices, picture gallery, small hall etc.
There is a parking fee for all the vehicles parked in the premises. If you want to save some money, you may very well park outside the main gate. We chose to pay the parking fee and parked our car in the designated parking area.
Parking fee details: Parking is not free within the premises. However, if you like to save a few bucks, you may park your vehicle along the road side. Considering the traffic and narrow width of the road, I would recommend you pay the parking fee and park your car safely in front of the office in the sanctuary.
Admission fee: The admission fee is Rs 50 per person, which is quite reasonable. Usually, tourist attractions are expensive affair. Parking fee for four-wheelers is Rs 25.
How To Reach
To reach Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary by road, one can hire local cabs or taxis from Kottayam which is around 13km from the sanctuary.
By Train: Kottayam Railway Station with a distance of 12km serves as the nearest railway station to this gorgeous wildlife reserve.
Tips for visitors
- For the best experience, visit early morning.
- Be prepared to walk 2 km one way and 2 km return.
- Carry an umbrella if you are expecting some rains. There are no shelters anywhere.
- Do not carry plastic bottles.
- There are no shops and you won’t get any food including water anywhere once you enter the bird sanctuary. There is a small coffee house near the ticket counter, which serves just coffee and ice creams.
- All the birds are at the end of the place. So, don’t return in the middle.
- We saw one security staff while coming back. But other than that, there are no security staff or guides anywhere. If you are not comfortable walking alone in isolated places, better go in a group or follow some other groups.